It goes without saying that being cheated on can be terribly painful. If you were recently betrayed by your partner, you may feel as though your heart has been ripped out, and aren’t sure whether the relationship should continue. If you are considering going to a therapist for couples counseling, it is important to know that your therapist cannot actually save your relationship. However, you and your partner can salvage what is left if you are both committed and open to the process of recovering from infidelity in therapy. 

What are the types of infidelity?

Every person has their own definition of what is considered infidelity, that is why it is so crucial that people communicate their boundaries of faithfulness at the beginning of the relationship. Asking each other whether watching porn, developing emotional feelings towards someone else, physically touching another person, flirting, or other related behaviors are crossing the line. For some, being faithful to only one person isn’t how they view relationships, and prefer to practice polyamory instead. By talking about this early on, it can help prevent incidents of infidelity occurring. 

  • Sexual cheating: when one partner has sexual relations with another person outside the relationship. They may or may not have an emotional attachment to that individual. 
  • Cyber/internet cheating: infidelity is committed by sending sexual or flirty messages to someone else through an online platform. It may never get to the point of physical intimacy, but may involve sending each other nude or suggestive videos or pictures. 
  • Emotional cheating: when one person in the relationship begins to develop feelings for another, and becomes emotionally attached to them. Usually, this is someone of the same gender as their partner. An emotional affair may never become physical, and the betrayer may neglect their partner during this time. 

Can my partner and I work through them having had multiple affairs?

When a partner has had repeated affairs, there are some questions to consider. What were the issues that led to the first affair that may not have been fully addressed? How was the first affair dealt with? Did the spouse that was betrayed acknowledge their feelings and have a reaction to finding out? And, was the betrayer remorseful and own up to their actions? Your therapist can help you and your partner answer these difficult questions, as unresolved problems from the past can lead to more incidents of infidelity.

Is it possible that my partner doesn’t practice monogamy?Some researchers suggest that monogamy isn’t very common in nature, and that humans were the ones who constructed the idea of dedicating oneself to a single person, when there is actually a biological pull for multiple partners. Some people believe that monogamy isn’t for them, and is something your partner should talk with you about before continuing the relationship. Your therapist, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center, can help you and your partner talk about whether you are on the same page when it comes to commitment and expectations.