Counseling Women to Get Over Their Cheating Partner [Institution] Introduction Marriage is a relationship based on trust; however more than fifty percent of the spouses cheat on their partners. According to a study by Hawkins and Fackrell (2009), 55% of marriages in the United States end because of infidelity…
It has also been observed that men cheat on their spouses more than women. Men give different reasons for infidelity; for instance some feel neglected and unappreciated by their wives while some believe that their marriage lacked spark and intimacy (Perel, 2011). Some men confessed that stressful events led them to cheat on their wives and some said that they had extramarital affairs because their friends had so (Fitness, 2001). Boredom and emotional deprivation are some other reasons men gave to justify their adulterous relationships. Sometimes men face financial problems and are reluctant to discuss them with their wives; as a result they turn to other women for solace and sympathy and end up having an affair. Besides feeling betrayed, the cheated wife feels aggrieved, confused, devastated and alone. Once the affair is discovered, the couples face two options; to forget everything and move on with their lives or to end the marriage. The women who decide to give another chance to their marriage constantly live under the fear that their husbands may have another affair. Some women seek divorce while some men leave their wives and children for the other woman. In any case, marriage comes to an end when the affair is discovered because the possibility of normal relations after this gross violation of trust becomes zero. The betrayed partner is haunted by the question “why?” and often it becomes difficult for her to go back to normal life. Under these circumstances counseling can help lower the pain experienced by the wronged partner. Different counselors suggest different ways of getting over their cheating partners. Psychological Effects of Infidelity Infidelity especially one which leads to an end to marriage leaves deep psychological scars on women. Gordon, Baucom and Snyder (2004) in their study discussed at length the impact of infidelity on the betrayed wives. Depression is also common among women who have been betrayed and may cause them to act irrationally such as enter an unhealthy relationship, seek revenge or as in most cases inflict self-harm. Suicidal thoughts in depressed women occur because they think that their lives have become meaningless and they do not have a reason to live. Women become emotionally insecure, their initial reaction of shock changes to anger, rage and disbelief and then sadness seems to engulf them. Besides feeling sad and empty, women lose interest in activities, do not care about their appearance, and feel lethargic and worthless. Experiencing changes in eating habits and sleep patterns is also common; women betrayed by their husband may experience lack of appetite or a sudden craving for food making them eat more than usual. Sleep also does not come easily to them. Betrayed women also lose faith and question the general goodness in the world. The first suggestion that counselors give women is to stop blaming themselves for what happened. The victims of broken marriages (wives) often end up blaming themselves for pushing their husbands into infidelity. This is because people strongly believe in the “good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people theory”. The victim feels ashamed and foolish for not detecting the signs of infidelity earlier and to make matters worse, the betraying husband holds the wife responsible for his reckless actions making her believe that the ...
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