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Cheating in Marriage


What instills doubt on a partner? Research says-

  1. Increased social activities
  2. Being private about their phone
  3. Frequent change of passwords
  4. Changes in desire for intimacy
  5. Change in attitude and appearance
  6. Defensiveness when questioned about whereabouts

"We were perfect, it was happening right under my nose and I didnt even realise. I trusted him with all my heart. Not just as a partner, but as a human being. How could he stoop so low to cheat and break my trust?"

Cheating in a marriage is a devastating and an emotionally painful experience. Many couples part ways and marriages get torn apart due to infidelity. It is hard to imagine that something like this could actually happen to us and first and foremost there is a feeling of shock that someone we loved so dearly and envisioned our whole life with could betray our trust and shatter it in such a brutal manner.

Most of the times the cheating spouse may deny any accusations of straying away unless there is irrefutable proof.

Now the question arises, what leads a person to commit an act of infidelity. There can be multiple reasons for infidelity in marriage:

  • Emotional or sexual dissatisfaction
  • Conflicts in marriage
  • Incompatibility in personalities
  • Feeling neglected or lonely
  • Revenge
  • External stressors
  • Lack of/Unhealthy communication
  • According to statistics, In over 1/3 of marriages,one or both partners admit to cheating and affair are more likely to occur two years into a marriage

    What sets apart infidelity in marriage from that of a romantic relationship is that the stakes are considerably higher especially if there are children involved hence there needs to be a careful evaluation of the decisions and the consequences. There are family bonds that might be dissolved and cultural and social factors as well. The efforts, commitment and partnership be it physical, emotional, social or financial gets threatened when there is cheating.

    The partner that is the recipient of betrayal might be required to seek professional help and social support to evaluate their decisions. In such cases, variables like loneliness, childcare, living situations, financial independence, family relations, stigma attached to divorce or separation, managing responsibilities are to be taken into consideration.

    Although overcoming cheating is challenging and difficult, it is not impossible. An affair does not have to necessarily spell demise of a marriage. It can be the end road or a catalyst for renewed bond depending on how the infidelity is dealt with and the commitment of both the partners in reinforcing their love and efforts into the relationship.

    How can a Counselor Help?

    1. Provide a safe space to vent out the overwhelming feelings of shock, anger, hurt, resentment and betrayal
    2. Work through and process the emotional and mental distress
    3. Help in facilitating the decision making process
    4. In case of restoring the marriage, foster constructive communication
    5. Addressing underlying concerns in the relationship
    6. Setting terms for trust building
    7. Help in Boundary setting and conveying expectation
    8. Individual counseling to deal with the effects on both spouses

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