Betrayal is one of the most traumatic events for a couple.
Exclusivity is one of the foundations of a winning love relationship, unless there are other agreements between the partners, such as in “open couples”. The important thing in these cases is that these decisions are shared and not suffered.
There are rare couples who survive a betrayal or who, if they stay together, then find their balance.
There are people who, in order to feel alive, must constantly have adrenaline rushes, called “sensation seekers”. They often engage in extreme sports and in everything that makes them feel strong sensations, they love the risk and can feel suffocated if they find themselves in an “ordinary” life; who has this characteristic is easy to use the betrayal to achieve this “thrill”.
The less courageous, on the other hand, can limit themselves to virtual betrayals, chats with old flames, sites with webcams, to “communicate” with strangers. Also, in this case, if the betrayal comes to light, the couple suffers an earthquake and risks crumbling.
You can betray because you feel neglected. In this regard, it is useful to underline how much we fall in love with the love we see reflected in the eyes of the partner. If it is missing, we can end up looking elsewhere for someone who makes us feel important. Knowing that the partner “is there”, seeing that he/she/they devote time to us, our need to feel appreciated is a universal need: the partner should be our first fan!
One can betray because love or harmony has ended; in this case, “rebuilding the relationship” will be a titanic undertaking. But, if under the ashes of a love that “seems” exhausted there is actually a small flame, this can be fed by an expert technician who will suggest various moves; brief strategic therapy in this regard has many resources to propose, the couple will be faced with a challenging but not impossible task.
If in the past there was a strong intimacy and transport, it will take little to awaken the “epidermal memory”, that is, that sensation on the skin that the other triggered.
In principle it is better to keep silent about the betrayal, in fact confessing it is a more selfish act than it would seem; common sense often overestimates the importance of sincerity. Those who confess will feel relieved (initially), those who suffer will be torn apart, the relationship will therefore be in serious danger. Better to keep the burden to yourself and commit to ensuring that it was, and remains, only a “parenthesis”, if what is important to us is the health of the couple.
Literally forgiving means “letting go”, a mental attitude that is more difficult to achieve but more productive; then get to no longer take it into consideration, pretend it didn’t happen, “bite the bullet”. If this is always present, it will be very easy to establish recriminations, spite, emotional and physical distances, which will worsen the situation.
The therapist can facilitate this process, for example by using the “add to reduce” stratagem. Helping the couple to create new memories of new and positive experiences to do together, which gradually obscure what we want to drop into oblivion; obviously, before this, it will be essential to work to understand what to do differently to prevent it from happening again.