“An emotional matter may be simply as hurtful as sexual infidelity.”

Clinical psychologist and divorce mediator Welmoet Bok says infidelity is about more than just sex.

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

She argues that infidelity is not just limited to physical intimacy, but can include emotional and financial infidelity as well.

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

There are secrets in the relationship … There are many different types of secrets.

Welmoet Bok, clinical psychologist

There really is infidelity [the] Breach of trust in whatever form. The sexual problem is a very big bomb.

Welmoet Bok, clinical psychologist

A lot of matters are not physical at all … it’s an emotional rather than a physical matter. It can be just as hurtful to the partner as physical infidelity.

Welmoet Bok, clinical psychologist

Bok says that not all couples survive infidelity.

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

[The relationship’s survival] It all depends on the couple, their strengths and weaknesses, and how committed they are to working through this process. It is very difficult 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 various reasons. Sometimes one partner gives an ultimatum and says, “If you don’t come to the consultation, it’s over.” It all depends on the agendas when they arrive.

Welmoet Bok, clinical psychologist

Listen to the weekend breakfast discussion with Sara-Jayne King:

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