Are you wondering if your marriage can survive the aftermath of an affair?
- Are you still reeling emotionally from the shock of having the affair exposed?
- Has the foundation of your relationship – the trust, respect and love that connected you and your partner – suffered damage from infidelity?
- Are you and your partner struggling to talk to each other, afraid to discuss the affair, or has the communication become hostile and unproductive?
- Do you feel betrayed, guilty or highly anxious about what the future might hold?
- Do you feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster that you just can’t get off of?
- Are you struggling to sort out your feelings, wondering if it is even possible to move past the affair?
Affairs threaten the security of relationships and trigger feelings of self-doubt, confusion and deep hurt. Affairs can build walls and create awkwardness between partners. Often, following a betrayal, each partner can be overwhelmed by an avalanche of intense emotions. Feelings of fear, anger, guilt, shame and betrayal can flood your capacity to cope effectively with the day-to-day details of living. Affair-recovery may feel like something impossible to achieve.
Many couples struggle with repairing their marriage after an affair.
While affairs are more common than many of us would like to admit (Statistics show over 70-80% of married couples struggle with this issue sometime during the course of their marriage), they don’t necessarily mean that a marriage must come to an end. People cheat for a variety of reasons, and, oftentimes, an affair is an indication that there are ongoing and unaddressed problems within a marriage. After years of being in a partnership, it is not uncommon for couples to stop connecting deeply and consistently and to lose sight of what it was that initially drew them together. Thankfully, if you and your partner are willing to look at your relationship with openness and honesty, therapy can be a very effective way of helping you to make positive shifts and work through an affair. Marital Research has indicated that a couple is more likely to remain married if an extramarital affair is thoroughly explored and dealt with in a specific targeted manner
Affair-Recovery therapy can help couples rebuild trust and begin to heal.
In couples therapy, both you and your partner will be given a safe place to begin to understand the affair, heal and recover. You will be guided through a structured process to release difficult emotions, recognize what has happened and take an honest look at your relationship. You can both begin to see that it takes two people to create and maintain a successful marriage and that, even if one or both of you feel broken by the affair right now, with a commitment to honesty and change, relationships can be repaired and even strengthened following an affair.
It is possible to get through blame and shame.
In affair recovery therapy, you and your partner can examine what commitments mean for your marriage, take steps to rebuild trust, and actively protect your relationship. While working through difficult emotions, you can get to know each other again and build a stronger bond. As you work on forgiveness, you can develop more compassion for each other, become more sensitive to each other’s needs, and grieve what was lost in the relationship together. Rather than continuing to live in a place of unexpressed anger, guilt or hurt, you can learn to understand each other’s experiences and collectively rebuild your relationship. With help, it is possible to come to a place where you can both experience more intimacy, confidence and a shared vision for the future.
Maybe you still have questions or concerns…
Affair-Recovery counseling can take up a lot of time and it isn’t cheap. I’m not sure it’s worthwhile.
Therapy is an investment in yourself, your partner and your family. If you have children, you know that you and your partner are the leaders of your family, and whatever is transpiring in your relationship – be it good, bad or ugly – impacts everyone in your home. Outside of the home, your productivity at work and your engagement with friends and other family members may be negatively affected by the stress of the affair and your strained relationship. Affair-recovery counseling may help you repair your relationship and avoid a costly divorce and/or the individual counseling you and/or your partner may need if you cannot find a healthy way to move past the affair.
I’m afraid that therapy will shine a light on the affair and make matters even worse.
It is unlikely that therapy will make matters worse. Research and statistics on infidelity indicates that receiving professional counseling after the discovery of an affair is the single best predictor of recovery. What therapy will do is make you and your partner more aware of what is occurring within your relationship. This awareness can sometimes be painful, but honestly sifting and sorting through issues is necessary for healing to occur. Until you understand what kinds of things contributed to the affair and how it has affected your relationship, how can you go about repairing it?
Your couples counselor will provide you and your partner with the safety and support needed to work through painful experiences. Your counselor can help you create boundaries and agreements for addressing the affair, while also helping build accountability and mutual trust. Your relationship can become healthier each time you and your partner avoid reacting with hostility and blame, and instead openly share your feelings and needs.
As you and your partner acquire tools to resolve conflicts and better understand each other’s needs, feelings and physical cues, you will be able to recreate the safe conditions of therapy for yourselves, in your home. In time, you will develop confidence that you have become experts on each other and on healing your relationship.
I’m afraid that our therapist will take sides.
A good couples therapist will not take sides – and will always stay focused on what is best for the relationship. The goal of affair-recovery therapy at Waterford Counseling and Psychological Services is to get you, your partner and your relationship all on the same side. It is not your therapist’s job to judge or place blame, but, rather, to work as a team builder, helping you build intimacy, honesty, trust and growth. With over 25 years of experience in couples counseling, we’ve learned that relationships are never black and white and that there are many factors that lead to infidelity. We can help you pinpoint your relationship’s vulnerabilities, learn from and correct mistakes, and build a strong foundation that you can draw from long after our therapeutic work is complete. If you have more questions, please feel to call us at 630-898-5322.