Surviving Infidelity
with Abe Kass, M.A. R.S.W., R.M.F.T.


Cheating Men Are from Mars; Cheating Women from Venus

If you think you know what your partner is going through after your relationship has been rocked by infidelity, think again.
In my many years serving as a relationship therapist, having counseled hundreds of couples, I have concluded that men and women have gender-based relationship instincts, and hence respond differently to infidelity. As such, healing from infidelity needs to be gender specific.


Scarlett Johansson’s Comments in Playboy Will Help Some People Rationalize Infidelity

In all likelihood, the women and men who make their way to Psych Central and my Surviving Infidelity blog already know the pain of infidelity.

Readers here recognize the absurdity of the many cultural messages that regularly bombard us suggesting that somehow infidelity is harmless or – far worse – even beneficial to married people and others in committed relationships.

Nonetheless, the drumbeat persists, and both men and women – thinking with their hormones, not their heads – continue to screw up their lives, and the lives of their children and other loved ones, in the false belief that infidelity is a natural, healthy, victimless, indulgence.

The newest member of the “It’s Only Natural” chorus is megastar Scarlett Johansson, a Hollywood sex symbol and, according to Forbes magazine, the top-grossing box office draw in 2016.


Talking to Your Children When You’re On the Rebound from Infidelity

No single article or series of articles can adequately address all the ways in which infidelity can impact children. Whether toddlers or young adults, the children of a couple in the throes of infidelity are an unintentional party to the indiscretion and its many repercussions.

Week in and week out, on Psych Central I address couples who are committed to rebuilding the foundation of trust, respect, and love that infidelity shakes. Infidelity need not be a lifelong sentence. It can be overcome, and couples can actually emerge from the process with a stronger, more durable bond.

When children live in the home of a recovering couple, and even when adult children no longer live at home but are close to their parents, a difficult recovery process becomes even more challenging. Now, the needs and emotions of both partners must be considered in light of the needs and emotions of a child or children.

Family & Friends

Infidelity is a Private Matter: The More Private the Better

Infidelity is a private matter. In my experience, the best hope of repairing a relationship damaged by infidelity comes when both partners are very discreet about whom they share their difficulties with and how much detail they offer. My rule of thumb is simple: the fewer people who know, and the less they know, the better.

You might wonder why? After all, infidelity is such an emotional body blow that it’s only natural to seek support and solace from family and close friends, especially in the days and weeks immediately following the betrayal’s revelation.


The Language of Infidelity Matters

When it comes to the topic of infidelity, there are no neutral words.

The subject is one that is emotionally charged – and so, too, is the lexicon most commonly associated with it.

“He’s a cheater.”

“She’s an adulteress.”

“He’s a philanderer.”

“She made a cuckold of him.”

“He was unfaithful.”

“She two-timed him.”

As a relationship therapist, I carefully chose the words I use in discussing infidelity with individuals or couples. My goal is never to understate the severity of the behavior – rather, it is to cauterize the wounds so that healing can begin.

The days and weeks that follow the revelation of infidelity are fraught with relationship land mines. How couples respond to the revelation – in words and deeds – can be more destructive to the marriage or partnership than the infidelity, itself.