How do you overcome infidelity with the help of a psychologist?
Sep 15, 2021
Infidelity is one of the most frequent reasons for consultation among people who decide to go to couples therapy to have the help of a professional psychologist. It is not surprising that this is the case, since infidelities are a relatively common phenomenon among those who are in a dating relationship or are married.
It is true that in most cases, when the case of infidelity transcends and both people involved in the relationship are aware of what happened, this usually involves a severe emotional blow for those who feel "cheated", and a relationship crisis is triggered, or directly a breakup this. However, in many cases the dating relationship or marriage can be repaired if the appropriate steps are taken, which always have to do with reestablishing the commitment that someone has broken.
In this article we will see how it is possible to overcome an infidelity with the support of a psychologist through a process of couples therapy.
- Related article: "How do you know when to go to couples therapy? 5 compelling reasons "
How does a psychologist work to help overcome a relationship crisis due to infidelity?
These are the main parts of the intervention in couples therapy when giving support to couples who have been through infidelity, whatever type it may be. Not all of them occur sequentially, but several of them are interspersed with the others.
1. Initial evaluation of the case and delimitation of the problem of infidelity
First, It works by examining the perception that both people have of the case of infidelity.
It may be that, in the beginning, what for a person means breaking with the commitment is not, which does not mean that the infidelity has not occurred.
In this phase, the attitude of both people when recounting what happened is examined, evaluating aspects such as the degree of repentance, defensive behavior, search for the confrontation…
- You may be interested in: "The 9 types of infidelity and their characteristics"
2. Detection of infidelity triggers
Although each relationship is different and you have to examine the problems of marriage or courtship case by case, it can be said that the main causes of infidelity are the following (several may be present at the same time, interacting and reinforcing each other Yes):
- Sexual dissatisfaction
- Presence of antisocial personality traits in one or both members of the couple
- Misunderstandings in the establishment of limits, scope of commitment
- Use of the couple relationship for instrumental purposes to achieve something (courtship or marriage is not based on mutual love)
- Use of infidelity as revenge
- Lack of time to be together
Some of these causes and facilitators of infidelity cases compromise the couple's relationship so much that the only way out is the breakup, a solution that is especially urgent when the fact of breaking with the commitment is a way of psychologically mistreating the other person or occurs in a context of abuse. In situations like this, there is no intervention through couples therapy.
In any case, once the causes and triggers of infidelity have been detected, the next stages of the couples therapy created are moved on tailored to solve the unsatisfied needs of both parties, but always focusing on the part that has been most damaged and harmed.
3. Creating a context for dialogue in which there is no prejudice
In couples therapy it is very important to establish speech protocols that allow that both people can express themselves without being interrupted and without fear of being judged by the psychologist or psychologist. The role of the professional in this part of the process is as facilitator of dialogue and mediator, but also as dynamizer of a communication flow that must touch on all relevant topics, asking the questions key.
In addition, in this aspect of the intervention in couples therapy, people are “trained” to regulate anger and establish constructive discussions in which you do not fight for the simple fact of fighting, but to look for possible solutions.
- You may be interested in: "12 tips to better manage couple arguments"
4. Accompaniment of the person who has been unfaithful in a process of self-knowledge
The person who has been cheated on must understand what infidelity has meant for her, and what would be necessary for her to be comfortable in that relationship again, loving the other person. For this reason, help is offered to you when it comes to translating your feelings into words and structured explanations of how you have experienced infidelity.
- Related article: "Self-knowledge: definition and 8 tips to improve it"
5. Create a damage repair plan
It is not enough to ask for forgiveness, you have to show interest in repairing that commitment that has been broken with infidelity.
For this reason, therapy helps both people agree on a process of repair and renewal of commitment, which must go through actions in which you have to invest time and effort. These action-based goals are part of the goals you want to achieve with therapy, and should include a set period of time to achieve them.
6. Training in emotion management techniques
Psychological intervention in cases of infidelity is also an opportunity to learn to better manage emotions. This is part of both the goal of repairing the relationship damaged by the infidelity, and of acting on the triggers of the infidelity.
- Related article: "Emotional management: 10 keys to master your emotions"
7. Resolution and final accompaniment
In the final stage, the couple is helped to recognize the progress made, and both people appreciate the current state of their relationship. If both of them notice that the crisis due to infidelity has been overcome, they are offered a follow-up period to see if this improvement is maintained in the medium and long term.
Are you looking for psychological assistance for couples?
If your courtship or marriage is going through difficult times and you are interested in having couples therapy services, get in touch with me.
I am a psychologist specialized in the cognitive-behavioral model, and I work helping people and groups in individualized sessions, for couples and for companies. You can count on my services in person at my office in Madrid or through the online mode by video call.