What constitutes infidelity?
“Infidelity occurs when one partner in a relationship continues to believe that the agreement to be faithful is still in force, while the other is secretly violating it.”(Lusterman 1998)
An affair is a secret: emotionally, and or/sexually charged relationship a person has outside of a committed relationship, whether in person, by telephone or in cyberspace (Shelton, 2003).
Obsessive review occurs when a hurt partner repetitively mentally examines or analyzes aspects of the affair or of the relationship before, during, or after discovery (R. Weiss, 1975). This is seen as an attempt to achieve some mastery in the face of shock and helplessness, and to create a mental narration of events so they become part of an individual’s personal history.
If a secret affair is going on or continues after discovery, therapy cannot help the couple until it is revealed. When an affair is known but persisting, therapy that builds on a couple’s strengths may help the unfaithful partner feel some hope and therefore be willing to try a period of abstinence from the lover (Moultrup, 1990).