Have You Discovered that Your Partner is either Having or Has Had an Affair?
Are You Both Struggling with the Aftermath of That Discovery?
What do You do Now?
Your Relationship Can Recover!
Relationships usually start off with the best of intentions.
There are great expectations and the hope that each partner will be able to continue to fulfill those expectations even as the marriage goes through life’s transitions. When needs are not being met and one partner feels like the other does not value them the scene is set for a potential infidelity.
I have been helping couples recover from affairs for many years. Working with couples who are struggling with affair recovery still presents a very difficult challenge. Each spouse must come to grips with the cracks in their relationship and face the disappointment of betrayal.
Infidelity is frequently, but not always, a symptom of distress between partners. (See my blog post on Types of Affairs and What Causes Them). Couples can become disconnected and allow great emotional distance to form between them. This can create the environment for an affair or an infidelity to occur.
How Could This Happen, There Were No Signs…
Most spouses or partners are completely unprepared emotionally when an affair is discovered. The shock is often so profound that they become paralyzed, unable to process just how terrible they really feel. The despair is sometimes so deep that it is akin to a sudden death of a loved one.
One wonders how such a thing is even possible. How can a husband, wife or lover whom you have trusted with your deepest feelings betray you? Did you miss something? Were there signs that you chose to neglect? Is it your fault? What is it that causes a partner to become unfaithful and go outside of the relationship?
These are some of the questions the hurt spouse will ask themselves. At first it may seem almost incomprehensible that such a thing could happen. At first the hurt spouse might even say that there were no clues, no indication that things weren’t right; that the unfaithful spouse was dissatisfied or unhappy.
What often emerges however, after the hurt spouse has had some time to reflect, is a different picture of how things actually were in the relationship. The marriage, perhaps idealized by the hurt spouse, had flaws. There may have been distance, disconnection and monotony. There may have been days, weeks or even months without true affection, meaningful conversations or shared joy. There may have been reasons that were overlooked.
Some Common Conditions That Can Lead to Betrayal
You May Feel like Your Life Together is OVER
You have every right to feel this way and you probably need some time to consider what next to do. It is imperative at this point, a time of crisis in your life, for you to gather your thoughts and think things through. Making hasty impulsive emotionally driven decisions will not be in your best interest or the best interest of your family.
Despite the pain of betrayal you must take your time before upsetting your life any more than it has already been upset.
Affair counseling can help both partners process and more effectively deal with the powerful emotional impact of the affair.
You May Feel Like It is All Your Fault
Part of the struggle with affair recovery is to understand why the affair happened in the first place. Some spouses blame themselves but these matters are typically more complex than simply assigning blame.
You May Feel That the Therapist Will Take Sides
This concern may trouble you whatever the issue may be. Effectively therapy is about helping the couple heal through understanding, taking personal responsibility and commitment to change.
Affair counseling helps the couple to work through the obvious issue of betrayal and delve more deeply into the very foundation of the relationship.
Your Relationship Can Recover!
A marriage does not have to end when an affair occurs! It is often the case that once an affair has been acknowledged, the couple can begin to rebuild and create an even stronger relationship than before.
This process of recovery after an affair requires both courage and commitment. Trust, once breached, takes time to rebuild. Partners need to have patience with each other and allow for the expression of powerful emotions to take place within the context of recovery.
Affair counseling is a delicate process and should be handled with care and respect. A therapist must have experience, skill and an understanding of the differences that each couple brings to therapy.
With proper support and guidance couples can come through the affair counseling process stronger and better equipped for the future (see my blog post Affairs: Myths and Facts).
How Can I Help You?
I help couples dealing with this delicate issue to understand its meaning and its impact on themselves and their families. Experience is critical in working through this process. Often both spouses feel judged and ashamed, sometimes unwilling to share this dark event with a therapist.
It is critical in affair counseling that the therapist understands the dynamics of the couple and the meaning that the affair has for them.
As a clinical sexologist I can offer professional insight into sexual issues that may have caused a disconnection to occur. Although the couple’s problem with sexual or intimate connection may be more symptomatic than causative, it is often a subject that is difficult to broach.
I have spent over 25 years working with couples recovering from affairs. I have worked with couples from many cultures and almost every walk of life. I have helped couples in their darkest moments work through some of their most painful feelings about themselves and each other.
There are many therapists who have a rather narrow point of view about affairs. They may come to the session with a personal bias about this powerful issue, thereby potentially creating a counterproductive atmosphere.
The truth is that no 2 couples are exactly alike in their perspective and therefore, each client couple needs to be understood for their own uniqueness. Reserving judgment, not prejudging is a critical position for a therapist to hold for affair recovery treatment to be successful.
Please email or call me for a confidential, cost free consultation. You may also wish to download my report on Affair Counseling: 7 Steps to Coping After an Affair located at the top of this page. Simply enter your name and email address and click Get Report.
Services are rendered either at my office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference via Skype. Serving all of the greater Miami area or, through video conference, anywhere that there is broadband internet connection.