Most couples consider loyalty to be one of the foundations on which a romantic relationship is built. It is therefore no wonder that one of the main reasons couples choose psychological therapy is to overcome infidelity.
The opinion of psychologists: questions and answers about infidelity
Today we have the collaboration of Rosario Linares and Irene Gómez, both psychologists from El Prat Psychologists, one of the most important psychology centers in Madrid, to help us understand why infidelities occur, what effect this act has on the relationship of the couple and their members. and what is the psychological treatment in these cases. We will explore this topic from questions and answers about infidelity.
1. For what reasons are you unfaithful?
Behind infidelity, we always denote that there is a weak point in the relationship, whether it is due to dissatisfaction with the partner (conflicts, lack of communication, not feeling loved, lack of passion, fear commitment, etc.) although there are also cases where the problem is not with the couple themselves, but with the unfaithful person.
There are people who are compulsively unfaithfulWhoever they are, due to a personal issue, either a lack of self-esteem (they may seek to reaffirm this through conquest), or to be sex addicts or people with paraphilias (strange sexual behavior) trying to meet outside of the couple. There are also people with narcissistic personalities for whom the concept of betrayal does not exist, because they do not feel empathy for their partner or people who for their emotional immaturity do not want to give up anything, and put their own pleasure before. to engage in his. partner.
2. Does the infidel still feel guilty?
Among infidels there are two types, those who feel guilty and those who do not, the degree of awareness of why they have been unfaithful varies from person to person, but what happens to those who feel guilty, it is that despite knowing the reason why they have been unfaithful, they wonder why, because they do not understand how they could have put their relationship in danger.
There is a part of them that wanted to be unfaithful and another part that didn’t, the part that doesn’t want to be unfaithful is the one that is wondering why I did it? In the second case, they are justified and they have clear motives, and don’t blame them, they’re just worried that their partner won’t find out. In the latter case, guilt can appear when they are discovered, when they become aware of the consequences of their actions and the damage they have caused to the other person.
3. How does a relationship change after experiencing a cheating?
After experiencing infidelity, there is a before and an after. At first there is an emotional tsunami, after that the relationship may end in a breakup or the person may decide to continue with the other person, but if the relationship is followed without forgiving the other, it is very likely whether the relationship deteriorates late or quickly. so much that it ends up breaking. Knowing an infidelity it mainly affects the confidence that one has therefore, in the other person, and in the image we have of him, and often the person who has discovered the infidelity even if he decides to continue, emotionally distances himself from the other person. They can also establish jealousy and control over the couple from this point on.
4. Can all couples overcome infidelity?
According to a survey in the UK, 94% of couples therapists believe couples can beat infidelity. Many couples can overcome infidelity, but not all, depending on the attitude taken with knowledge of the infidelity. If, after going through a first phase of anger, we hold onto the pain and use infidelity as a throwing weapon and resentment towards the other person is established the relationship deteriorates and it is easy for her to end in a breakup.
There are a lot of couples who overcome infidelity, although often infidelity doesn’t transcend outside of the couple and we don’t know this fact, but there are more couples than you might think. Although most people think they would not forgive a cheating, when it does happen they change their mind as they appreciate the positive in the relationship and weigh more in the love they have for the other person. or the children they have in common, for example.
5. What do couples who, after discovering an infidelity, decide to go to a therapist to overcome it have in common?
Most couples come for infidelity they come to the consultation with a very degraded emotional stateIn many cases, one or both members are in doubt as to whether the best would be a possible separation and view therapy as a last resort or as a decision-making process on whether or not to continue the relationship.
6. What is the process for regaining the trust of the other?
In order to restore trust, you must first sincerely apologize. The process of apologizing involves acknowledging that what you have done wronged or offended the other, genuinely feeling the other’s pain, analyzing your own behavior, setting a course of action so that it doesn’t happen. reproduce more, commit to rebuilding the couple, explicitly apologizing to each other and restoring the damage done. In therapy, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the history of the relationship in order to analyze all the factors that have influenced infidelity. It is essential that the couple come to agreements for change in order to avoid possible risky situations for the couple.
7. What dynamics are worked on in the different sessions?
In couples therapy, we work hard on empathy. One technique, for example, would be to reverse roles where the two members try to put themselves in the other’s shoes. In any couples therapy, communication, positive exchanges and negotiations are very important aspects.
In the particular case of infidelity, when both members of the couple have suffered disappointments, it is helpful to make a list of grievances in which each member of the couple makes a list of situations in which they have felt offended by the ‘other. On the side of each grievance, it is written what specific act of reparation from his partner would serve to be able to turn the pageIn the next session, the two lists are discussed and how to carry out the repairs is planned.
8. What problems should everyone work on / strengthen, both the infidels and the deceived?
It is important that both members agree to do their part to overcome the situation, on the part of the person who has been deceived it is important to let the other person be able to repair the damage and initiate changes, the person who has been deceived. cheated you must commit to going through the process of regaining the trust of the other person mentioned above.
9. Is it just as complex to go through this process in pairs for each other?
It is usually difficult for both, for the person who was cheated it is difficult to get out of reproach and accusation and trust again while for the person who cheated it can be difficult to mend the relationship and deal with the guilt.
10. Can he really forgive and “forget” an infidelity?
One can never forget, forgive the damage and repair it if possible, but it is a process that takes time, effort and commitment from both members of the couple.