In my last post I reviewed the five stages of grief as outlined by Elizabeth Kubler Ross in her book “On Death and Dying. As I pointed out, while the stages of grief and loss were originally introduced to help people understand reactions to death, these stages are equally applicable to other forms of loss that may occur. In this post, I will focus specifically on the form of trauma and loss with which I am all too often asked to assist, that of infidelity in relationships. What is (In)Fidelity? The meaning of the word fidelity may be debated with regard to the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in relationships, but strictly speaking, fidelity is defined as “strict observance of promises and duties, loyalty, conjugal faithfulness, adherence to fact or detail, and accuracy or exactness.” As this definition shows, fidelity is multifaceted. Many times, disagreements and conflicts over fidelity within relationships are based on different values with regard to any one or more of these facets. However, typically when we refer to infidelity, we are referring to sexual or romantic interaction outside the bounds of the marriage or relationship to which one is expected to be committed. Infidelity has existed as long as values that promote fidelity have existed. It […]