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While there is very little agreement among clinicians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and researchers regarding the causes, origins and implications of infidelity, there seems to be a consensus that marriages can survive affairs and, with the right support, commitment, clinical interventions, and guidance, can even grow stronger. Infidelity is essentially disloyalty or unfaithfulness to a sexual partner in what was supposed to be a sexually exclusive relationship. Table of Contents: Introduction Infidelity Myths Infidelity Facts Approaches to Affairs and Infidelity Typology of Affairs Women and Affairs: Equal Opportunity Betrayal Four Phases in Dealing with, and Healing from, Affairs Clinical Guidelines Bibliography Online Resources This summary of the literature and research aims to provide a broad update and summary of the theories, research and therapeutic interventions regarding infidelity. The common belief is that affairs are about sex but, in fact, affairs are most often about secrecy, sexual attraction and sexual activities.During their professional careers, most marriage and couples psychotherapists have dealt with marital crises brought about by affairs.
Secret sexual or intimate online relationships constitute an affair even when they involve neither actual intercourse nor oral sex nor actual physical contact.
Adultery, unlike infidelity or affair, is a legal and biblical term.
The literature about affairs has struggled to differentiate between platonic friendships and emotional affairs.
The professional literature in the last couple of decades has provided increasingly helpful information and assistance to therapists by presenting statistics and data, mapping the complexities of marital infidelity and articulating helpful models to assist couples through the crisis.
Many authors in this area ground their work in Systems Theory, Family Systems, sex research, personality theory and Social Psychology.