Psychology: Infidelity and Gambling and Their Impact on the Life of a Couple


A couple is a union between two people based on friendship and emotional attachment. These two individuals may be in a marriage institution, in engagement, or intimately connected, both lovingly and sexually. Couples often encounter challenges related to their happiness, which may be caused by their own actions or by external factors. These problems may affect their relationship and their life together. Couple therapists must be aware of these problems to help couples resolve them effectively. Two of the problems that affect the couples’ relationship are infidelity and gambling.


Hertlein and Weeks (2007) present issues that surround infidelity and the modern ways in which couples can overcome this problem, one of them being through a therapeutic process. Hertlein and Weeks (2007) state that many couples experience the challenge of infidelity, and that either one or both of the individuals in the relationship may be unfaithful. Infidelity is associated with having a single or multiple partners beside the other member of the couple. Partners who experience infidelity problems often feel betrayed, angered, humiliated, and disgraced, which adds more complications to both researchers and couple therapists. According to Hertlein and Weeks (2007), the society plays a significant role in an attempt to help solve the problem of infidelity. The way the society views infidelity can assist or jeopardize the social connection in a couple. Besides, forgiveness can act as a crucial social form of reconciling and overcoming the problem of infidelity, which couples can apply in order to continue with their relationship.

Gambling and Families

Kourgiantakis, Saint-Jacques, and Tremblay (2013) conducted a systemic review of studies that delve into the problem of gambling and family. The authors realized that few research studies unveil the actual problems that families experience whenever one or both partners engage in gambling activities. The authors found and evaluated “30 empirical studies conducted between 1998 and 2013” that researched the impact of gambling on families and the role of families in the therapeutic process (Kourgiantakis, Saint-Jacques, & Tremblay, 2013, p. 353). Kourgiantakis, Saint-Jacques, and Tremblay (2013) state that many families suffer from emotional, financial, and mental health problems associated with gambling. Besides, therapies can help mend the relations of couples experiencing negative effects of gambling (Wetchler & Hecker, 2015). However, such couples can overcome the problems associated with gambling even better through family-inclusive therapy programs, which can lead to improved family functioning.

A Comparison of how These Problems Affect Couples

Infidelity and gambling are both sources of problems in couples’ lives. Infidelity, which is characterized by having another partner or multiple partners, leads to various social problems, while gambling causes financial and emotional constraints in a couple. Both infidelity and gambling are associated with guilt, shame, and feelings of disgrace. Such feelings destroy a couple’s relationship, and one member of a couple feels as if the other partner does not love or appreciate him/her anymore (Kourgiantakis, Saint-Jacques, & Tremblay, 2013; Hertlein & Weeks, 2007). Many couples may become less intimate, with poor communication and interaction, which may lead to a divorce, especially if treatment therapies are not introduced in time, and this may leave the entire family in immense social and financial problems (Marín, Christensen, & Atkins, 2014). On the other hand, some people may choose to forgive their partners and continue to live together. However, many individuals still continue to live in pain and suffering, which may lead to stress and depression.


People usually form couples in order to lead a happy life or and have positive experiences. However, various problems can jeopardize the peace between the members of a couple. Some problems are caused directly by partners themselves, whereas external factors may lead to other problems. These sources of problems can affect their relationship and daily life, leaving them separated or in sheer pain and suffering. Both infidelity and gambling may have a significant negative impacts on the life of a couple. Couple therapists must comprehend the causes of such problems and learn about how a couple communicates in order to deal with the existing problems.