Thought for the Week

Timothy D. Stein, MFT, CSAT
October 1, 2018

“I define infidelity as the breaking of trust that occurs when you keep intimate, meaningful secrets from your primary romantic partner.” –Rob Weiss

When does sexual behavior become infidelity?  There are many ways to define infidelity and addicts in denial use them all.  “It’s only porn, I didn’t have a relationship with someone else.”  “I was only sexting and chatting, I don’t even know what they look like.”  “It was only swapping pictures and video chatting, I didn’t actually have sex with them.”  “Oral sex isn’t really sex.”  “Wedding vows are only good within a 150 mile radius.  Beyond that it’s not cheating.”  Infidelity is not effectively defined by a behavior or a location.  It is best defined by knowledge.  It is important that your partner knows about and condones your sexual behaviors.  Are you keeping a sexual behavior secret or minimizing a sexual behavior?  If your answer is “Yes,” “Kind of,” “Maybe,” “Not really,” “Not technically,” or “I’m not sure,” then it is infidelity.  The sooner you accept that, the sooner your relationship can start healing.

When have I kept secrets about my sexual behavior?  How did I justify this?  What gifts await me as I acknowledge any infidelities and the pain they have caused?