The recent Ashley Madison hack has made infidelity front-page news. And I’m sure you couldn’t help but think – did my spouse have an account? Maybe you even searched the hacked files for your spouse’s name.

Infidelity can destroy marriages. Even strong marriages. And in the wake of a cheating spouse, you are left with betrayal, anger, guilt, and insecurity.

While statistics on infidelity probably aren’t 100% accurate due to couples wanting to keep their privacy, research estimates that one-quarter to 60 percent of married couples will engage in some sort of infidelity during their marriage. These numbers might even be a bit conservative when you remember that nearly half of marriages end in divorce.

Even though you don’t plan to cheat on your spouse when you get married, there’s always the thought of what if. What if my spouse cheats on me? What if I cheat on my spouse? On some level – even if we don’t think about it on a day-to-day basis – we all know that there’s always a possibility.

So why is cheating on our minds?

There are tons of reasons out there. Cheating is prevalent everywhere we go. We talk about it more openly. It’s depicted on TV shows and movies. And with all of the technology we use on a regular basis, cheating seems easier than ever – if not inevitable. The internet and social culture we perpetuate seems to only help infidelity with the existence of e-mail, texting, chats, and the recent development of apps that can hide texts and pictures or even make them disappear. Read more

This August, a team of hackers exposed the adultery website Ashley Madison’s database of 37 million users. The website is a dating platform targeted at married individuals seeking to cheat on their spouses. On the homepage, the company claims, “Ashley Madison is the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”

To many, the sheer size of their user database came as a shock. The revelation that the vast majority of users were men was somewhat less surprising. Both men and women cheat on their spouses. But the reasons they cheat are often quite different. Read more

In Houston relationship counseling, one of the toughest marriage problems that my clients face is an affair, but many couples are able to get through it together and come out stronger on the other side. An important step in healing after an affair is reestablishing trust.

Talk about the Affair in Houston Relationship Counseling

As a first instinct, the cheating partner may be reluctant to talk about what happened. After all, they don’t want to cause their partner more hurt than they already have. But keeping details a secret can actually cause more doubts for your spouse. The truth may be hurtful, but it’s an important step towards rebuilding trust. As it can be difficult to do, you may want to go to Houston relationship counseling to talk it through.

It is also crucial that the cheating spouse severs all ties with the person they were having a relationship with. This can be hard to do since often this third party was also a friend and confidant. He or she may be someone you look to talk to during this difficult time. But in order to focus on your marriage and rebuild trust, you cannot maintain a relationship, even a friendship, with this outside person anymore.

Additionally, for a period of time, the partner who had the affair may have to report about where he or she is going to be at all times. The key is to be patient. You can’t expect things to go back to normal quickly. In many cases, it takes months or years, but once you have regained your partner’s trust and worked through your marriage issues, most couples find that they are actually stronger, healthier, and happier than they were before the affair took place.

If you are coping with an affair, I encourage you to seek help and work through your marriage problems in Houston relationship counseling.

In my work Houston relationship counseling, I stay up-to-date on the latest research in psychology. A recent study on willpower by Roy F. Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University, caught my eye. He talks about how willpower isn’t a fixed trait; it’s something that fluctuates for everyone.

“Making decisions uses the very same willpower that you use to say no to doughnuts, drugs or illicit sex,” Baumeister says in a recent NY Times article. “It’s the same willpower that you use to be polite or to wait your turn or to drag yourself out of bed or to hold off going to the bathroom. Your ability to make the right investment or hiring decision may be reduced simply because you expended some of your willpower earlier when you held your tongue in response to someone’s offensive remark or when you exerted yourself to get to the meeting on time.”

In a global survey of over a million people, self-control ranked dead last when people were asked to name their greatest personal strengths. When asked about their failings? A lack of self-control was at the top of the list. Our struggle with willpower seems to be a universal experience.

So what does this mean for your relationship? Be aware that you are more likely to make poor decisions at the end of the day, when your willpower has dwindled. Add alcohol to the mix, and it can be even harder to resist temptation. So, grabbing a drink after work with an attractive co-worker? Not a good idea.

But it also means that if you are dealing with relationship problems at the end of the day and about to rush out to get a divorce lawyer, sleep on it. You will be in a better place to make an important decision like that when you’re refreshed the next morning, and may find that getting Houston relationship counseling is a better option.

Seek Help in Houston Relationship Counseling

If you are struggling with avoiding an affair, it’s likely that you are struggling with relationship problems at home. Baumeister found that the most successful people don’t use their willpower as a last defense. Instead, they conserve willpower through preparation and prevention. That means, getting help for a problem before it gets out of control. Do this for your marriage by seeking Houston relationship counseling.