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Affairs come in many shades of grey and a sexual relationship is not necessary to classify an extramarital relationship as cheating. Emotional infidelity isn't any better (or worse) than physical infidelity. Both can have devastating effects on a relationship/marriage.

So what then is infidelity? While each relationship is different, a good Litmus test is: If you wouldn't tell your partner about the interaction or if you have tried to "cover your tracks" to minimize or hide your involvement (i.e asking a friend to lie for you), there may be more to your relationship with "the other" than you're willing to admit to yourself or others.

In today's digital world, infidelity is often complicated by instant communication via cellphone, text, email and social media. It is easy to become overly-intimate with someone online or through texting because the internet barrier creates a false sense of distance.

Emotionally connecting or flirting with someone while your spouse is sleeping next to you, or is at home with the children while you are out, is creating an unfair dynamic that can quickly escalate. For example, turning to someone outside the relationship (whether in person or online) to meet your emotional needs, give you the attention you crave, who listens to your disappointment about your current marriage, may lead one to believe the current spouse cannot provide for these needs. This may ultimately produce distance in the marriage that may then be used to justify a potential abandonment of the marriage.

Let’s face it, no one can compete with the excitement and novelty of an affair (sexual or not) because it is secret, dangerous, passionate and new. Interestingly, National Geographic reports that relationships that take place in exciting or new environments create the chemical reactions that feel like love and the newness and secrecy of the relationship also make it feel like love. There is little reality to an affair because both individuals are not in their normal environment.

The good news is, many couples do overcome infidelity. You just don't hear about it too much because they keep it to themselves, unlike a break-up or divorce. Couples should understand though that while therapy can help, it requires commitment from both parties. When both parties want to salvage the relationship, there is a strong possibility of recovery.

My approach to affair recovery is based on the work of Dr. John Gottman who is regarded as the country's foremost relationship expert. My training in this approach will help you address the issues leading to and resulting in the affair. Just as important, the feelings of hurt, humiliation, trauma and betrayal have to be talked out. If you would like to learn more about the Gottman approach to affair recovery, please click on this link

If you would like help working through the difficult process of affair recovery, I am willing to gently support and guide both of you towards rebuilding trust and faithfulness again.