As a life coach who specializes in relationship optimization, a lot of clients approach me regarding infidelity in marriage. Believe it or not, unfaithfullness in marriage is more common than you may think.
However, does this mean that the couple or partner is out of love ? Not necessarily. Rather than it being an issue of love, infidelity in marriage is more often than not an issue of neglect.
Marriage infidelity : how can that happen ?
In order to determine how unfaithfulness in marriage happens, let’s first address exactly what infidelity in a marriage is.
Infidelity in marriage relates to a partner or partners who engage emotionally or physically with another person outside of the relationship. As mentioned in this articles introduction, marriage affairs are significantly more common that you think, and about 35% of the married couples I speak to have dealt with or experienced it in their marriage to some degree.
An affair during a marriage happens when something is missing. Many a times, neglect is the root cause of an affair. One of the partners doesn’t feel that they are receiving enough attention, affection or acknowledgment from their partner. It’s in this loneliness or constant seeking of validation that makes them prone to cheating or receptive to temptation outside of the walls of the relationship.
It must be mentioned, though, that the partner responsible for not delivering attention may not be aware that their affection isn’t being received by their partner. They may not recognize this void in the relationship and that is why when the affair becomes public knowledge, they feel blind-sided.
Other times, a partner who didn’t receive affection from other critical relationships in their life (parents, siblings, elementary school friends) could fall victim to cheating in order to fill that need. In these cases, the other parner may also feel blindsided. As companions, we are burdened to bear the crosses of our partners previous relationships. We must be empathic to this, as long as it doesn’t affect our quality of life.
The only good thing about having identified neglect as the trigger for infidelity in marriage, is that now we know the root of the problem, and if we’re able to forgive our partners, can prevent it from happening again.
Infidelity in marriage : how to overcome that ?
In order to overcome infidelity in marriage, we must first question what infidelity does to a marriage. The biggest issue associated with infidelity in marriage is that the element of trust has been immediately shattered. What I mean by this is, if one of the partners was feeling neglected enough in the relationship to cheat, now the other partner also feeling neglected. When both partners are in this type of slump it becomes tricky to find the inner strength to rectify the relationship. However, now it’s more critical than ever to be strong. This is the only way you’ll be able to recover from infidelity in marriage.
If a relationship is really struggling, it can be incredibly challenging to find the inner confidence necessary to perservere. Something that I often mention to my clients is a concept I promote called ‘’emotion hacking’’. Emotion hacking refers to one’s ability to tap into their emotional database to tell their mind to feel certain things.
An example of emotion hacking can be observed using confidence. For instance, if you’d like to feel confident when you feel very low about yourself or your situation, you must show your brain how to feel it. In order to do this, we must do things that our mind understands as confidence creators ; like acheive something. Achieving something tells our brains we’re accomplished as people, which turns into feeling confident about ourselves. Therefore, in order to feel confident, we must give ourselves things to acheive. This can start by simply making your bed in the morning, or going to the gym.
If marriage infidelity is dismantling your marriage, help yourself feel confident. This will make all the difference in the relationship’s ability to recover from infidelity in marriage.
Why is confidence so critical in helping to fix your marriage ? Well, confidence is what gives you the capability to forgive without developing resentment. If you are in tune with yourself and you understand how valuable you are, you’ll be able to acknowledge the nelgect that triggered the affair and truly let go of the pain you are feeling.
Marriage and infidelity : can you forgive ?
As mentioned in the previous segment of this article, infidelity in a marriage is fixable if you are willing to forgive your partner (or be forgiven by your partner, if you’re the one who introduced infidelity in the marriage). This isn’t something that’s decided overnight, even though we wish it was that easy.
A great exercise is to put yourself in your partners shoes. Try writing a list of issues that frequently occur in the marriage, then argue that list as though you were your partner. This can help you identify what was causing the neglect and also help you develop solutions so that this doesn’t affect your marriage again in the future. If you do this properly, you’ll find security in knowing that the issues are fixable, and this will give you the confidence to forgive your partner in hopes of having a healthier and happier marriage long-term.
If you are currently going through or have recently gone through infidelity in a marriage, we are here to help you. We have the opportunity to work with several people undergoing similar issues and together, we can determine a game plan that works for you.
You don’t need to go through this alone.
Coach Natalie and Coach Adrian