Infidelity counseling is a specialized therapeutic approach designed for couples grappling with the aftermath of one or more partner’s infidelity. It offers a nurturing and non-judgmental environment where both individuals can delve into the underlying reasons behind the breach of trust, openly express their feelings, and collaboratively strive to mend their relationship.The overarching objective of infidelity counseling is to either facilitate a path to reconciliation, should both partners desire it, or guide them through the process of separation or divorce with clarity and empathy.
Infidelity counseling combines various therapeutic techniques, such as individual and couples therapy, cognitive-behavioral approaches for changing destructive thought patterns, communication skills training for conflict resolution, Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) to rebuild trust, narrative therapy to reframe relationship narratives, and mindfulness practices for managing intense emotions. These methods work together to foster self-awareness, emotional healing, and the reconstruction of trust, leading to a healthier, more resilient relationship.
Estimates show that between 30 and 60 percent of all married individuals in the U.S. engage in infidelity during their marriage, according to D.M. Buss and T.K. Shackelford in the Journal of Research in Personality (1997). An American General Social Survey in 2006 found that nearly two times as many married men as women admitted to having had sexual relations with an individual other than their spouse.
It is overwhelming and often disastrous to a marriage when a partner commits infidelity. It is one of the most common problems that marriage and family therapists encounter. While the majority of couples disapprove of infidelity, there are studies that show 15 percent of women and 25 percent of men have experienced intercourse outside of their long-term relationship, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
If your marriage is suffering because of infidelity, there is help. Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks are professionally licensed and credentialed and have worked with couples who have experienced infidelity in their relationships. A therapist will work with you to uncover other underlying problems in the marriage, help find resolution to the infidelity and work on strategies to help the marriage become strong again.
Reasons for Infidelity
It is devastating for the victim of infidelity to find out the person he trusted more than anyone else in the world broke an emotional bond. There are many emotions that roil around, including anger, grief and distrust. One of the first questions a person may ask is what caused the spouse to cheat. The following are some of the reasons that people have chosen to commit infidelity.
- One of the most common reasons people commit adultery is because of a lack of sexual satisfaction in the relationship. Men and women often have affairs to improve their sex lives. Even though the relationship with a spouse is enjoyable in other ways, the sex is not fulfilling.
- People want more sexual encounters than they currently have in their relationship.
- Some spouses look for emotional intimacy as well as physical intimacy. They feel that an emotional connection is missing with their partner. In addition, some individuals feel that their relationship is growing apart; instead of stating what their needs are to their partner, they turn to affairs.
- People claim that they fall out of love with their spouses.
- The Internet offers fantasies online easily. Many websites are available where people can meet, and there are no questions asked.
- Many people want to run from their problems instead of discussing them with their spouses. They often go into affairs for emotional reasons, which makes a coworker or a friend with a sympathetic ear seem desirable for an infidelity.
- With social media, escort services are much easier to find than it has ever been before.
- Facebook has contributed to infidelity, because people are able to meet others online. Some people contact their high school love and try to reignite the flame. The fantasy of “the grass is always greener” on the other side is a big factor in infidelity.
- Partners in relationships may do the same thing day in and day out, including behind the closed doors of the bedroom. A lack of communication and intimacy results in boredom for many people, and they turn to experimenting with others.
- When people are not married for the right reasons or don’t have much in common, they may run off to find somebody else who they find has more of the same likes and dislikes.
- Some people have issues, such as a gain in weight as they grow older. The other spouse may opt to have an affair with somebody younger and more in shape.
- When a person needs to be constantly reassured that they are loved, appreciated and wanted because of insecurities, the spouse may look for an affair. Sometimes the spouse feels that his partner is much too needy and becomes disinterested.
- With the amount of travel for business and many people living elsewhere because of their jobs, the long periods away from a spouse may lead to an affair.
Tips for Victims of Infidelity
If you found out that your spouse had an affair, you may feel like you were just punched in the stomach. There are many emotions the victim of infidelity experiences, from anger and panic to betrayal and a sense of loss. The following are some tips that may help you through this difficult time.
- Identify the emotions that you are experiencing. You should allow yourself to try to understand them and know they are normal.
- Find time in your hectic daily routine to give yourself the chance to clear your mind. You can benefit from exercise, meditation or a walk.
- Keep a journal or call a friend to help you deal with the feelings you have. However, if you find that the negativity of the situation is not going away even with the support of family and friends, it would be wise to seek professional help.
- Speak to your partner about your emotions and the pain you are dealing with.
Can Counseling for Infidelity Help
If you’re experiencing the emotional rollercoaster as the result of infidelity, it’s important to vent your feelings in a safe and secure environment. A counselor will act as an impartial arbiter when you’re dealing with infidelity, guiding you and your partner toward resolution. The solution may involve separation, or it may be reconciliation. Regardless of the outcome, a counselor will strive to facilitate the best-possible resolution for you and your spouse.
Some positive news comes from a 2000 study by Dr. Shirley Glass, a psychologist who worked on redefining the nature of infidelity. She found that 71 percent of the couples she had seen in therapy after infidelity stayed together in the marriage.
At Thriveworks in Bristol, VA, a professional counselor or therapist will offer you and your partner support in dealing with infidelity and work with you to help foster a discussion about it. In addition, a therapist help you to identify other possible problems in the marriage, gain trust in your partner again, deal with feelings and needs in the marriage and work on ways to make the relationship strong again. Call Thriveworks Bristol at (423) 822-5099 today for an appointment.