Chronic Infidelity Behaviors
People define infidelity differently, and views on what is and isn’t unfaithful behavior vary between people and individual couples. Some may see sexting and online affairs as cheating, whereas some may only class an act as infidelity when it involves physical or sexual contact. With pornography, online chat rooms, and even dating sites designed for affairs, it’s now easier than ever for curiosity to escalate into an online affair and a tempted partner to slip into an infidelity addiction.
Some may mistake an infidelity addiction for sex addiction; although sex may be a part of the affair, it’s not what the addict craves. Like any other addiction, addicts may seek attention from someone outside of their relationship to mask problems they have in their life or current relationship. Addicts may even feel unappreciated in their current relationship, which can often lead to feelings of anger and resentment, which in turn, may result in seeking emotional or physical support elsewhere.
Why does a person develop an infidelity addiction?
The excitement associated with meeting someone new releases dopamine in the brain, creating a temporary high until the addict has to return to a normal life where feelings of guilt or shame may entail, leading to an addictive cycle. In some cases, partners who engage in infidelity or who have an infidelity addiction will refer to sexual dissatisfaction or lack of sexual contact as the reasoning behind their behavior. This may be because sex is no longer as fulfilling as they’d like and differs from the ‘honeymoon phase, or because they miss the high and excitement of sex with a new partner.
You can compare seeking or engaging in infidelity to a drug, alcohol, or gambling addiction. These behaviors provide a quick fix and distraction from any problems they may be facing in their normal life. Traits that may make a person at higher risk of developing an infidelity addiction are:
- A prolonged history of cheating or difficulty remaining in a long-term relationship
- Less emotional or physical interest in a stable partner
- A history or family history of addiction
Addicts will often go to great lengths to keep their affairs a secret from their partner, whether out of shame, fear that their partner will leave, or to prevent the devastation it may cause. This stress often leads to mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
Can a relationship last after infidelity?
Even if a partner has not engaged in physical activity with another person, an online affair addiction may still be present in the forms of sexting or emotional relations. This may be a way to escape or avoid real-life problems or issues with a relationship.
While physical and online affairs are short-lived, an infidelity addiction isn’t. All types of addiction can damage relationships with friends and family. An infidelity addiction can have a huge effect on partners or spouses, sometimes even leading them to need treatment themselves. Yet, like any other addiction, you can treat it and rebuild trust and relationships.
Couples coping with infidelity have a wide range of serious issues to address. Whether negotiating, remaining together, or managing a process of separation, every couple dealing with infidelity needs support, direction and education. We are familiar with couples having to cope with all of these concerns placed against a background of embarrassing and shameful issues. We can help by offering confidential, personal couples therapy with sessions designed to educate, provide direction and structured support.
To begin recovery, addicts must first realize they have a problem. Addicts can then receive the help they need to deal with the problems associated with an infidelity or online affairs addiction. Through counseling they can challenge they can learn to challenge irrational thoughts and faulty thinking; thus, helping them to rebuild a healthy relationship.
TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
Call us 205-610-9319 or use our easy online scheduler here.
If you have any questions or would like to contact us by email, you can complete a brief confidential contact form here. Once you submit the contact form, a Bevill and Associates intake staff member will respond as soon as possible.
Bevill and Associates LLC is located in Birmingham, AL (on Valleydale Rd between I65 and Hwy. 280). Please click here for our full address and a map to our location.