When Infidelity Strikes
Betrayal in intimate relationships can be so devastating that it can lead to suicide, homicide, and other crimes of passion.
In my years of practice as a psychotherapist, infidelity proves to be a very common occurrence. It’s a frequent source of “cuts and cracks” in the lives of couples.
Infidelity is as much of an escape as drugs and alcohol. Denying it often reigns supreme.
Couples need to face infidelity together when it’s present or discovered in the relationship.
“I want my wife back but I don’t want to talk about the affair,” said Mando during a marital therapy session. He had a long term affair with an office mate. His wife recently discovered it on his iPhone.
While hearing this, his wife was severely breaking down in much tears. The emotional pain of her husband’s betrayal and refusal to address the issue was overwhelmingly too much for her to bear.
I’m reminded of writer James Baldwin who wrote:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Infidelity, when it strikes, needs to be faced on two fronts for proper healing to take place.
One, personal recovery (one person involved).
This is basic. Each partner must heal individually his or her own unique set of issues, wounds, hang-ups, or idiosyncrasies affecting one’s well being as well as his or her own relationship with the other person. Capacity and hope for recovery rest on this component.
Two, relationship recovery (two persons involved).
Both partners must work together to heal the relationship. When two partners are healing individually enough, the prognosis is bright for the relationship. This is so because each one is able to contribute their own respective personal “gains” towards the process of repair of the relationship.
Both of these components - personal and relational - are facilitated in the specialized “deep work” of infidelity therapy and counseling.
In the work I do with couples healing from infidelity, I delve not only on psychology and spirituality behind it. I also go into scientific findings that can be applied, such as found in neuroscience and epigenetics, for wholistic healing.
Proverbs 22:14 (ERV)
“The sin of adultery is a trap, and the LORD gets very angry with those who fall into it.”