Why Does Infidelity Occur? – Therapists and Counselors in Austin

Linda was in an unhappy marriage. Though she was an inherently honest, open person, she found herself confiding in one of her male friends more than her spouse, whom she no longer felt emotionally close to. As a result, she developed romantic feelings for her friend, which eventually culminated in an extramarital affair.

But guilt quickly set in. Linda knew she would not leave her husband for her friend, and she felt she was leading him on. Linda loved her husband, and she knew lying to him was unkind, dishonest, and an overall unhealthy action.

Linda had several issues to work through. First, she had to come clean with her husband and stop the affair. Next, she and her husband had to decide if and how to work through both the pain of the affair and the issues at the core of their relationship that caused her to seek emotional satisfaction elsewhere.

While some engage in affairs and never admit the outside relationship to their spouse or partner, the long-term impact of such actions can be devastating for both the wronged partner and the partner who stepped outside the primary relationship.

Why Does Infidelity Occur? – Therapists and Counselors in Austin

Adultery is a globally recognized phenomenon. It is found in essentially all cultures and across all time periods, occurring at rates that are surprisingly consistent. In the US, studies have shown that approximately 25 percent of all married individuals will commit an act of infidelity at some point during their relationship. Despite the seeming universality of infidelity as an act, it is condemned by the vast majority of people—according to a Gallup poll in 2013, about 91 percent of Americans believe that infidelity is morally wrong.

When the serious consequences of adultery are considered, it can be hard to understand why this phenomenon occurs at all. Some of the circumstances that can be conducive to adultery include:

  • Persistent emotional dissatisfaction
  • Feeling of powerlessness and oppression in a relationship
  • A wish to terminate the relationship
  • Conflicts over adultery-unrelated issues
  • Low self-worth and other psychological factors

If you’re in a committed relationship, it deserves care and attention to make it thrive—and if you or the relationship is struggling, it deserves even more attention. If your primary relationship has devolved into constant fighting, apathy, or if you have constant feelings of low self-esteem, feel without agency in your relationship, or feel constantly left to handle your emotional needs alone, you become more susceptible to infidelity.

Stepping outside of a primary relationship doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. In fact, the cheating partner often experiences severe emotional distress over their actions. However, doing so does mean there are significant issues, either personal or within the relationship, that need to be addressed. The pain and loss of trust that go along with infidelity are incredibly difficult to work through alone. If you’re experiencing the ramifications of infidelity, contact Thriveworks Austin. Our counselors know how hard it is to face these issues alone. We’re experienced at working with couples in many relationship stages, including post-infidelity. We’ve helped many people rebuild their relationships, and we can help you too.

Infidelity and the Impact on a Relationship

One should not play down the impact that an act of infidelity has on a relationship. One of the primary feelings happening to a victim is grief, a grief so strong that it can truly traumatize the betrayed individual. Once the grief phase has come to an end, it often makes way for a period of intense distrust, anger, and fear. It is, however, a misconception that the act of infidelity affects only the betrayed spouse—the entire family structure can be altered and damaged by an act of unfaithfulness. If a marriage ends in divorce, it might in fact be the children who experience the highest level of damage and trauma. Children may develop a lasting resentment toward one or both parents, and their perception of adult relationships can become skewed for many years to come.

How Can Counseling Help?

There are unfortunately no quick-fix methods for resolving the fallout from an act infidelity. A successful resolution requires a constructive dialogue that will allow the partners to work out a solution suitable for both—many couples find that this can be achieved under the guidance of an experienced counselor. The counselor will usually seek to equip his clients with the tools and mechanisms necessary to improve their communication and their control over difficult emotions. Many couples will start counseling for infidelity without a clear goal in mind, and it is the therapy that should help them decide which direction they want their relationship to go in—be it reconciliation or separation.

Thriveworks Austin Counseling for Infidelity

Here at Thriveworks Austin our qualified counselors support couples who have undergone the difficult experience of infidelity. Over the years of working with diverse people, we have recognized that there is not a single solution that will answer to the needs of all our customers. Accordingly, we tailor our counseling sessions to ensure that you and your partner’s individual wishes and expectations are met in the best way possible.

Finding a resolution to the problems that infidelity creates in a relationship is possible. Thriveworks Austin is there to support you—so why not call us today to arrange your first infidelity counseling session. Thriveworks Austin counseling does not keep a waiting list, and we can usually schedule your first appointment within 24 hours of your call. We also accept most insurance.

If you are suffering from the pain of infidelity, whether your own or your partner’s, contact us. You can heal. We can help.

Further Reading
Newport, Frank, and Himelfarb, Igor. “In U.S., Record-High Say Gay, Lesbian Relations Morally OK.” May 2013. Gallup.com.


Austin Locations

Thriveworks Counseling
Therapy only
8700 Manchaca Rd., #701
Austin, TX 78748
Testing only
9701 Brodie Ln., #205
Austin, TX 78748
512-649-2266

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Thriveworks Counseling
5524 Bee Caves Rd., Suite #K4
Austin, TX 78746
512-649-3050

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Thriveworks Counseling
7701 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite 206
Austin, TX 78752
512-649-2270

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Thriveworks Counseling
2911 South AW Grimes Blvd, Suite 330
Pflugerville, TX 78660
(512) 955-3074

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Thriveworks Counseling
1106 College Street, Unit E
Bastrop, TX 78602
(512) 521-3243

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