Infidelity In Marriage

Posted by Frank Gillespie MA

What is infidelity in marriage?

It is hard to define infidelity in marriage objectively and specifically. Generally it is when two people violate the agreement with each other. This agreement and the boundaries can vary in every relationship therefore we can talk about different types of infidelity. In some relationships only physical contact counts as an illicit affair while in others emotional infidelity can cause the same frustration, jealousy, lack of trust and confidence in the relationship if the partners are not able to clarify the situation. In our modern world where access to the internet is freely available, there has also been a dramatic rise in marriages hitting difficulties following “cyber-infidelity”.

What are the causes of infidelity?

Unfaithfulness in marriage really doesn't happen by chance. Causes of infidelity can be unresolved problems that have been lingering in the relationship for years. One spouse having an affair is usually a sign of a much larger issue. Cheating might actually function as wakeup call that you must repair your bigger marriage problems. Common explanations for unfaithfulness include resentment, anger and sexual boredom. Solving these root marriage problems may be the answer to how to get over infidelity and save your marriage from divorce.

How many marriages have affairs?

Shocking statistic but the issue of infidelity presents itself in more than 90% of marriages even if only in a form of desire. Infidelity can be cited as the source of almost a third of divorces in the USA making it the most common basis for divorce. Infidelity statistics show that adultery occurs in over 1 / 2 of failed marriages.

What are the signs of infidelity?

Answering this question is just not nearly as easy or as cut-and-dried as it appears on TV. There is no recipe for the best ways to catch a cheater: rifling through pants pockets, wallets, pocketbooks may not reveal incriminating photos or cell phone numbers. Although the persistent search tends to make for an excellent soap opera, cheating is never that easily discovered in real life. Most cheaters will spend a lot of energy and time trying to cover their tracks and their partners are often unaware of the infidelity, even if they are fully aware of issues troubling the marriage. Often, infidelity is not brought to light until the cheater is caught red-handed and confesses or makes a mistake in his or her planning. There are more appropriate solutions on how to deal with infidelity such as communication.

Can a marriage survive infidelity?

You may be asking yourself, can a marriage survive an affair at all? The truth is it can. The biggest stumbling block to growth in a marriage is lack of communication which often leaves issues unresolved, leading to possible resentment and anger. This lack of communication is one of the main reasons for infidelity in marriage. Engaging in conversation to simply find what was on the other individual's mind is the key in overcoming infidelity. This is where it is crucial for a marriage counselor to assist you in getting over an affair or preventing it from occurring in the first place. However, once infidelity has been recognized and a couple are willing to build a new foundation for their marriage, it is essential that they can overcome their feelings about the infidelity and start with a clean slate. Otherwise, the infidelity will be a constant topic and the new start will be doomed to failure.

Does marriage counseling work?

A marriage counselor can help couples coping with infidelity by going through the relationship from the start and see how they got to the point of the actual infidelity. If the couple can cooperate well enough throughout the sessions they usually finish the therapy with a better and stronger relationship. This way an affair can even bring positive changes to a relationship if the parties are willing to beat the feelings of anger and pain and also willing to consider to what extent are they the cause of the situation themselves. Forgiving infidelity and rebuilding trust in a marriage is not easy but professional help can contribute to establish a successful marriage. It is also essential that therapy is sought quickly, either when the couple first sense issues arising or immediately after infidelity is discovered. Many therapists work with couples when the relationship seems beyond repair. While nothing is impossible, the earlier help is sought, the better chance there is of a successful solution to therapy.

Frank Gillespie MA

Frank Gillespie has a Master's Degree in Counseling from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He is a nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). He has provided therapy for over 23 years. During his career, he has helped more than 10,000 people move past their obstacles towards reaching their potential and fulfillment in their lives. He practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a warm and nurturing approach. In addition to being a therapist, Frank has been an adjunct college professor teaching social work, a clinical consultant, a clinical director, and a seminar speaker. Frank has recently retired from his full time practice to focus on a part time online practice. He is married. He enjoys listening to music, watching sports, power walking, swimming, reading and writing.


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