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During their professional careers, most marriage and couples psychotherapists have dealt with marital crises brought about by affairs.While extramarital affairs are very common, couples psychotherapists are often uninformed about how to address the infidelity crisis. In fact, almost a third of all marriages may need to confront and deal with the aftermath of extramarital affairs and women's infidelity statistics are swiftly catching up to those of men. Even more bad news is that Internet or online affairs have become extremely prevalent and, some claim, pose one of the biggest threats to modern marriage.
Similarly, there is some confusion between infidelity, an affair and extramarital sexuality.
The marital infidelities of many famous people have been dealt with publicly. Actors and actresses have long provided endless material to the tabloids on affairs and infidelity.
The good news is that extramarital affairs are survivable and marriages can even grow stronger when members of the couple deal constructively with the affair by facing it, apologizing and ultimately forgiving or by simply accepting it. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Thomas Jefferson and French President Francois Mitterand (whose mistress stood beside his wife at his funeral) and other public figures, such as Prince Charles, Marion Barry, Gary Hart, Frank Gifford, poet James Dickey, writer John Cheever, Martin Luther King, television evangelist Jim Bakker and Representative Bob Livingston, Eleanor Roosevelt was strongly rumored to have had an affair with journalist Lorena Hickok and similar rumors surrounded Princess Diana extra marital affair.
Another example is a man who discovers his homosexuality in the later part of his marriage and comes to an agreement with his wife that they will stay married but both will pursue extramarital sexual relationships.
In this example, extramarital sexual relationships are neither associated with betrayal or unfaithfulness nor do they involve deceit and secrecy.
They also adopt theories and research generated by sociologists, anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists.