Infidelity hurts. If you have just discovered your partner has been unfaithful to you, you are likely feeling betrayed, hurt, angry, or all emotions at the same time. Discovering infidelity is often experienced as a crisis in a relationship and is also one of the most common reason a couple seeks counselling.
Why do partners cheat?
The reasons are complex, but the most common factor is a loss of emotional connection. The person who has been unfaithful will often say they feel unappreciated and lonely. Over time, a person might feel angry or resentful. This might lead to what is often called an “emotional affair” where a person has developed what they initially say is a good friendship with someone. This friend begins to take on more of a central role in their life – confidant, partner and eventually a romantic or sexual connection takes hold.
Of course, this is only one scenario and is by far not the only one that happens when one partner is unfaithful. The other issue that is sometimes brought up is a sexual “disconnect”. When sexual dissatisfaction is the reason, it can have many roots ranging from a desire to experience a different type of sexual activity than before, a desire for the “high” of sex with a new person, or a desire to somehow separate from the life they routinely have.
Infidelity: Next Steps
Again, the reasons for infidelity are very complicated and it is not possible to do this topic justice in a short article. The important thing is to think about “what now”. The truth is, some couples are able to work through an affair, and others can’t. Couples that can stay together often have a commitment to the relationship and a willingness on the part of the person who was unfaithful to be genuinely accountable and remorseful. Forgiveness, over time, is also important and can be a difficult journey for the person who was “cheated on”.
Counselling for Infidelity
Finding a good counsellor is essential. Whether the couple embarks on a journey of reconciliation or begins the process of separating, a skilled therapist can help both individuals manage this process in a healthy way. At Waypoint, we have skilled therapists who have extensive training and experience in helping couples manage many facets of relationships including infidelity, poor communication, addictions issues, individual challenges, and transitions, to name a few. You can choose your own counsellor from our team or you can contact our Clinical Director, George Bielay, to help you select the right counsellor. A good fit between an individual or couple and their therapist is essential to meaningful long-lasting results.