'An emotional affair can be equally as hurtful as sexual infidelity'

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Qama Qukula

214 days ago
'An emotional affair can be equally as hurtful as sexual infidelity' © bialasiewicz/123rf.com

Bok, who runs a mediation practice in Cape Town, says infidelity is more about secrecy and broken trust.

She argues that infidelity is not only limited to physical intimacy, and can include emotional and financial infidelity too.

At the same time, what constitutes cheating may differ from couple to couple.

There are secrets kept in the relationship... There are a lot of different types of secrets.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

Infidelity is really around [the] breaking of trust, in whatever form that takes. The sexual issue is a very huge bomb.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

A lot of affairs aren't physical at all... It's more an emotional affair than a physical affair. For the partner, that can be equally as hurtful as physical infidelity.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

Bok says not all couples survive infidelity.

Many couples who come to her practice for counselling underestimate how much it takes to overcome the betrayal, she tells CapeTalk host Sara-Jayne King.

[The relationship's survival] all depends on the couple, their strengths and weaknesses, and how committed they are to work through this process. It's very hard and it takes a long time.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

I think most couples underestimate how long and painful the recovery process will be.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

People arrive [in my office] for all sorts of different reasons. Sometimes the one partner will give an ultimatum and say, 'Unless you along for counselling, it's over". It all depends on the agendas when they arrive.

Welmoet Bok, Clinical psychologist

Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'An emotional affair can be equally as hurtful as sexual infidelity'

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