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Surviving Infidelity (part 1)

What do you perceive as infidelity in your relationship?

To some couples, infidelity may be watching porn or just chatting up someone else, and to others it has to be an actual sexual relationship. Cyber-sex and chat lines are another grey area for relationships. If your partner watching porn has been agreed to be okay, does that mean interaction with an online person is also acceptable? Is one slip okay, but not multiple affairs?

The short answer is that these days the word infidelity means whatever you and your partner want it to mean, in the context of your relationship. The important thing is, you both understand what is meant by the term.

So you both agree what constitutes infidelity but one of you has an affair. Emily M Brown, author of “Patterns of Infidelity and their Treatment”, suggests that there are 6 main reasons for someone to have an affair.

  • Conflict avoidance in the relationship where neither couple can stand up to each other
  • Intimacy avoidance in which they fight constantly
  • Sexual addiction
  • Split self where both partners have neglected their own needs to tend to another’s
  • Exit affair, in which one has decided to leave the relationship
  • Entitlement affair, in which one partner has devoted so much time to success that they think they are entitled to ‘reward’ themselves with an affair

All infidelity is serious because it severely impacts the betrayed partner. They may have had a role to play in the breakdown of the relationship, but they didn’t expect or want their partner to handle the situation in that way. It is probably the most damaging thing you can do to a relationship but the good news is, couples can survive infidelity and healing is possible in time. However, unless the affair has ended before counselling commences, it is unlikely that the partnership will survive.

Once the affair has ended, it is even possible that the relationship can be stronger and healthier than prior to the indiscretion, but a lot of work will need to be done with your therapist, to reach that place.

In the next LoveBites newsletter, I will look at how couples can survive this challenge, to find a closer and more loving relationship.

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Carole does not take sides and her ability to provide perspective based on her wealth of experience was very helpful.

The exercises were very practical and really helped us to understand where we fail to communicate effectively or assume too much.

The conflict resolution list is very useful and anyone who masters this will experience a lot more peace in their relationship.

Thank you Carole.
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Gary
from Fiji
It is early in the process but we both have optimism about our future together and our progress so far has been substantial.

Thanks Carole.
Barrie
from Vic.
We are going real well, probably better than we ever expected.

I personally thank you for making such a difference to my life and I know (S) feels the same.
J
from QLD
Your workshop was great for us and was what we needed to make a fresh start and turn our relationship around.

We'd recommend your workshop to any couple who are in trouble and want to rekindle their love!

Thanks again Carole
J & M
from NSW
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