"We're just friends...Is that really cheating?"

by Julienne b. Derichs LCPC                                                                                                            Back to Articles

Cheating, infidelity, having an affair, whatever you call it cheating is more common than most people realize. In fact, there is a culture of "New Monogamy" that finds couples are negotiating their faithfulness in ways that challenge the notion of traditional fidelity and monogamy. It is estimated that roughly 65% of men and 55% of women today will have an affair during their relationship. 

Cheating can cause intense emotional pain, anger, disbelief, fear, guilt, and shame. But being unfaithful doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship. While not every relationship can or should recover from an affair, understanding how a relationship can be rebuilt after an affair is essential. Counseling is a key component to recovering from an affair.

Infidelity takes many forms. There is no one-size-fits-all view of infidelity. Today couples are more likelier to think about negotiating ahead of time what fidelity means in their own relationship. The problem comes when one person in the couple defines "monogamy" or "fidelity" without consulting their partner first.

Some people have sequential affairs-a series of short affairs that can last for one night to a few months. These affairs involve very little emotional investment and may be rationalized as "harmless." Some affairs last longer and become more serious. These long-term affairs may be quite romantic and sexual. Sometimes they grow into more serious relationships and may last for years. Other affairs are emotional affairs. Emotional affairs exclude physical intimacy and often these types of relationships can be devastating to a committed relationship than a "one night stand."

Cheating falls into three parts: 1. the dishonesty, 2. the outside relationship, 3. the sexual infidelity. All three exist on a spectrum with different levels and degrees. Couples run into the emotional damage of cheating when the "monogamy" or "fidelity" agreement is not specifically talked about. Counseling can help couples disclose and discover the unspoken rules that specifically relate to each spouses behavior, rules and attitudes toward fidelity.

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Couples Counseling Today
Contact Julienne Derichs 
Call 773-562-3074 or 
email me at CouplesCounselingToday@gmail.com
Contact Julienne Derichs 
Call 773-562-3074 or 
email me at JBDCounseling@aol.com