Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Mandy Kloppers BA(UNISA); Dip Psych(Open);Dip LC(LC Inst);MCS(Acc)
5th May, 20130 Comments
Infidelity seems to be everywhere. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if it is more common that being faithful. That sounds really cynical but experience tells me I might be on to something.
It is one of the top reasons that people seek counselling. Many wives turn a blind eye to roving husbands as they don't want to mess up their financial status. Men have come to see me, unsure whether they should stay in their unhappy marriages or whether they should move on with someone new. Most married men with this dilemma complain that their wives do not want sex anymore and it leaves them feeling undesired.
I have also heard many married male clients state that if they had to choose a wife now, it would not be the woman they married. Twenty years of marriage can change someone - emotionally, mentally and physically.
Women have affairs too. Often because they are searching attention and a feeling of being desired again. I have found that husbands who have been cheated on tend to be more forgiving than the other way around. They seem willing to forgive and forget. usually, though, it is too late and the wife has detached completely from their husband, unable to go back and unwilling to have any physical intimacy with their husbands.
Women tend to feel aggrieved by something their husbands have/haven't done and the slow process of detachment begins. Many men are so wrapped up in their work that they don't take the warnings seriously and by the time the wife wants to divorce, the husbands are completely as a loss to what has happened. They often mistakenly believe that a few sessions of counselling will repair the damage.
They also hope that their sex lives will be rapidly restored. Many are disillusioned when I tell them that they may have to very patient!
The key to a good relationship is constant, open communication. Assumptions can lead to resentment and this can further inflame the situation. Ask when you're unsure of what the other person meant, express your emotions and work as a team.
Relationships are like gardens, if you don't tend to them, weeds (discontent) will grow.
Related articles from our experts
- Are there benefits of having an affair?
Gill Sanders: Psychotherapist and Couples Counsellor, COSRT: BACP: UKCP:11th October, 2017
- Ghosting: What is it and why does it hurt so much?
Graeme Armstrong MBACP30th September, 2017
- Coping with an affair
Eugene Gallagher BSc (Hons), MBA, MA, MBACP12th June, 2017
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