Therapy for affairs and betrayals

17 - Jun - 2023

When someone discovers that their partner has been unfaithful, it can lead to a host of negative emotions and reactions that can take a significant toll on both partners.

The first emotion that comes to mind when people learn about infidelity is typically anger. Feelings of betrayal and being lied to can quickly turn into resentment and fury. This anger can be directed towards the unfaithful partner, the third party involved, or even oneself. It is a natural human response to a significant breach of trust. However, allowing it to consume and control one's behaviour can lead to more destructive outcomes.

Beyond anger, infidelity can also lead to deep feelings of sadness and hurt. Being cheated on can leave a person questioning their self-worth and feeling as though they are not enough for their partner. These feelings of inadequacy can lead to depression and anxiety, and affect a person's ability to trust in future relationships. The pain and hurt caused by infidelity can also manifest itself physically, causing a host of physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

Many people who have experienced infidelity also report feeling confused and disoriented. Discovering that someone you love has betrayed you can be shocking and a partner can suddenly feel like a stranger, and it's easy to feel lost and unsure of how to proceed.

For many one of the most difficult aspects of infidelity is the impact it can have on a person's self-esteem. Cheating can leave a person feeling less attractive, less desirable, and less worthy of love. It can be difficult to move past these feelings and build self-esteem back up after such a traumatic event.

Another common reaction to infidelity is a desire for revenge. Many people want to make the unfaithful partner feel the same pain and hurt that they have experienced. This can lead to actions such as seeking out revenge affairs, spreading rumours, or even becoming physically violent. While these actions may provide a brief sense of satisfaction, they ultimately do not address the root causes of the infidelity and can further hurt oneself and those around them. The aftermath of infidelity can also lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness. 

For the partner who has been unfaithful there is often a lot of shock, confusion, guilt, shame and fear and this can lead to them being unable to communicate effectively. It is often the case that communication deteriorates and the pain of failing to understand each other adds to that of the affair itself.

Where there are children, partners often come as they want to ensure that the situation does not negatively affect the wellbeing of the children and to know how to communicate with them whilst working things through.

Partners often bring affairs, infidelity and betrayal to therapy - sometimes because they are stuck and do not know what to do, sometimes because they want help working through the experience and at others as they want help with deciding on whether to stay together, separate or divorce.

Therapists seek to help partners communicate, to understand what has not been understood and to help communication move forwards. Therapists do not judge but instead seek partners to reach the outcome that they want.

For more information on our therapists working with affairs, infidelity and betrayals click here.