Marriage counseling for infidelity

Marriage counseling for infidelity

Marital Infidelity, frequency of marital Infidelity, the effect of marital infidelity on partners, key aspects of marriage counseling for infidelity, techniques of Marriage counseling for recovering from affair.

Marital Infidelity

It occurs when one partner maintains the belief in the commitment to monogamy while the other secretly violates it. This applies not only to married couples but also to unmarried couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, who value monogamy as a central aspect of their relationship.

Frequency of marital Infidelity

Various studies have examined the frequency of marital infidelity. Kinsey’s studies estimated that 50% of husbands and 26% of wives engaged in extramarital sex (EMS) at some point in their marriage. Glass and Wright found that 41% of men and 25% of women had experienced EMS. However, Greeley suggests that the percentage of unfaithful partners is fewer than 10% among all married individuals. Regardless of the estimated frequency, it is generally observed across studies that men are more likely to engage in EMS than women.

Three categories of extramarital involvement (EMI):

Glass and Wright identified three categories of extramarital involvement (EMI): primarily sexual, primarily emotional, and combined-type involvement. Other typologies include brief sexual encounters (one-night stands), emotionally intense but non-sexual relationships, and arrangements where couples agree to maintain their existing relationship while dating others. The rise of internet-related EMI has become a growing concern, with its discovery often eliciting similar traumatic reactions as other forms of infidelity.

Effect of marital infidelity on a partner.

The discovery of infidelity often leaves discoverers profoundly shocked. They may experience various emotional and physiological reactions, including difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, and physiological reactivity to reminders of the traumatic event, such as being unable to watch TV shows or movies about infidelity.

Key aspects of marriage counseling for infidelity:

  • Creating a Safe Space: The counselor establishes a safe and non-judgmental environment where both partners can openly share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
  • Rebuilding Trust: Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and rebuilding it after infidelity requires intentional effort. The counselor guides the couple in exploring strategies to restore trust such as open and honest communication, transparency, and accountability.
  • Addressing Emotional Wounds: Healing emotional wounds is crucial for both the betrayed partner and the partner who engaged in infidelity. The counselor helps them process their emotions, develop empathy, and work toward forgiveness and emotional healing.
  • Enhancing Communication: Effective communication is vital for repairing the damage caused by infidelity. The counselor facilitates healthy dialogue, active listening, and empathy-building exercises to improve communication and understanding between partners.
  • Developing Relational Resilience: Through counseling, couples can learn tools and techniques to strengthen their relationship and prevent future instances of infidelity. This includes identifying and addressing underlying issues, setting healthy boundaries, and nurturing emotional intimacy.

Marital counseling for infidelity offers a ray of hope amidst the pain and turmoil caused by betrayal. It helps couples to heal, rebuild trust, and create a stronger foundation for their relationship. 

Source: Handbook of Couples Therapy, Harway, M. (2005).

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