In an article published by Kate Figes in Daily Mail, she revealed that in surveys done in the UK and the U.S., they showed that about 25 to 70 percent of women and 40 to 80 percent of men engaged in at least one extramarital sexual encounter.
Infidelity is more than just a break in one’s promise to remain faithful; it destroys marriages, families, and individual lives. Published by Hypnosis in London on 28 July 2016, written by Malminder Gill.
In one study conducted to find out more about the possible predictors of infidelity, it was found out that certain personality factors like high narcissism and psychoticism and low conscientiousness increase one’s susceptibility to infidelity. Other factors revealed in the study include sexual dissatisfaction, partner complaints, and jealousy.
Another interesting study conducted by the website Recovery discovered that women might consider cheating if they found a partner who is more desirable than their current partner; when they discover someone who is interested in them; and when they feel that they can replace their current partner.
For some men who end up cheating their partners, it could be the result of having so much power and control of their lives. These men feel that they have so much power and control that they’ve never imagined getting caught. Even if they still get caught, these men could still feel they can control the fallout.
Infidelity issues bring feelings of resentment, betrayal, and depression to one or both partners. The impact of the incident can be so severe that some may even have suicidal thoughts. There can also be blaming (blaming of one’s self, partner, or circumstances surrounding the relationship) and denial.
Denial After Infidelity
After the discovery of an affair, a person may undergo the stage of denial. It can be in the form of premature optimism. When a person goes into this stage, he/she may go numb and unfazed with what had happened. He/she may express optimism and hopes of reconciliation and of seeking professional help to save the relationship. There’s nothing wrong in taking steps like these after discovering an affair. The only problem with premature optimism is that it’s not based on a clear understanding of what had happened. It doesn’t take into consideration the emotional impact of the incident.
Partners who have been cheated on often use this strategy to avoid painful feelings. A person who has been cheated on may also express denial by ignoring the problem, declaring that it’s in the past, and the only thing one can do is to move on. He/she may also be in complete denial of what had happened and may end up making excuses for his/her partner’s infidelity.
The Good and the Bad of Denial
Denial serves a good purpose. It’s a defense mechanism meant to protect one from emotional distress, conflict, painful thoughts, threat, and anxiety. When one faces a situation or event that threatens his/her sense of control or one that makes a person vulnerable, he/she can be in denial about something.
Being in denial for a short period of time can be helpful. It gives a person’s mind the time to absorb the shocking or stressful information so he/she can approach the situation in a more rational way. However, it becomes harmful when it keeps one from taking the appropriate action.
In confronting the issue of infidelity, denial can be one of the biggest hurdles the couple will face.
What One Should Do Instead
Denying the existence of the problem or the emotions involved in it can bring more harm than good. So, instead of denial, couples can start to heal after the discovery of an affair through the following:
- Be honest
After discovering infidelity, it’s important for both parties to be heard. They should be given the time and opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts. One study from UCLA revealed that when people express their emotions into words, be it writing in a journal or talking to someone, the prefrontal region of the brain is activated and there is a reduced response in the amygdala, resulting to feeling less angry or sad.
- Avoid cheap forgiveness
For Dr. Janis Spring, a clinical psychologist, cheap forgiveness is “forgiveness that is offered before the hurt party fully processes the impact of the violation. [And] it asks nothing of the offender.” With cheap forgiveness, the hurt party will not be able to fully acknowledge the extent of the pain and may lead the offender to think that he/she is not accountable to what had happened.
Some people can resort to this out of their intense desire to save the relationship or out of the fear of being alone. These people would rather be with an unfaithful partner than be alone.
- Seek help
In highly stressful situations like this, couples can benefit from seeking professional help. A professional who has worked with issues like this before can assist the couple in the healing process. Hypnotherapy can also help as it puts one into a deep, relaxed state making him/her more receptive to positive suggestions.
Guided love hypnotherapy is a highly effective therapy for overcoming relationship issues. I’m a love therapist in London and I offer private hypnotherapy sessions for those who are trying to cope after an affair, going through a difficult time with a partner, and other relationship struggles. As a love hypnotherapist, I do not make decisions for a person but rather guide him/her on how to effectively cope with their situation.
Dealing with infidelity is never easy but like other challenges in every relationship, there are ways to cope with it.