Q&A Why Am I Supposed to Accept the Label 'Unfaithful'?

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With respect to the amount of healing that has occurred between my wife and I, I'm at the point where I am finally getting over the shame of being unfaithful. However, I am lumped into a group with a shameful moniker. How is the name “Unfaithful” supposed to inspire recovery? I am struggling with this. I am not in denial. I own my transgressions however, the truth is I was unfaithful, but I am not unfaithful now nor do I plan on being unfaithful in the future. Today it is more accurate to say I am “keeping the faith." The American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not categorize patients by labeling them with a term that is morally loaded with judgement like the term “unfaithful”. The accurate clinical term for us and our spouses according the APA is “active” and “inactive” partners. So my question is why am I supposed to accept the label “unfaithful?” I feel this term does not inspire genuine sharing and does not facilitate a safe environment where both spouses have an equal say in the issue. I cite the volume of discussions on the "Unfaithful Men" Thread versus the "Betrayed" thread as an example of this idea.



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I like to use "people first"

I like to use "people first" language, like the spouse who was unfaithful or the spouse who was wayward. For a sex addict, I'd use a person with a sexual addiction.

Yes. I like that approach,

Yes. I like that approach, Kathy1531. As “the Betrayed” I do feel a bit of ascribed victimhood with this label. I much prefer “Wayward” and “Injured” as Rick suggests.

What type of affair was it?

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