Updated: Sep 30
Infidelity is often one of the most devastating fractures in a relationship. Often the spouse who was cheated on cannot help but blame themselves. Despite evidence that shows you are not the reason for the infidelity, you may find it difficult to believe.
There are two options when dealing with infidelity in a relationship; leave or stay. If you choose to stay in the relationship, then much work needs to be done to heal from the infidelity.
Many couples find that through infidelity counseling, they can deepen their connection and intimacy. It can be a scary process, but it is possible to heal from infidelity pain provided you have both dedication and guidance to overcome it.
Table of Contents
What is infidelity?
What causes infidelity?
What should I do if I discover infidelity in my relationship?
How do I heal from infidelity?
How do I get over infidelity pain?
What is Infidelity?
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, different couples or even individuals have different views on what they consider infidelity. Some people consider emotional intimacy even more potent than physical. For this reason, one person in a couple may not consider kissing as an act of infidelity, while others feel it is as wrong as having sexual relations outside the relationship.
If you are in a relationship, having a conversation about what infidelity means to you is helpful, although it may be an uncomfortable topic for you and your partner. It is a conversation to have early in the relationship and may need to be revisited from time to time.
It is important to note that modern relationships put a great amount of pressure on marrying for love. However, it’s also the first time in history your partner can be cheating on you while lying right next to you. This is backed by the fact that 63% of respondents in a recent study commissioned by Deseret News found that maintaining an online dating profile or sending flirtatious messages to someone else (51%) should always be considered infidelity.
What Causes Infidelity?
There are hundreds of reasons why people engage in infidelity. Many experts agree on three common reasons why people cheat:
The need to create a fantasy: Individuals may seek to create a fantasy life through infidelity, especially when dissatisfied with their current relationship reality.
The need for validation: People often look for validation, attention, and reassurance outside their primary relationship if they feel neglected or undervalued.
Addiction to the hormonal responses caused by an affair: The emotional and hormonal rush from an affair can become addictive, driving individuals towards infidelity.
The thrill of the unknown: The excitement and novelty of venturing into an affair can be intoxicating and tempting.
The desire for emotional fulfillment: When emotional needs are unmet in the current relationship, individuals may seek emotional fulfillment elsewhere.
The lack of moral restraint: Individuals with a loose moral compass may find it easier to justify engaging in infidelity.
The lack of intimacy: A dwindling intimacy—either emotional or physical—can push individuals to seek fulfillment outside their primary relationship.
The lure of sexual novelty: The biological drive for sexual novelty can be a strong force leading to infidelity, as individuals may seek new sexual experiences outside their primary relationship.
What Should I Do if I Discover Infidelity in My Relationship?
Cheating or an affair does not mean the end of your relationship. However, both of you will need to do some work to heal from infidelity. Your partner needs to allow you to ask questions and get answers. Your responsibility is to respect those answers and try to find the truth in what they are saying.
Also, it is important to understand that both of you may be experiencing pain, and there’s nothing wrong with your partner experiencing grief as well after a case of infidelity.
For this reason, it is essential not to make rash decisions, but instead, give one another space, seek infidelity counseling, and take time to heal.
How Do I Heal from Infidelity?
With time and the right infidelity counseling done with a trained therapist, resentments will fade as you both have the opportunity to deepen your bond. The point of discovery is usually the most painful. You can feel hurt, anger, resentment, and even forgiveness simultaneously.
Nonetheless, beware of outside opinions, especially from family and friends, on how to get over infidelity. This is because they will likely take sides and also do not know the details or intimate parts of your relationship.
Furthermore, they will often encourage you to leave when you have every right to fight for your relationship. For this reason, seeking the advice of a trusted therapist or marriage counselor for infidelity is usually the best option.
How Do I Get Over Infidelity Pain?
Many couples and individuals want to rush through the healing process. However, it is often an impossible task and will only result in more pain. It would be best if you gave yourself time to experience the emotions to find freedom.
No matter how hard it may feel right now, you are not alone in this process – many other people have had similar experiences and found ways to heal themselves. With guidance and understanding, you can do the same.
With this in mind, some tips that can help you through your journey of recovery after being hurt by an affair include:
Being honest with your partner
Ensuring you’re committed to your relationship
Understanding what led to the affair
Setting new boundaries
Committing to being fully transparent and open with your spouse
Getting professional infidelity counseling help
It’s a painful experience to go through an affair. It can be hard to heal from infidelity and it’s normal for you to feel broken and confused after such events. But, as we have seen, if you’re in this situation, there are ways you can prevent another affair from happening again.
Love Discovery Institute is an elite emotional and cognitive wellness center focusing on intimacy, relationships, and self-discovery. Bringing together South Florida’s leading professionals in the field, the institute incorporates a holistic approach to treating the mind, body, and soul through individual, adolescent, family, and couples therapy.