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Is Cosmetic Surgery the New Cheating?

Can you imagine yourself getting plastic surgery? If you’re young, you might say no. As you get older, though, you start to think that a little nip, a little liposuction, a little Botox can’t hurt and isn’t going too far. Plastic surgery is more popular than ever. Blame it on our materialistic culture, our youth obsession, expendable income or all of these, but the truth is that more and more people are turning to cosmetic surgery to look and feel better.

Would you ever consider getting a procedure done without telling your spouse? Sure, you might not want to admit it to most people, but you would definitely tell your husband, right? If you wouldn’t, you’re not alone. Along with an increase in plastic surgery procedures comes a new type of cheating. More women, and men, are having procedures done and are telling no one about it.

The statistics on cosmetic surgery generally are very clear. Professional associations record careful data and demonstrate that all kinds of youth-enhancing procedures are on the rise. What is less clear is how many patients are hiding their surgeries from everyone in their lives. Anecdotal evidence and small surveys show that this number is also rising.

One plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Youn, noticed a trend with his patients. More of them seemed to be opting for restricted authorization. On forms, they were checking the box that would not allow him to discuss their procedures with anyone, not even a significant other. Dr. Youn decided to survey his patients for better statistics. He found that one-third of his patients were opting to hide their surgeries from everyone.

This practice represents a new kind of infidelity. It has nothing to do with finding a partner on the side and everything to do with cheating on looks. The cheating begins with money. Many patients report that they don’t want their spouses to know how much money they are spending on elective surgeries. They worry that their spouses won’t approve, so they use cash or a combination of credit cards and cash to hide the total amount. Or, they spread the expense out over several credit cards to fool a spouse.

Aside from the financial issue, it’s difficult to gauge why people would want to hide their surgical procedures. Some may be afraid of disapproval, aside from the cost. Women are more sensitive to appearance as they age and many men fail to understand the importance of looking youthful. Some women may think that plastic surgery will prevent their spouse from straying, but want to keep the details of maintaining youthfulness a secret.

So how do people hide surgeries from an intimate partner? Some wait for their spouses to travel for work. A big procedure requires time from which to recover, and travel can be the perfect way for a woman to get her work done, recover and have her husband be none the wiser. Others only go so far as to hide minor procedures, such as Botox injections or minor liposuction. Many women report that their husbands fail to notice small changes.

Is secret plastic surgery cheating? Not in the traditional sense, but for many of us it would feel wrong to keep such an important secret. Changing your appearance without informing your spouse is a big deal. If he found out, he might be hurt. He may feel that his opinion didn’t matter or that you didn’t think he would care about your feelings. Small secrets in a relationship are normal, but hiding surgical procedures is not.

There is still hope.

Our licensed addiction experts can help. Call us today for a confidential assessment.

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