Most committed couples expect their partner to be monogamous within the relationship. When this expectation is violated by infidelity, it results in feelings of anger and deep betrayal. It is possible for the primary relationship to survive infidelity if the partners wish to save it and are willing to take the path to recovery.

There are different types of infidelity, and different people define it in different ways. An emotional connection that does not progress to a sexual relationship is seen as cheating by some partners but not by others. This type of bond is often seen when the contact happens online or over the phone, and it can be quite intense.

Almost every partner will label a sexual relationship as infidelity. If the contact is only sexual, with no emotional attachment, it may be easier for the faithful partner to forgive the episode. The most devastating circumstance is when the unfaithful partner is both emotionally and sexually involved with someone outside the primary relationship.

Couples often seek therapy after an episode of infidelity to decide if they wish to continue their bond. The role of the therapist is to give the partners a place to openly discuss their feelings and expectations and help them determine their goals for the future.

If a couple decides to try to save their relationship, they can use therapy to find ways to heal the rift between them and regain trust in each other. If they decide to part, therapy can help each person individually to deal with their negative feelings for their partner and perhaps themselves and move forward with healthier relationship-building skills.

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