Affair Recovery Counseling
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? What Are The Next Steps?
Your Relationship Can Recover!
The Good News Is That Your Relationship Can Recover!
Affair Recovery Counseling is a specialized area of couples therapy. This process is very different from individual therapy with its individual sessions.
The couples therapist should have extensive knowledge, training and experience in marriage counseling, extramarital affairs. partner’s infidelity and the healing process. The marriage therapist should also understand the feelings of shame and low self-esteem that the pain of infidelity and betrayal produces in partner work.
There are intense emotions generated as a result of an affair and the couples coming for professional help are often going through the most difficult time of their lives, even after years of marriage.
The recovery process can begin from the very first session.
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 partner’s infidelity and betrayal.
The betrayed partner (the hurt partner) sometimes feels there are big decisions to make even at the very first appointment.
Infidelity is frequently, but not always, a symptom of other underlying issues. Whether the problem stems from the sexual connection or the emotional connection between spouses, or some other reason entirely (See my blog post on Why Do People Cheat and Have Affairs), the initial phase of affair recovery counseling is to help the partners gain clarity in a safe space.
How Could This Happen, There Were No Signs…
Common Questions Such As: 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.
The betrayed spouse 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 partner will ask themselves. At first it may seem almost incomprehensible that such a thing could happen.
At first the hurt partner might even say that there were no clues that the unfaithful partner 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 were in the relationship.
The marriage, perhaps idealized by the hurt partner, 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
- Communication is constricted or even halted. Meaningful conversations no longer take place. One partner may feel the need to talk while the other just shuts down.
- Separate lives. Perhaps both partners simply drift apart and “do their own thing”. They may take separate vacations; have friends the other partner knows nothing about and learn to enjoy themselves as if they were single.
- Poor intimacy. Partners may feel emotionally disconnected, not feeling the loving support of the other. Sexual intimacy may no longer be present and sex itself may be boring and infrequent.
- Hostility, resentment or anger. Partners may harbor resentment and not be willing to process or understand it. They may let the negative feelings fester into a seething sense of hostility.
- Not focusing on the relationship. A partner might spend most of their time and energy on other things: e.g., children, work, friends, or hobbies, thereby neglecting the other spouse.
- Boredom. The excitement that once stimulated the committed relationship is gone and neither spouse is trying hard enough to restore it.
- Other reasons that unfaithful spouses have given for their infidelity vary. They can include financial pressures, jealousy of the other spouse, fear of growing old and feeling trapped. These are personal issues that, if the relationship were sound, could very well have been worked out without resorting to infidelity.
You May Feel like Your Life Together is OVER
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 the next steps will be. 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 is already.
Affair Recovery 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 Recovery 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 Recovery 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 recovery 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 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 counseling to be successful.
Please email me or call me at 305-933-9779 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 Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.
Serving all of the greater Miami area or, through video conference, anywhere in the world.