Imagine being in a romantic relationship, whether a marriage or committed relationship, and being told by your partner, whom you have built a family with, that there is another person in the relationship who plays a significant role in his or her life. For some, this is hard to imagine, but for others this is all too familiar.
The dynamics of romantic relationships, particularly marriages, can become mundane and habitual, leaving a couple struggling to bring back the initial attraction that led to intimacy and marriage. The devastating news of an affair can either breakdown a relationship, leading to a divorce or an implicit divorce, or it can strengthen the relationship-–increasing the emotional bond and intimate connection. It is important to understand that the presence infidelity does not automatically lead to the option of divorce.
Infidelity is not easily defined and it stretches far beyond the common definition of having sexual relations with another person outside of your committed partner.
Infidelity can be defined as:
Infidelity, with its varying definitions, affects each couple differently.
Some people believe infidelity is a secret sexual relationship with another person outside of the marriage when faithfulness is expected. However, infidelity extends past the physical realm, and into the cyber world, including the world of text messaging-–better known as sexting. Cyber and text infidelity can cause the same emotional response in a marriages as sexual intercourse.
Cyber and text infidelity can leave the non-offending partner feeling rejected, stressed, and depressed. As long as there are deceptive activities that violate trust and expectations of monogamy, virtual affairs are just as damaging as sexual intercourse.
Having a successful marriage is contingent on you and your partner’s commitment to making the marriage (or relationship) work, and there is no one way of achieving this. For some couples, it might just mean increasing their prayer life and religious practices to help them cope with the infidelity, or seeking couples therapy with a licensed clinician skilled in the area of infidelity.
When infidelity is present, some couples find it difficult to:
Making the decision to stay in your marriage is solely up to you and your partner. There is no right or wrong decisions. It is a process of healing and healing takes time.
Vashonna’s experience as a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in relationships, has become the cornerstone of her professional and leadership development. Her style is unique and refreshing, as she helps people reach their greatest potential. With compassion and a commitment to the long term well-being of the women and men she works with, Vashonna adopts a wholesome clinical approach that is insightful, motivational, and inspirational.