Irina Firstien NYC Therapist CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York

INFIDELITY

It is a known fact that married and unmarried partners go outside their relationships to fill sexual and sometimes emotional needs.

Without a doubt an affair is a major relationship trauma, putting in question trust, commitment, love. When couples come in after a discovery of the affair the wounded partner feels completely betrayed and many can’t see a way to heal and ever trust again.

I don't see all affairs in the same light. There are different types of infidelities:

  • Emotional affairs (which have little difference from a sexual affair, it’s on a spectrum)
  • One night stands
  • Repeated sexual indiscretions
  • Sex Addiction
  • Sexual affairs
  • Sexual romantic affairs

Possible Reasons for Infidelity

  • Wanting to end a bad marriage/relationship and using the affair as a way out
  • Getting what is missing in a relationship without any intention of ending the primary relationship.
  • Self medication, stimulation and pleasure (high)
  • Running from pain (loss, mid-life crisis), a form of self medication
  • Getting even and feeling entitled
  • Creating distance and occasional escapes
  • Multigenerational legacies

The type of the affair and the reasons are first part of my assessment. It is my philosophy that Couples Therapy or Marriage Counseling can not be effective, meaning will not bring the couple to a place of healing and transformation if the affair continues. If an affair is a result of sexual addiction, then specific individual treatment targeted to sex addiction is necessary, sometimes with couples therapy and sometimes not. I have had many couples in my practice that went from severe crisis to transformation. Some that did not.

Recovery from infidelity is a process, which involves courage, determination, commitment, honesty, openness.

Recommended Books:

  • "Getting Past the Affair" by Douglas K. Snyder PhD
  • "After the Affair" by Janis A. Spring PhD
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