Affairs and Infidelity in Relationships
The latest research shows that 20%–40% of men and 20%–25% of women, in the Western world, will engage in an extramarital affair at some point in their lifetimes, while approximately 2%–4% of married men and women have engaged in extramarital sex in the past year.
These facts don't show the emotional impact that an affair can have on all those involved - only how common it is. Nor do they show how affairs have been shown to be responsible for a dramatically increased risk of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
But by talking about the situation it can help relieve these feelings and create a new path moving forward.
Who can I talk to - that will help me through this?
By calling our counselling team on 0203 326 9160 we will recommend one of our therapy team who specialise in relationships and couples counselling for you to talk to.
It starts with an initial meeting, in which you will chat with one of our counsellors. If you decide that you are comfortable with them and that you can speak with them easily, then you can arrange to speak with them again. It maybe that you only need to speak to one of our therapists once to ease the problems or it could be that need several sessions or even couples counselling - it's up to you to decide with your counsellor.
Calls to us are completely confidential and we can arrange for you to see someone as soon as convenient.
The benefits of relationship counselling following an affair
Therapy and counselling can help explore the situation, deal with the issues and allows the individuals to talk about their relationship confidentially.
Several key aspects to this assistance by therapy include the open discussion of the affair, rather than keeping it secret, and the non-involved partner coming to a deeper understanding of why the affair took place.
It can help address systemic issues in the relationship and create new boundaries enabling the couple to move forward in their relationship.
The emotional impact of affairs and infidelity in a relationship
If you have recently discovered that your partner is having or had an affair it is likely that you feel a whole raft of difficult and complex emotions including: betrayal, fear, guilt, shame, hopelessness, grief, loss, anger and even physical pain. It is also likely that you are unsure what the future holds.
Discovering your partner's infidelity can be a shattering betrayal - destroying one of the foundational assumptions of an intimate relationship: its exclusivity. As a result, it's a widely shared view that an affair is the end of a relationship. This may not always be the result of an affair.
Why are people vulnerable to affairs?
People have affairs for different reasons – some of the most common include:
- Opportunity. Some people find it hard to resist when an opportunity arises.
- Diversion. When the primary relationship is struggling then it is a way of creating a diversion and avoiding the issues that are currently faced.
- Excitement. The excitement of an illicit affair produces a 'high' similar to drug users as the adrenaline and dopamine are released into the bloodstream – causing hyper-arousal. This can be very addictive.
- Serotonin. Serotonin is released within the body and is a natural anti-depressant. It can however create an obsessive compulsive feeling leading to the behaviour continuing.
- Family History. It is a way of acting out previous behaviours in the family even unconsciously.
- Withdrawal. It is a way of leaving the relationship.
How can we help?
Clinical Partners have a team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Counsellors who are experienced in this area and couples counselling and will be able to offer full support and advice for you and your partner. We also can support you if you feel that you are suffering from related depression or other addictions including alcohol, drugs and sex.
By calling our Clinical Team on 0203 326 9160 you will be able to talk in confidence about your situation and we can recommend a specialist to assist you.