The process of couple healing following infidelity: A qualitative study

Mark H. Bird, Mark H. Butler, Stephen T. Fife

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infidelity can have a devastating effect on marriages and individuals. This qualitative study explores the process of healing from infidelity and therapist behaviors that facilitate this process. In-depth client interviews suggest that healing occurs as couples pass through a seven-step process: (1) exploration of emotions and thoughts surrounding the infidelity, (2) expression of these to their partner, (3) development of empathy, (4) softening of emotions, (5) acceptance of personal responsibility and reduction of blame, (6) establishment of accountability, and (7) restoration of trust. While initially these factors occur sequentially, the process gradually becomes non-linear. Therapist behaviors which facilitate healing from infidelity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 14 2007

Keywords

  • Affair
  • Couples therapy
  • Infidelity
  • Marital therapy
  • Treatment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The process of couple healing following infidelity: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this