Today, infidelity can no longer be defined in physical terms only. Think of it more globally as the keeping of secrets of sexual or emotional nature from the person you are in an intimate relationship with.
Because of the vast array of ‘cheating possibilities’ it is easy for some people to get hooked on engaging in behavior that could be described as chronic infidelity.
Smart phones, Facebook, online chats, and Ashley Madison have given infidelity and adultery new ways of being carried out. In the Internet age, online infidelity and casual sexual hookups via streaming video are just a few of the many ways that infidelity can take place, even without any physical contact between those engaging in the behavior.
Webcam and smart phone cheating allows people who are sometimes halfway around the world from each other to engage in “live” sexual encounters, without ever actually touching.
Those who repeatedly engage in e-mail infidelity and chat room cheating loose themselves and their lives in a world of erotic words and picture exchanges that sometimes lead to live hookups.
Despite the technological advances offered by the Internet, what hasn’t changed when engaging in ongoing infidelity, is the amount of time and emotional energy taken away from important relationships and family life. While the person doing the behavior often rationalizes by saying, “I wasn’t cheating, I never touched anyone,” spouses /partners often feel different. Our experience has been that the person cheated on experiences - the painful emotional absence and distance of a cheating partner mostly the same whether that partner is engaged in cybersex, webcam cheating or having a physical affair. They repeatedly express that the hurt and pain, caused by emotional distance, and promiscuous sexual behavior, is the same, whether or not the partner is having ‘live sex’ or engaging in online cyber sex.
Some warning sign of chronic infidelity:
If you chronically engage in infidelity even though you have told yourself multiple times you will not do this again you might be suffering from sex addiction or a related issue.
If you are a spouse or significant other who has come to realize that you are married or in a relationship with a person who is continously unfaithful you might be looking at the symptoms of sex addiction.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where one partner persistently denies the reality of the other partner (via consistent lying, bullying, and obfuscating the facts), causing that person, over time, to doubt her (or his) perception of truth, facts, and reality. Some people may be familiar with this term thanks to Gaslight, the 1944 Oscar winning film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In the story, a husband (Boyer) tries to convince his new wife (Bergman) that she’s imagining things, in particular the occasional dimming of their home’s gas lights. (This is part of his plan to rob her of some very valuable jewelry.) Over time, the wife, who trusts that her husband loves her and would never hurt her, starts to believe his lies and to question her perception of reality.
Treatment at NYCSAT will focus on developing a relapse prevention plan for you, help you with risk recognition and identifying triggers. Another important aspect of therapy will be to learn to identify real feelings and needs without sexualizing them. In addition, treatment will focus on addressing the underlying issue(s) of your compulsive and addictive behavior to build a solid foundation for your recovery and healing.
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