This week on Swoon Julie and Gina talk about infidelity and cheating. They share some of the themes that come up in their office. They explain what “counts as cheating,” share some of the reasons people cheat and also talk about the possibility of repairing your relationship after infidelity.
“I talk with a lot of people within the first week or two after discovering an affair and most people say, “I feel like I'm riding a roller coaster, like I'm so close to my partner one minute and then so far away. So hopeful then hopeless. So full of rage and then full of grief. Up and down and up and down.”
“So often we have unspoken expectations in relationship. And we may not even realize it until the expectation isn't met.”
“A lot of folks will say 'It wasn't cheating because we didn’t have sex.'”
“An affair is nonconsensual intimacy with secrecy.”
“It's not really about the intention of the person. The damage is about the impact on the other partner, even if the intention wasn't meant to be harmful.”
“Far too often we lose ourselves in our relationships.”
“I see a lot of folks who don't have enough space or autonomy in their relationship. It wasn't even so much about the other person, but it was about experiencing myself in a new way.”
“It can be helpful (and also hard for people) to look at the broader picture of 'how did we get here?'”
“Part of rebuilding trust is learning to trust your intuition, learning to speak up for yourself and ask questions.”
“There still be cheating in a nonmonogamous relationships.”
“Infidelity doesn't mean that the relationship has to be over.”
“I've seen relationships repair after infidelity, and I've seen people not repair but stay together because they don't want to break up, and I've seen people end relationships as well.”
“One of the hardest pieces to work through is self betrayal.”
“Getting support from a professional is vitally important. Everyone around you is going to give you advice through the lens of their own experience.”
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Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
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Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
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