Can MDMA Therapy Heal Infidelity?

Can MDMA Therapy Heal Infidelity?

Ed and Mary had been in my psychotherapy office for over eight months, but they were getting nowhere. A year earlier, Ed had been caught having an affair, and the relationship was spiraling down into a potentially messy divorce. The only thing keeping them together were the three kids at home and a financial situation with no easy means to separate. Amidst this desperate situation, I was trying to help them understand each other. As they sat on opposite sides of my office couch, I knew I had to make a “hail Mary” attempt at helping them before things got even worse. 

Way back in 1984, I had completed my master’s thesis on the therapeutic effects of MDMA, often referred to as Ecstasy or Molly. Since that time, I have been an “underground” MDMA guide for countless couples. Over the years, I had seen how couples who took MDMA together—along with my help-- could often repair broken relationships in a matter of hours. Having run out of traditional talk therapy options, I suggested to Ed and Mary that they try a five-hour session with me while partaking in MDMA. Because they knew their only other option was a nasty divorce, they agreed to give it a try. 

Infidelity—also known as cheating—is quite common in marriage and even more common among non-married partners. Once trust is broken in a relationship, it can be a long, slow slog to restore what’s left of the partnership. Counseling can sometimes help, but all too often it devolves into animosity, blame, and the feeling of rubbing salt into an open wound. Couples often take turns presenting their “case” to me of how right they are, expecting me to declare them fully innocent and their partner wholly guilty. Of course, I don’t oblige—which often leads to both of them being upset at me. 

One way out of this downward spiral is to get a couple to agree to an MDMA journey together. Before MDMA became a dance party drug in the 1980’s, it was considered an almost magical elixir for helping couples repair or enhance their relationship. In the case of my clients, Ed and Mary, they were so invested in blaming each other that I wasn’t sure that even an MDMA journey would help much. However, with no good options, the three of us booked a time to spend five hours together while they were both on the medicine. 

In 2017, the FDA declared MDMA to be a “breakthrough therapy” for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Soon, the FDA is likely to change the status of MDMA from an illegal drug to one that can be medically proscribed. Never in the FDA’s history have they rescheduled an illegal drug to become a legal medicine. Yet, decades of studies have shown that MDMA is both safe and highly effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions. One of the conditions MDMA has been known to treat is that of helping couples overcome their challenges and return to a place of love and forgiveness. 

When Ed and Mary entered my office for the “big day,” it started off poorly. They sat on opposite sides of my long couch, and they wouldn’t even look at each other as they swallowed the pills they had secured from one of their friends. Before the drug took effect, I gave them an overview of what they could expect, and answered all their questions. About 40 minutes into the session, I could tell the drug was starting to transmit its magic. At just the right time, I suggested they remember what they initially found so attractive in each other. As they held each other’s hands, I had them say the qualities they appreciated in each other, and as they did this, I could see their anger and defensiveness melt away. 

Trying to repair broken trust with someone you feel has betrayed you and tried to hurt you is almost impossible. On the other hand, restoring trust with someone you feel love toward is rather easy. While Ed and Mary reminisced about when they first fell in love, they glowed like newlyweds. Soon, they were professing that they really did love each other and were both committed to working things out. At that point, I thought it was a ripe time to bring up the affair. I had them each ask questions from a place of curiosity, trying to understand what had led to the infidelity. Instead of anger and blame, there was understanding and apologies from both sides. It was an honor to witness. 

I often get asked if the feelings of love and connection that occur during a couple’s MDMA journey translate into greater connection when they’re not on the medicine. The short answer is “yes,” but only if the therapist or coach knows how to gently guide the couple in the right way. Relationships are complex, and each couple brings a lot of past baggage into their partnership. My job is to help them see that blame never works, and that love, understanding, and problem-solving skills are needed to make their partnership blossom. The love and connection that an MDMA journey can foster is a crucial first step, but then there needs to be a step-by-step follow-up that leads the couple down an entirely new path. 

Since my book “Communication Miracles for Couples” became a bestseller many years ago, I’ve worked with over 150 couples using MDMA as a catalyst for repairing broken trust. With the help of MDMA and various therapeutic tools, I’ve consistently been able to create miraculous breakthroughs in broken relationships. It’s incredibly fulfilling work. In an attempt to share what I’ve learned, I will soon begin offering an 8 month program for training therapists and guides in how to help couples with the use of MDMA. Once this leading-edge therapy becomes more widely available, I feel it will dramatically increase the love and joy couples experience together. 

One year after Ed and Mary’s MDMA journey, I’m happy to say that they are now more in love than ever. During the later part of their MDMA session, Ed and Mary worked through some difficult issues with compassion. During their journey, they agreed to some commitments that have helped keep love and honesty alive in their relationship. With the help of a magic molecule, Ed and Mary went from animosity and alienation to appreciation and admiration in a few short hours. In this age where so many couples suffer from broken trust, a guided MDMA journey can be a breakthrough way to restore the love in any relationship.

Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, author of 15 books, and the lead teacher for the upcoming MDMA Couples Facilitator Training offered by The Shift Network. For more info, go to, or click on the image below: 

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