A leading sex therapist and relationship counsellor has revealed there are times when an affair can rescue a marriage that’s headed for the rocks.
Australian expert and author Matty Silver said while she doesn’t condone infidelity as such, there are times when this type of event can strengthen a bond.
While delving into why a partner has strayed can be painful doing so can uncover reasons a relationship may have failed – and what can be done to repair it.
‘Starting to understand how an affair happened can provide clarity and give answers to the many questions a couple may feel are still unanswered,’ she told
Discovering your partner has strayed can be devastating, however, there are times it can also be the catalyst for change, according to Australian sex therapist Matty Silver (stock image)
Although it can be difficult to openly discuss why either party has strayed, doing so offers a chance to understand a relationship’s weak spots.
‘This is not about assigning blame, but finding out where the roots of the infidelity started so they can make decisions on how their relationship can go forward,’ the therapist said.
Matty said while monogamy might be the expectation when a couple decides to settle down, it’s rare the possibility of infidelity is even discussed.
Monogamy might be the expectation when a couple decides to settle down, however, it’s rare the possibility of extra-martial affairs is even discussed (stock image)
Matty Silver (pictured) said an honest conversation about an affair is not about assigning blame
She said although people are marrying later and have had some experience with others – this doesn’t automatically translate to an agreement about fidelity.
‘There is a rather unforgiving attitude towards infidelity in Australia, which I believe is damaging and driving couples to divorce and causing children to suffer,’ she said.
Today, cheating isn’t limited to physically meeting up with another to have sex.
The therapist said infidelity falls into a broad range of categories which can include internet chat room sex, massages with a sexual aspect or sexting or texting.
Flirting with colleagues along with fantasising about another while having sex with your current partner is also included.
How can cheating help save a relationship?
* Throwing a partner out of the house after you find out about cheating is never a good idea, especially if there are kids involved.
* Once you have found out, calm down and tell as few people as you can.
* People do not often cheat because they intend to hurt their partner – rather they just feel under-appreciated or crave intimacy.
* Try to understand an affair and how it happened. This can help to provide clarity and give answers to the questions a couple may feel are unanswered.
* Try to deconstruct the affair, rather than assigning blame.
* Get to the roots of where the infidelity started, and make decisions on your relationship going forward.
Matty is the author of a new book, Sex Down Under (pictured)
Matty outlined some of the reasons why men and women start affairs, something that’s not always related to sex.
She said people may feel ignored or neglected in their current relationship which means they’re seeking intimacy with others, along with feelings of being wanted, needed or desired.
Speaking previously to
‘More important than the frequency of sex is how satisfied couples are with their sex lives,’ she said.
‘Less sex doesn’t automatically equate to less love, happiness and fulfilment, especially for couples who have been together for a long time.
‘Instead, for them, companionship, trust and mutual reliability are often more important than tonnes of steamy sex.’