Exploring Infidelity throughout the Globe

Co-authored with Erin Dierickx LMFTA

Infidelity impacts roughly 1 in 3 {couples} in the USA alone (Spring, 2020). Western media usually depicts affairs as taboo and morally egregious, usually incurring societal scorn. Nevertheless, this social phenomenon is culturally influenced, whereas worldwide {couples} might view and reply to infidelity in a different way. 

Though non-Western cultures might face equally excessive infidelity prevalence charges, they could even be extra inclined to stay collectively. For instance, one examine revealed that China had greater charges of sexual infidelity than each the U.S. and France, however these {couples} have been much less prone to divorce (Zhang et al., 2012). 

The Variations across the World

In the end, cultural values can affect the best way individuals understand infidelity in Western versus non-Western international locations. Some examples embody however will not be restricted to:

Western Values Non-Western Values
Individualism (robust sense of autonomy)  Collectivism (robust sense of neighborhood)
Being profitable Remaining modest
Adopting change Sustaining custom
Give attention to the long run Give attention to the previous
Assertiveness (being direct) Indirectness 

Many sources information these values corresponding to faith, cultural background, historic experiences, and ecosystemic components, like socioeconomic standing (Penn, 1997). Figuring out the significance of those values, Gottman Methodology {Couples} Remedy considers every couple’s distinctive cultural contexts all through therapy. 

Gottman Methodology {Couples} Remedy Internationally

Gottman Methodology {Couples} Remedy is a research-driven strategy that constantly demonstrates effectiveness in addressing varied presenting points, together with managing battle, anticipating a child, lessening situational violence inside {couples}’ relationships, and betrayal (learn extra about this analysis here). 

Quite a few research additionally explored the effectiveness of the Gottman Methodology world wide. For instance, students confirmed that this {couples} remedy strategy not solely successfully decreased irrational beliefs about communication amongst Iranian {couples}, however {couples} have been additionally much less prone to divorce they usually demonstrated enhanced verbal and non-verbal communication abilities—with constructive results lasting 4 to 6 years later (Rajaei et al., 2019). In one other examine, Gottman Methodology {Couples} Remedy additionally improved marital adjustment and intimacy points with Iranian {couples} (Davoodvandi et al., 2018). 

Gottman Methodology for Treating Infidelity 

{Couples} construct their relationships on the pillars of belief and dedication. If belief is just not current or if it has been damaged on account of previous hurts or betrayals, that is the place therapy would begin to encourage relationship success. Betrayals can take many varieties together with sexual or emotional affairs, absenteeism, mendacity, and damaged guarantees (Gottman & Silver, 2013). Gottman Methodology {Couples} Remedy incorporates instruments to advertise dialogue, develop a deeper connection and construct the belief essential for a relationship to thrive, significantly after betrayal. In truth, because of the dire must help {couples} experiencing infidelity, the Gottmans developed a specialised strategy throughout the Gottman Methodology to handle the results of a betrayal on {couples}’ relationships.       

The Street to Restoration Following an Affair 

Following the invention of an affair, relationships face appreciable harm and ache. Belief is fractured, and the attachment safety of the connection is jeopardized. That is true for {couples} in dedicated relationships throughout the globe affected by infidelity. Because of this, Drs. John and Julie Gottman take a extra culturally generalizable view of infidelity, defining affairs as “Both a clandestine emotional or sexual liaison with somebody apart from the companion that violates…vows of sexual or romantic exclusivity. The liaison poses a menace to the first love relationship” (Gottman & Gottman, 2017, p. 95). 

Regardless of the emotional hardship that infidelity brings upon a relationship, affair restoration is feasible! 

The Gottmans (2017) developed the Belief Revival Methodology, a three-phase strategy uniquely suited to assist relationships get well from an affair. In truth, this intervention demonstrated a 75% success fee in an preliminary uncontrolled trial, treating {couples} following an affair (Gottman & Silver, 2013). 

These 3 phases are Atone, Attune, and Connect:

  • Atone: On this first part, expression of regret and full transparency are essential to efficiently transferring towards emotional restore. As well as, the companion who had an affair have to be keen to initially sit with the ache of the harm companion(s) for therapeutic to start. 
  • Attune: The attune part concentrates on processing the emotional wound attributable to the affair and setting the blueprint for the “new relationship.” Attunement additionally addresses wholesome battle administration abilities, which make sure that all companions really feel heard. 
  • Connect: After addressing the primary challenges within the atone and attune phases, relationships can transfer to the connect part. Right here, rebuilding emotional and bodily intimacy turns into the precedence.  {Couples} study methods to combine new shared meanings and rituals of connection. 

Though infidelity causes appreciable harm, an affair doesn’t should imply the top of your relationship! Licensed Gottman Therapists obtain in depth coaching within the Belief Revival Methodology and work alongside {couples} to assist them restore belief and transfer ahead following an affair’s discovery.  

Has your relationship skilled a sexual, emotional, or cyber-based affair? The Gottman Institute is at the moment conducting a world analysis examine on affair recovery and would love to incorporate {couples} from non-U.S. international locations. This examine is a collaboration between Drs. John and Julie Gottman, The Gottman Institute, Taylor Irvine, and Dr. Paul Peluso of Florida Atlantic College, in addition to taking part {couples} and therapists. In case you are a world couple in a dedicated relationship and have skilled an affair, study extra about how you can take part within the examine here.


Davoodvandi, M., Navabi Nejad, S., & Farzad, V. (2018). Inspecting the effectiveness of Gottman Couple Remedy on enhancing marital adjustment and {couples}’ intimacy.

Iranian journal of psychiatry, 13(2), 135–141.

Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (2017). Treating Affairs and Trauma (TAT). Medical handbook. The 

Gottman Institute. 

Gottman, J.M., & Silver, N. (2013). What makes love final?: The right way to construct belief and keep away from 

betrayal. Simon & Schuster. 

Penn, C. D., Hernández, S. L., & Bermúdez, J. M. (1997). Utilizing a cross-cultural perspective to 

perceive infidelity in {couples} remedy. American Journal of Household Remedy, 25(2), 169–185.

Rajaei, A., Daneshpour, M., & Robertson, J. (2019). The effectiveness of {couples} remedy based mostly 

on the Gottman methodology amongst Iranian {couples} with conflicts: A quasi-experimental examine. Journal of Couple & Relationship Remedy, 18(3), 223–240.

Spring, J. A. (2020). After the affair: Therapeutic the ache and rebuilding belief when a 

companion has been untrue (third ed.). HarperCollins.

Zhang, N., Parish, W. L., Huang, Y., & Pan, S. (2012). Sexual infidelity in China: prevalence 

and gender-specific correlates. Archives of sexual conduct, 41(4), 861–873.

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