Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP
Article updated on .
Infidelity Survival Guide
Dr. D’Arienzo, Psychologist and Relationship Expert
Patient and Client Infidelity Survival Guide
An Affair Defined:
An affair may be sexual, emotional, technological or in isolation. All may be equally as damaging to a relationship depending on the couple. There are few betrayals that are as damaging and as disruptive to a relationship. Discovering an affair calls into question every assumption about your partner, yourself, your relationship, and your life. The recipient feels violated and no longer safe.
Rates of Affairs:
20% of Men and 10% of women engage in sexual infidelity at some point in their lives.
45% of Men and 25% of women engage in nonsexual emotional affairs at some point in their lives.
Causes of Affairs:
Living separate lives; loneliness, drudgery, finding someone who likes you and is interested in you. Social media/networking and economic difficulties can be factors related to someone choosing to have an affair.
Immediate Steps toward Relationship Recovery with emphasis on Preventing Further Damage and Promoting Healing:
1. End the affair if you want to maintain your marriage.
2. Don’t disrupt daily tasks. The kids and you need a routine to cope with the discovery.
3. Keep the discussions balanced. Focus on positive aspects of your relationship as well.
4. Engage in self care to better cope with insomnia, anxiety, obsessions, depression, and anger.
5. Develop a plan of action for help. A plan will give you a sense of control and direction.
6. Participate in couples therapy with an expert and begin to process the betrayal.
7. Rebuild trust with transparency, consideration, and new experiences
8. Explore past vulnerabilities that led to the affair.
9. Don’t give up hope. The road will be long but know that 65 to 75% of couples whom have experienced an affair recover and remain together. Many couples create healthier and stronger relationships following an affair.
Who Can Help?
Seek services from a licensed psychologist, therapist, or counselor specializing in couples counseling, family therapy, marital therapy, marital counseling. You will get what you pay for. Paying $2000 of therapy is less expensive than $50,000 for a lawyer, court fees, and a social investigation.
Handout: Infidelity Survival Guide (Affair Survival Guide)
Download (PDF, 106KB)