A couples of months back Willingness had the pleasure of bringing Professor Mehmet Sungur to our island who is a renowned Sex Therapist and Professor of Psychiatry for a workshop regarding the topic of infidelity. Recently I found myself pondering on this topic and its intricacies. I met a client and the client told me ‘I never thought I would do it’, and perhaps this is common statement when working with individuals who experience infidelity. Despite that an individual cannot believe that they have experienced another individual in an intimate manner, if we had to break it down within that relationship there is usually a part which has become dysfunctional within the couple, this usually presents itself as a need which is not being met for one or both of the partners. Reflecting on what was stated by Prof. Sungur; when a partner is contemplating infidelity, certain factors will be occurring within the individual’s life which can lead to the partner committing the act of infidelity:

– Confusion over needs

If one of the partners within a relationship feels like their needs are not being met, this might prompt the partner to find alternative methods to achieve their desired needs for example; the need to be loved or to be given attention.

– Disinhibition of Impulses

Due to the intensity of human needs, if a specific need remains unfulfilled then the individual would become increasingly frustrated to achieve that need. Thus one’s impulses become increasingly easily tempted to commit infidelity in order to achieve a need which remains unfulfilled within the relationship.

– Opportunity & Proximity to other individuals

Due to the hustle and bustle of life both partners interact with many individuals during their days. Thus the opportunity to seek out these needs with another person has become increasingly more available to individuals.

In conclusion; a remark which was discussed by Prof. Sungur was that love is necessary but not sufficient, a couple needs to constantly work on their relationship in order to maintain both of the partner’s’ needs. I state this due to the fact that as time passes the individuals within the couple change. Exploring this further; as the couple change, they need to be in constant contact in order to be cognizant of each others needs, to enhance the feelings of connection and belonging.

– Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on karl@willingness.com.mt.