What is Infidelity Therapy?
Infidelity Therapy is a process by which those struggling with extramarital affairs can devise a plan to move forward. Ultimately, the couple will decide if they wish to continue the relationship or end it. Some of the approaches that a therapist might use include:
- Individual Counseling
- Marital or Couples Counseling
- Family Counseling
- Spiritual Counseling
The idea is to take a holistic view of the situation and recognize that cheating is not an individual problem. Both partners, extended family, friends, the environment, and past experiences all contribute to infidelity. It is not just the cheater’s fault. The therapist might look at this problem from different angles to get to the root of the issue.
In individual Counseling, an infidelity therapist addresses issues that are damaging the relationship one on one. In most cases, there are issues related to trauma that inform or increase one’s likelihood of cheating. These traumas can include:
- Child abuse/Neglect
- Dysfunctional communication patterns
The therapist must understand these personal issues before they can offer support for infidelity. The client will be encouraged to delve into their past to examine how their past experiences influence their behaviors.
Marital or Couples Counseling
The aim of couples counseling is to address the root cause of infidelity and improve the relationship. As long as both partners are willing, the couple will dissect what lead up to the affair. Each partner will take an in-depth look at how the affair has affected both of their lives. The goal is to:
- Examine the roles both partners played in the affair
- Identify how and when the relationship became dysfunctional
- Discuss and acknowledge the damage the affair has done to the relationship
- Decide what needs to be done for the relationship to survive and thrive
The therapist will work to help improve the relationship. The couple will work on their communication and conflict-resolution skills. The couple will be given the opportunity to recommit to one another and put measures in place that will prevent future episodes of infidelity.
Family counseling is similar to couples counseling in that both partners are involved in helping heal the relationship. Family counseling differs because the therapist may take on a holistic approach by including extended family, friends, or other important people in the couple’s therapy process. In some cases, children of the couple might be involved as the infidelity affects them too. The goal is to get everyone into a safe place where they can be completely honest with one another, so the infidelity will not happy again. In this format, the family aims to:
- Be honest about what lead to the infidelity
- Examine cheating has affected the family dynamic
- Discuss how the relationship will look in the future
- Improve communication and conflict-resolution skills
- Learn the “warning” signs in the relationship
- Learn how to overcome other issues that arise – financial, child-rearing, extended family, work-related, etc.
For many couples, their faith is a huge part of their identity. Their faith guides their choices in a critical way. In order to maintain a holistic approach, we can not discount how essential it is for clients who are religious. In the case of infidelity, a spiritual couple might aim to heal the relationship and avoid divorce if at all possible. A faith-based counselor will work to help clients discover and correct flaws in their thinking. Faith-based counseling is for those who:
- Have strong spiritual beliefs who want those incorporated into their counseling experience
- Are looking for a counselor that shares their worldview
- Want their faith to inform their decisions and processing their emotions
Infidelity therapy is for couples who are struggling with instances of cheating can come to find healing. Depending on what each couple wants to achieve, individual counseling, marriage or couples counseling, family counseling, or spiritual counseling might be recommended. Couples will work on improving their communication and conflict resolution skills and outlining a plan for the relationship going forwards. With time and commitment, couples can learn where the relationship broke down and work to improve it going forwards.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a therapy office serving the Chicagoland Area. We offer couples counseling and mental health services. Our therapists are skilled at working with those who are struggling to process traumatic events. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us a info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.