Dr. Elsa M. Orlandini – a leading Miami-area psychologist and relationship therapist, offers expert insight into the underlying issues of the Ashley Madison scandal.
While many people are on pins and needles waiting to find out if their partners were outed as unfaithful by the Ashley Madison hack, we ask ourselves why infidelity is such a pervasive problem in our world. Many times in my couples and relationship counseling practice I get a call from a new client on the verge of a divorce or break up, desperately asking for an appointment to heal their marriage or relationship after infidelity is discovered. When I am asked if I can save the relationship, I have to respond with compassionate uncertainty, “It depends.”
As psychologists and relationship counselors we know that there are a plethora of variables that can help or hinder the healing of infidelity. Our work involves learning the strengths and challenges of the individuals and couple as a unit. The motivators to heal and earn trust again are important.
Frequently in therapy we work toward these goals to learn the infidelity resumed, or the motivation is fleeting or disingenuous. As part of the counseling process, we offer support and guidance to help couples learn the best way to continue their lives, together or apart while, helping to prevent perpetuating or worsening hurt.
Ashley Madison is only one way for infidelity to begin, and if we are concerned about infidelity the best place to start is with your partner. A one-to-one conversation every few months, where you check in and discuss how the relationship is, can help develop a great habit of relationship management. A concerted effort to address issues on an ongoing basis and finding fun ways to make the relationships spontaneous, kind, passionate and loving can prevent infidelity.
For those experiencing infidelity, a long road to healing may be present, but it can also serve as an opportunity to learn how to reconstruct or create a new, stronger relationship in the future.