Mid-Life & Retirement Transitions

Infidelity

The betrayal of infidelity leaves its mark on the relationship as well as the individual partners. It is often devastating emotionally and difficult to get over.

Affairs can be emotional or physical, or both. For men, it is difficult for him to forgive and heal if his spouse has a physical affair. However, for women, her husband’s emotional connection to his mistress is more hurtful and destructive.

Most couples who seek professional guidance for how to recover from an affair never dreamed they would find themselves in such an emotionally painful predicament. However, even the most devout couples can be vulnerable to infidelity if partners are not vigilant to protect their relationship from such intrusions.

Affairs can happen to anyone in part because of “the many myths of love” (that is, unrealistic expectations about relationships). These marriages end through one of the partner’s becoming dissatisfied (because needs are not being met) and “acting out” rather than dealing with the problem directly. Acting out is a defensive technique in which the unfaithful spouse takes action in response to something without ever talking. Acting out is a way of showing how incredibly angry the spouse is without saying so directly. For some, they wish to be caught because their dissatisfaction is brought forth by discovery, without their having to say to their spouse, “we need to talk.”

Counseling can be sought by couples who want to restore their relationship, or the couple in which one partner is still ambivalent about salvaging the relationship. At The Men’s Center, couples are encouraged to explore their relationship to each other and identify the disappointments, unmet needs and unrealistic expectations that allowed them to be vulnerable to an affair. If these areas are identified, the partners can make a decision to address those needs and change their behaviors and patterns of relating to each other. Rebuilding trust through building a new way of relating can begin the process of healing.

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The Men’s Center welcomes people of all backgrounds. If you have questions or comments about our services, or if you want to learn more about how The Men’s Center can help you or someone close to you, please contact us.

The Men’s Center. A Place for Healing, Mindfulness & Possibilities.

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