When infidelity in relationships is discovered or disclosed, intense conflict and emotions usually lead to a crisis and a complete lack of trust.
Infidelity could occur in various ways and unfaithfulness could often be extremely complex. It is a misconception that infidelity only affects troubled relationships, as many strong relationships also experience infidelity.
We then ask ourselves, why does infidelity occur and how do couples manage to save their relationship once it has occurred.
Infidelity in relationships can be caused by numerous factors, including:
- loss of intimacy in the relationship
- a partner’s low self-confidence
- a desire for attention
- an addiction to sex
- ongoing marital conflict
Often times, infidelity begins without prior intention within the workplace or social events. Additionally, the Internet has increased the likelihood of individuals engaging in emotional affairs without the physical touch.
In such situations, individuals could share significant levels of emotional intimacy that may not be immediately viewed as cheating due to the absence of a physical relationship. Once the affair is disclosed or discovered, both partners are likely to experience intense emotional reactions.
Emotions may vacillate from feeling betrayed to experiencing sadness to anger. The deceived spouse may experience significant ambivalence regarding the ability to trust or stay committed to the unfaithful spouse. However, there is hope for couples that have experienced infidelity in relationships to heal and reconstruct their relationship.
The first step in couples counseling involves assisting the couple in identifying whether the goal of treatment would be to rebuild trust by clarifying and working through any uncertainties.
A qualified psychologist could help the couple by providing couple-centered treatment services and assist each individual in gaining insight into the vulnerabilities of the affair in order for the couple to rebuild their trust, intimacy, and commitment for change. Working through infidelity could lead to a long road to healing, but it could also serve as an opportunity to rebuild a stronger relationship.
If you need help dealing with a crisis of infidelity in your relationship, Dr. Elsa M. Orlandini and her team at Miami Psychology Group, are here to help.