The Connection Between Desire & Infidelity

The Connection Between Desire & Infidelity

I have been seeing couples for 25 years. One of the specialties I offer is helping couples heal after the devastation of infidelity. There are generally many contributing factors to when this happens within a committed intimate relationship. Although the discovery may initially feel earth-shattering, seemingly completely out of "left field," there are often clues along the way once the betrayed partner looks back on the relationship to see when the relationship started to go off the rails...  


The pain of infidelity is often indescribable. However, if there is one insight that I can offer to couples to help prevent it from ever happening, it is to understand the incredibly potent role of desire. If you think back to the early days of your romantic relationship, you will likely recall a period that felt exciting and intoxicating. Some people call it feeling "in love," while clinically we term it, "limerance." In this state, what feels so addicting is being seen through an overwhelmingly positive lens, where all our wonderful traits become amplified and appreciated. It's a feeling of finally being seen. There is a deep sense of feeling valued and admired. This is typically the hook that invites people to open themselves up further and begin developing some form of intimacy with another person.


What often happens in committed relationships over time is that we forget to keep making our partner feel special. That is one of the biggest kisses of death that I've observed in relationships that are struggling. The key here is to remember that EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL DESIRED. It's programmed into our DNA. Everyone wants to feel loved, validated, cherished, and adored. When that falls away from our intimate relationship, it leaves partners ripe for being seen by another, potentially leading to infidelity. 


If a person is not feeling desired by their intimate partner, there becomes a growing need to have it filled by another. Sometimes we don't notice how big the need is until it starts to be met again, which because it feels so amazing, can start to feel rather addictive. Often, there will be someone else who notices the wonderful things you may have forgotten about your partner...perhaps their wit and charm, their warmth, or even their attractiveness. Just remember, EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL DESIRED. If you're not actively trying to do it with your partner, it's a safe bet that there will be someone else who will...

Therefore, if you want to shore up the boundaries of your intimate relationship, focus on making your partner feel desired again like you did in the beginning. It's an investment that can have a lifetime of payoffs! 

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