Cheating is a huge, sometimes irreconcilable, act in a relationship. While there are cases of people cheating solely for pleasure or as a result of relationship dissatisfaction, cheating often occurs due to deeper psychological issues. Let’s explore the common roots of infidelity, along with how counseling helps clients uncover those roots.
With the responsibilities of family, job, and home, stress can become overwhelming even to the most stable and balanced people. Reactions to stress vary and start at a very young age. Escaping the situation or some aspect of a situation that causes stress is a common response.
People may turn the desire to escape into positive activities, such as traveling or working-out, but destructive escapism involves such negative behaviors as cheating. Counseling helps those who have issues with escaping stress become aware of how that motivation has led to unacceptable behaviors in their relationships.
Infidelity often occurs when there’s a lot of conflict in a relationship. While the conflict can lead to sexual frustration and dissatisfaction, it’s also likely that both parties feel abandoned by their partners in some way, especially emotionally.
When people have abandonment issues that reach far back into childhood, they may not realize how much this impacts reactionary behavior toward feeling abandoned as an adult. It may also be exceptionally difficult to reach-out for love and affection while feeling abandoned. Uncovering the roots of abandonment during therapy can serve as a profound healing tool for both parties as they learn to communicate what they want and need from one another, even though it may hurt and feel scary at times.
Whether it’s constantly hiding it with extroverted behavior, or constantly exposing it through humor, everyone has some form of self-esteem challenge. Culture teaches us to feel special and wanted when someone finds us attractive and worthy of attention, which can temporarily lessen feelings of inadequacy, as well as potentially create problems when the attention comes from outside the relationship.
Inadequacy often develops into personality traits that are susceptible to cheating behaviors. Counseling not only helps people understand inadequacy, it also helps them develop better tools to cope.
Uncovering the roots of infidelity during counseling does not give the cheating partner a free pass for cheating. The process does, however, provide both partners with a foundation of awareness to move forward. Understanding may not save a marriage, but the healing gained will last a lifetime. Call us today to schedule counseling.