Infidelity is considered an act of unfaithfulness within a relationship or marriage. It can cause immense strain in the relationship, leaving the person betrayed feeling angry, devastated, confused, and alone. Infidelity can cause the relationship to end, but for others, they are able to repair, heal, and trust once again. The couple can work through infidelity just between themselves, or with support from a couples counselor during counseling sessions, like counseling in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center

What can a therapist do to help our relationship?

A therapist is someone who can provide a neutral and safe space for talking about difficult issues in your relationship. It can be therapeutic to speak with someone who is removed from your inner circle of friends and family, who won’t express what they think you should do, but instead help you arrive at your own conclusion yourself. A therapist can help relationships impacted by infidelity by supporting the couple as they go through phases of shock, grief, anger, processing, trust, and healing.

What types of behavior is viewed as cheating?

Each person has their own definition of what cheating means. It is important to communicate with your partner about what actions are okay, and what are not okay. Some may view developing emotional feelings towards other people as cheating, while others think that anything but physical touch is fine. Others may even feel that their partner watching porn is a form of infidelity as well. It can be helpful to talk about your expectations early on.

What leads to infidelity?

Studies suggest that around 20% of people in a partnership will participate in extramarital sex at one point or another. Affairs may happen for several reasons. Some may feel as though their partner has distanced themselves emotionally and physically, making relationships with other people more tempting to engage in. The main reason is due to relationship dissatisfaction, requiring both emotional and physical intimacy.

But, infidelity doesn’t always arise due to lack or relationship satisfaction. A partner may have an affair due to being unhappy with themselves, as a way to boost self confidence, or as a desire for new sexual experiences. Other reasons infidelity may happen are listed here: 

  • To cause the relationship to end
  • Low self-esteem
  • Avoidance of relationship problems
  • Depression
  • Sex addiction 

How may an act of infidelity impact the other person?

The person who was betrayed by their partner committing infidelity is likely to feel rage, anxiety, depression, low self worth, and perhaps even blame themselves for what happened. Those who have been cheated on are at increased odds of engaging in behaviors that are high-risk after receiving the news, such as having unprotected sex, using drugs and/or alochol, overeating, over-exercising, or undereating.

Is the person who cheated affected by their behavior?

While we cannot assume the same for every person, it is true that most people who cheat are affected by their own behavior. They may not understand why they are having urges to do certain things, and may struggle with bringing the issue to light. They may feel trapped, helpless, and terribly guilty, but don’t know how to approach the problem with their partner.