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Infidelity is a concept that casts a shadow over many relationships, and it can be a difficult reality to confront. What is infidelity for you? What is infidelity for others? We clarify the concepts, answer the most common questions and give you some valuable advice from our couples' therapist.

What is infidelity?

Infidelity is a concept that casts a shadow over many relationships, and it can be a difficult reality to confront. To understand this phenomenon, we need to start by defining what infidelity actually is.

Infidelity can be defined as breaking the agreement of exclusivity and honesty that exists in a relationship. It is a violation of the trust and devotion expected in a loving partnership. Infidelity can take several forms, such as physical infidelity involving physical acts such as sexual relations with someone outside the relationship. Or emotional infidelity which although it does not necessarily include physical intimacy, emotional infidelity involves investing feelings and love in someone other than your partner.

What you consider infidelity in your relationship is ultimately always your own definition. But a good start to creating that definition is to think about what would hurt you if your partner did, then you can define the boundaries based on that.

A study conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) found that 71% of women and 62% of men who went to couples counselling were satisfied with the type of counselling they received. The study also found that over 80% of participants would recommend counselling to others.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

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4 tips on infidelity from our couples counsellor

  1. Define infidelity – What is infidelity for you might not be infidelity for your partner? Be sure to talk through what constitutes infidelity in your relationship to avoid misunderstandings.
  2. Set boundaries and rebuild trust – If you feel there has been infidelity in your relationship, talk to your partner and set clear boundaries and structures to rebuild trust in the relationship. Infidelity doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship, it can be the start of getting to know each other better.
  3. Communicate openly – If infidelity has occurred, it is important to open up an honest and empathetic channel of communication with your partner. Share your feelings and listen to theirs to understand each other. Understanding and trust is the basis for working on the relationship.
  4. Talk to a counselor – Sometimes it may be necessary to seek the help of a counselor to navigate the complex emotions and consequences of infidelity. Couples therapy can be a place where you can both express your feelings in a safe environment.

9 common questions about infidelity in relationships

What is infidelity?

Infidelity means breaking the agreement of exclusivity and honesty that exists in a relationship. It can include physical intimacy or emotional connection with someone outside the relationship.

What are the most common signs of infidelity?

Common signs of infidelity can include secretive behaviour, reduced interest in the current partner, changes in schedules or lifestyle, and emotional distance.

How common is infidelity?

Statistics on infidelity vary and of course depend on how infidelity is defined. But it is unfortunately relatively common from a more general perspective. Many factors can influence the risk of infidelity, including the quality of the relationship and individual circumstances.

What are the most common phases after infidelity?

Phases after infidelity can include shock, anger, grief and acceptance. It is a complex process that requires time and work to heal.

How can one get over infidelity?

Getting over infidelity requires patience and communication. Open dialogue and professional help from a couple’s therapist can be valuable in this process.

How to deal with the need for validation after infidelity?

Confirmation needs after infidelity are understandable. Communicating openly with your partner and building trust over time can help alleviate the need for validation.

How does ADHD affect relationships and risk of infidelity?

ADHD can affect relationships through distraction and impulsivity, but there is no research showing that this is more prevalent in relationships with ADHD. As with all relationships, it is important to work on communication and strategies to reduce the risk of infidelity.

What are the most common causes of infidelity?

The causes of infidelity can vary, but common factors include lack of intimacy in the relationship, emotional challenges and temptations in the workplace.

What questions should be asked in cases of infidelity to understand the causes?

Important questions to ask in cases of infidelity include ‘Why did it happen?’ and ‘How did you feel in the relationship?’. Communication is key to understanding the causes of infidelity.

Couples therapy as a solution

In some cases, it may be helpful to seek professional help through couples therapy. A therapist can offer tools and perspectives to better understand each other’s needs and how to communicate in a way that builds the relationship, rather than breaking it down. You choose whether you want to meet a couple’s therapist in person or conduct online couple’s therapy in a video session.

Infidelity is a common part of relationships, but it is important to approach these feelings with thoughtfulness and openness. Through self-reflection, communication and possibly professional help, we can learn to deal with these feelings in a way that strengthens our relationship rather than weakens it.

Brief summary

Infidelity is a challenge that can affect many couples, and it is important to be well prepared to deal with this topic should it arise in your relationship. By understanding what infidelity is, the common signs and stages that follow, and by taking personalized advice from professional couples’ therapists, couples can start on the road to healing and renewed trust. Remember, it is possible to rebuild and strengthen your relationship after infidelity, but it requires time, work and commitment from both parties.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by melissa

Melissa is a Certified Kinesiologist who focusses on a client-centred, holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness. She has extensive experience in managing stress, anxiety, fears, phobias and trauma in her clients. Melissa uses visual and auditory feedback to directly access and solve the cause of psychological stressors in the body so that optimal well-being and balance is achieved.