Infidelity is one of the most prevalent presenting problems in relational therapy. There are many conceptualizations of the healing process following infidelity and suggested interventions and treatment plans. Forgiveness is an essential part of relationship growth and healing interpersonal hurts. Reconciliation is relationship repair that can accompany forgiveness. In addition, restoring trust is essential to reconciliation. Means to accomplish rebuilding trust must be established. This study seeks to expand understanding of the treatment of infidelity specifically on the topics of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration of trust through disclosure. The Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation and Trust Scale (FvRTS) was developed as a measure for therapists' views and perception concerning these three topics. Through statistical analysis of the FvRTS, which was administered to relational therapists, this study investigates the views and opinions held by therapists concerning the relationship between reconciliation and forgiveness and the role of disclosure, both initial and ongoing, in restoring trust following infidelity. Therapists conveyed the view that reconciliation is not required for forgiveness. However, in their practice they encourage reconciliation following an affair. Results indicated that therapists perceive initial disclosure as having immediate negative impacts. But overall, therapists expressed a strong view that both initial and ongoing disclosure have a positive long term impact on relational healing.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





forgiveness, forgiving, reconciliation, trust, disclosure, Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation and Trust Scale