There are many types of affairs. Infidelity is a lack of faithfulness to a sexual partner in an agreed-upon monogamous relationship. Infidelity is not limited solely to men and occurs in approximately one-third of all marriages.
Online affairs have become quite prevalent with our reliance on technology and accessibility of social media and dating sites. Commonly believed is the idea that affairs are only about sex. In reality, affairs aren’t always a reflection of a bad marriage or relationship and can be about personal issues that the partner having the affair has, such as low self-esteem, need for frequent external validation etc.
Dr. Elsa Orlandini and her colleagues are specially trained psychologists who can assist you in repairing and improving your marriage after the affair, re-building trust and identifying and processing the factors that contributed to the affair taking place.
Affairs can occur for a multitude of reasons. Here, we will identify and describe some of the common types of affairs:
- Conflict Avoidance: Extreme conflict avoidance may lead to seeking satisfaction outside the monogamous relationship
- Intimacy Avoidance: Use affair as a tool to create emotional distance from partner
- Mid-life Crisis: In this kind of affair, fear of aging, insecurities, depression and a sense of emptiness or lack of direction can contribute to an affair
- Brief Affairs: Fueled by opportunity, curiosity, substance use, lead to “one night stands”
- Online Affairs: Extremely prevalent, technological ease of use, sites dedicated to cheating, affordability and anonymity
- Marital Problems: This kind of affair results from a relationship with poor communication, issues with intimacy and satisfaction, lack of perceived emotional support, poor conflict resolution etc.
An affair does NOT necessarily mean:
- You are not attractive to your partner
- An affair will lead to divorce or breakup
- That sex at home is too infrequent or of poor quality
This is why it is important to know what kind of affair has taken place and its contributing factors. As psychologists, we focus on age, culture, length of marriage, presence of children, personalities, expectations, communication styles and a multitude of other factors to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Treatment can include individual and couple’s sessions to address different issues that may arise such as depression, anxiety, deep sense of betrayal and deciding if this marriage is worth saving. It takes work and commitment from both parties to heal a marriage after an affair, learn from it, and come out an even stronger couple.
Yes, it is possible to strengthen a relationship even after a betrayal. It is important to note that this is a lengthy process requiring complete honesty and commitment to the process.
Couples and Marriage counseling is a way for partners to delve into their relationship and themselves and identify what they really need from their partner to improve the relationship and minimize the possibility of another affair. It is also an opportunity to gain insight into your own motivational factors and beliefs that affect your relationship.