Infidelity in Marriage; What is cheating?

A wife finds her husband looking at pornography. A husband learns that his wife has been sleeping with their neighbor. A woman admits to her new boyfriend that she still talks on the phone regularly with her ex. Which of these examples involves infidelity?

The answer is: sometimes, all of them; other times, none of them. What defines infidelity first and foremost is the presence of a secret outside the relationship, whether online or in person, sexual or emotional. The common element in all affairs is the presence of dishonesty.

In this brief video clip from my interview with Rich Simon, editor of the Psychotherapy Networker, I explain how porn-watching habits, sexual liaisons, and even meeting an old flame for coffee can be considered infidelity. The definition of cheating depends on the level of disclosure and a couple’s prearranged definitions of monogamy—and where the indiscretion falls on the monogamy continuum.

In the next Psychotherapy Networker Webcast series The Changing Face of Marriage, I will share tips on how to help struggling couples recover from affairs. This series also covers everything you need to understand about the new norms surrounding intimacy, marriage, divorce, boundaries, privacy, and related issues. Plus you get “how-to” guidance on working confidently and effectively in a landscape of changing attitudes from leading innovators Esther Perel, William Doherty, Pat Love, Terry Real, Joe Kort and myself.

Remember: use code NELSON30 to redeem the extended early bird discount!

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