There are few things that can be as hurtful and completely devastating to a relationship than cheating. We often have to deal with the aftermath of a situation like that when we’re giving relationship counselling online. There are a lot of questions that surround a cheating partner such as “Why did this happen?”, “What do I do?”, “How can we ever move past this?” and “Where do we go from here?” These are all very valid questions that doesn’t necessarily have such straightforward answers since every couple and situation is unique. But we’re going to try and address one of these infidelity FAQ’s here:
It’s natural human behaviour to question “why?” when something traumatic happens to us. This is our way of trying to understand and process what has happened to us. To give some meaning to the madness and prevent it from every happening to us again. But the ‘why’ can get tricky. Because sometimes the ‘why’ has nothing to do with the relationship, but rather personal and psychological issues of an individual that they themselves might not even be aware of. That is why it’s so important to seek professional help and receive relationship counselling online when faced with a situation such as a cheating partner. Some of the “why’s” we consider when giving relationship counselling online are:
Feelings of unappreciation or neglect
Let’s be honest; when you first got together you thought your partner was the best thing since sliced chocolate cake. You doted on them. Stared at them with those rose-coloured googly eyes and you bathed them with your attention and devotion. You flirted and you lavished them with compliments. After a few years anniversaries are forgotten in between the daily grind and responsibilities of life. You no longer steal glances at each other when getting dressed. And the two morning coffees in bed become a cup for one hastily gulped down in the kitchen. Life starts to drown out the expressions of love. When love isn’t shown or clearly communicated it’s easy to start feeling unappreciated or neglected. When this happens, any attention and admiration from another party becomes amplified.
Wake up, get dressed, go to work, go home, get undressed, go to sleep, wake up, get dressed, go to work… And so it goes. Day after day after day. To many cheating is subconsciously their solution to boredom. It’s spicing up the mundane and the routine. Instead of eating your lunch at your desk in the office, you now steal away to a park or other location for a secret rendezvous. Instead of sending out the usual one work email after the other, you send and receive flirty DM’s. Cheating is there for experienced by some as the antidote to an otherwise monotonous life.
A person’s lack of self-esteem or being too egotistical can lead to a wide variety of cheating scenarios. That’s the popular stereotype of the cradle-snatching, middle aged man and his young mistress. The aging woman who finds some sense of validation when playing the role of the so-called “cougar”. It’s the wife who suddenly hears that she’s beautiful and sexy despite the stretchmarks and flab two pregnancies left her with.
It’s the man who used to weigh 200 lbs, who still feels like the little overweight boy inside despite his new fit and toned body and who can’t believe that a pretty woman could be interested in someone like him. The list of examples goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that most of us have self-esteem/ego issues on some level. But when we start seeking external validation or adoration outside of our relationships it can be a recipe for cheating disaster. This is a typical topic both a sex therapist and a relationship counselor work with. Hard to decide which one to go to? Good news: our relationship counselors are often sex therapists as well!
We as human beings can sometimes not have the healthiest of responses when it comes to hurt or anger. A partner may insensitively comment on the fact that you’ve put on weight, or in the midst of an intense fight thoughtlessly blurt out that “no-one else would want you” or admit themselves that they have cheated. Many of these hurtful moments lead to an “I’ll show you” reaction – often in the arms of another. It’s much better to start receiving relationship counselling online before a situation spins out of control like this.
Refusal to let go
Sometimes the relationship has been over for many years without wanting to admit it to ourselves or our partners. Yet we stay. This can be due to financial reasons, comfortability, children etc. When there is an emotional and physical disconnect within your relationship/marriage and one or both of you are merely keeping up appearances, it’s very easy to start cheating (and even justifying it to yourself). When you’ve reached a point where there really isn’t anything left to salvage, it’s better to just let go. During relationship counselling online the process of letting go can also be addressed.
Lack of Commitment
Why are you with your husband/wife/partner? By answering this question honestly you’ll already know where the scale tips for you when it comes to temptation. Many people get together for the wrong reason; they get married due to an unexpected pregnancy or they start dating yet it’s more due to lust than love. There are plenty of reasons why people who shouldn’t be together find themselves together. But whatever the reason, these kind of relationships will not have the commitment that is needed to sustain it and is extremely vulnerable to cheating.
Whether drugs or drinking, substances play a huge part in most cheating scenarios. Some individuals may be fighting real addiction battles when the cheating incident(s) takes place, but many “just happen” during a night out on the town with friends or the office Christmas party. Only you know how your body reacts to alcohol and whether you can drink in moderation. It’s better to abstain than to regret actions or behaviour brought on by inebriation. If you are concerned or have questions regarding your relationship with certain substances and the impact it has on you and your partner, you can bring it up and discuss the matter with your therapist when you receive relationship counselling online.
There are certain mental illnesses that sadly carries more risk of a cheating partner. This is especially sad since the partner who cheats/cheated would probably not have done so under normal circumstances and in the right frame of mind. In these cases the transgressor is often also a victim – unfortunately just of themselves. Bipolar is one of the mental illnesses that increases the risk of cheating. That is why it’s extremely important to get yourself or a partner to a professional if there is ever any question or concern of an undiagnosed mental illness. It is equally as important to ensure that once diagnosed, the illness is correctly managed with the continued support and guidance of a psychologist and psychiatrist.
Self-sabotage can occur for a wide variety of reasons, but it mostly stems from childhood trauma and certain attachment styles that develops due to past experiences. Traumas and attachment styles play important parts in any relationship and we highly recommend that couples investigate and confront these topics during their relationship counselling online. We especially recommend that these be discussed and addressed before issues arise and the relationship needs any “fixing”.
Certain individuals find establishing and enforcing clear boundaries very hard. Once again, this can stem from a wide variety of things. But when there’s no clear line in the sand, it’s even easier to cross it. The old school friend who constantly wants to see you, cry on your shoulder and talk to you about their terrible marriage/relationship is a red flag for a potential cheating opportunity. The colleague who’s constantly finding excuses to work late nights together and excessively touches you is a red flag for a potential cheating opportunity.
We’re not saying that you should read into absolutely everything anybody ever does or that you should avoid solo human interactions altogether. We’re just saying that you should be aware and mindful. If your partner is always waiting for you to get off the phone with David who’s had yet another spat with his wife and “you’re the only one who understands”. Or if you know your partner won’t be comfortable with Mary constantly grabbing hold of your arm and laughing hysterically at everything you say or massaging your neck and shoulders because “you look tense”, it’s fair to say that a boundary needs to be set out of respect for your partner and your relationship.
These ‘why’s’ are merely the tip of the cheating ice-berg. It’s extremely important to remember that humans are complicated beings. We are all unique and therefor our relationships are also unique. The above mentioned are merely examples of some of the most common ‘why’s’ we come across during our relationship counselling online sessions. If you are finding yourself in a cheating spouse scenario, searching for your ‘why’ and how to deal with the situation, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our friendly professional therapists regarding relationship counselling online. Or, alternatively, complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.