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Has Infidelity Injured Your Relationship?
Are you in shock, feeling like your world has been turned completely upside down?
Are you considering affair counseling because you are uncertain about how you will ever get out of pain and restore trust?
When one of you has had an affair, the wound to your relationship can be devastating. If you are the victim of the affair, you may feel like you are going crazy as you struggle with your partner’s secrecy and betrayal. If you are the partner who had the affair, you may wonder if you will ever be able to make up for what you did. You may be overcome with feelings of guilt and shame, wishing you could just erase the past.
For both partners, the affair can bring you to a total standstill in your relationship, making it almost impossible to function in daily life. It can feel like a door has closed forever on the couple you thought you were. An affair can take a huge toll not just on your relationship, but on your whole family.
You may worry that the affair has caused too much damage to your relationship for you both to recover. You may wonder whether you will ever be able to restore the bond of love and trust that you once had. And on top of it all, you’re unsure of where to turn to get the help you need to rebuild your relationship.
The Effects of an Affair Can Be Devastating
But having sex is not the only factor that determines whether or not someone has had an affair. Emotional affairs can occur when one partner becomes emotionally close and intimate with another person in a way that is characteristic of a romantic relationship. It turns out that emotional affairs can create just as much turmoil in a relationship as sexual affairs.
Technology has only made it easier for partners to look outside their relationship for physical and emotional intimacy. The rise of dating, hookup and affair apps, along with pornography have increased the available opportunities for partners to act on destructive impulses.
Despite the heart-wrenching difficulties that a marital affair can create, it can also represent a unique opportunity for growth and healing in a couple’s relationship. With the help of a skilled couples therapist trained in affair recovery, you and your partner can repair the damage and create a much more satisfying connection than you ever had before the affair.
An Affair Can Be An Opportunity to Build a Better Relationship
If you and your partner want to try to make your relationship work after an affair, you need a clear, step-by-step approach to recovery. In therapy with us, you learn the exact steps you need to take in order to heal. We help you understand the recovery process and support each of you in taking the necessary actions to remedy the situation.
The method of couples therapy that we practice is called PCM (The Power Couple Method). PCM offers a unique approach to healing from betrayal, based on the latest scientific research in the areas of brain science and attachment theory.
After the affair, many couples mistakenly believe that the best way to heal is to focus on what went wrong in the relationship prior to the affair. They reason that if things had been going better, the affair never would have happened in the first place. However, research shows that this approach does not lead to affair recovery.
Affair Counseling: What You Can Expect
Phase I: Healing Trauma
Affairs create trauma in the deceived partner, often leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to heal this trauma, therapy must begin by allowing the deceived partner to express their intense emotions of rage and hurt to the offending partner.
If you are the offending partner, you are likely to experience powerful emotions of your own. Feelings of shame and guilt are common as you wrestle with the choice you made to go outside your relationship for emotional or physical intimacy. Your therapist will assist you in working with these feelings so that you can fully engage the process of making amends with your partner. Although it can be difficult for the offending partner to listen to their spouse’s hurt feelings, this is a critical step if the couple wants to have a chance at healing after an affair.
Phase II: Creating Resolution
Therapy moves into supporting the offending partner in providing consistent support for the deceived partner.
The offending partner is assisted in:
- Developing a new level of honesty with their partner
- Understanding how their actions have impacted their partner
- Relieving their partner’s distress
- Making their partner feel loved
- Building their partner’s self-esteem
The final stage of the process involves the deceived partner letting the offending partner off the hook. Once the offending partner has truly made amends, the deceived partner must be willing to honor the new and improved version of their relationship.
It is also time to examine whatever concerns the offending partner may have had with the deceived partner, prior to the affair. At this point in the process, the deceived partner must be willing to address those concerns.
Recovering from an Affair is Challenging But Rewarding
Affair recovery is difficult work. Sometimes during this process, one or both partners realizes that they do not wish to continue the relationship. If this is the case, we can assist you in ending your relationship as clearly and sensitively as possible.
We’ve been in couples therapy for over a decade. We’ve helped countless couples through the painstaking work of affair recovery. We have the specialized training and expertise to give you and your partner the best chance at creating an emotionally safe and secure relationship moving forward. With skilled professional help, many couples find that by the end of the process, they have achieved a level of intimacy and connection that is far beyond what they had in the beginning of their relationship.
You May Be Wondering if Affair Counseling is Right For You…
My partner has so much shame and guilt about what they did. I don’t know if they will be able to handle talking about it.
If your partner has had an affair and they cannot acknowledge that they made a mistake; and they do not feel remorse; or they do not want to talk about it with you, it is best that you do not seek couples therapy. Instead, the deceived partner should seek individual therapy. If you are the deceived partner, individual therapy can provide you with an opportunity to understand your feelings and learn to advocate for yourself. If your partner is not willing to work on the relationship, individual therapy can help you consider whether it is in your best interest to continue with the relationship.
Will marriage counseling save our relationship?
However, it’s understandable that you may worry about whether or not you can ever repair the injury to your relationship that the affair created. It’s important to know that infidelity counseling can be an extremely powerful tool for resolving the pain and moving forward with a new level of trust and intimacy as a couple. Even if you decide that you do not wish to continue your relationship, counseling can serve as a needed support to help you part ways amicably, develop deeper self-awareness and learn valuable relationship lessons that will serve you well in the future.