Sorry is not Enough, Infidelity and Betrayal in Couples and Couple Therapy
Despite social, cultural, and personal standards of monogamy, affairs remain prevalent in many committed couples. Possibly the most difficult challenge in couple therapy, infidelity in a committed couple can manifest in a variety of forms and for a variety of reasons that reflect the personality and issues of unfaithful partners. The therapist is guided in making accurate assessment of causes and types of affairs leading to therapeutic strategies. Reality that apology no matter how sincere is not enough for recovery lead to areas of clinical exploration. Gender and cultural standards and differences are differentiated as well as characterological issues including personality disorders in the assessment process.
Authentic and inauthentic forgiveness in recovery, along with acceptance as an alternative approach/process are examined for reconciliation, as well as the roles of the unfaithful partner and the offended partner in creating the context of infidelity. Immediate considerations at the beginning of treatment including boundaries, decision-making, and discussing the impact of the affair lead to issues of intense scrutiny, transparency, flashbacks, trauma, and assessment of commitment along with etiological considerations such as attachment losses, social modeling, and family-of-origin dynamics that guide the therapist to identify the logic of infidelity and thus, the logic of recovery.