- Couples who constantly argue about trust are at a higher risk for infidelity.
- Contrary to what many believe, infidelity is not just about opportunity. Opportunity paired with weakened self-control leads to infidelity.
- Men’s acts of infidelity are strongly influenced by their own characteristics, rather than the characteristics of their spouse.
- Women’s acts of infidelity are typically tied closer to relationship dissatisfaction, rather than sexual dissatisfaction.
Reasons That Lead To Infidelity
Marriage Characteristics Influencing Acts Of Infidelity:
- High levels of marital dissatisfaction
- Insufficient opportunities within the marriage for self-expansion.
- Time spent away from each other.
Personality Characteristics Influencing Acts Of Infidelity:
- Low Self-Esteem.
- High Narcissism.
- Weak Religious Beliefs.
- Infidelity has a devastating impact on partners and relationships.
- Often causes irreparable damage, commonly leading to separation or divorce.
- Discovery is shattering and shocking.
- Easier to cope if deliberately confessed
- Difficult to overcome if accidentally discovered
Devastating Impact On Cheated Partner:
- Depression, shame, persistent anger, victimization, abandonment, powerlessness, disruption in daily life.
Infidelity Resulting in Divorce/Separation:
- Current data from a large representative U.S. community sample indicate that more than half of individuals who engage in extramarital affairs do, in fact, divorce or separate from their spouse.
- Infidelity substantially increases risk for divorce.
What to Expect In Treatment:
Some couples used the crisis of infidelity to improve their marriages, and existing data
from therapy with couples with a history of infidelity suggest that these couples can be
helped with intervention.
1) We will deal with the initial crisis.
2) We will assist the couple in deciding the future of their relationship.
3) We will examine the broader issues the led to the affair.
Interventions That Promote Recovery
Stage 1: Dealing With The Impact
- Infidelity has a devastating impact on partners and relationships, often causing irreparable damage, commonly leading to separation.
- Devastating impact on the cheated partner often involves: depression, shame, persistent anger, victimization, abandonment, powerlessness, and/or disruption of daily life.
- Assessing the relationship and individual functioning is key in dealing with the impact of infidelity.
Stage 2: Exploring Context and Finding Meaning
- Explore factors that contributed to the affair.
- Consider: aspects of the relationship, situational factors, and characteristics of each partner.
- Therapists should be careful to differentiate between understanding the context of the affair, versus blaming the victim.
- Using information gathered to reach a collaborative and informed decision on how to move on.