Are You and Your Partner Struggling to Recover From a Betrayal of Trust?
Are you worried about the future of your relationship following a physical or emotional affair? If you are the partner who discovered the affair, do you feel as though your whole world has been turned upside down? When one partner discovers that the other has had or is having an affair, the initial shock is often followed by an unfathomable sickening feeling in the heart and stomach. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and experience an intensity of feelings and racing thoughts that can include deep pain, anger, depression, grief, anxiety, loneliness, fear, defensiveness, and hopelessness. You may also have difficulty sleeping, eating, or participating in your normal daily activities. After making this discovery and asking questions in an attempt to understand, you may know details you now wish you didn’t, and intrusive images and distressing emotions are popping into your head, making it difficult for you to look at your partner, let alone talk to him or her. You might be struggling to make sense of this crisis or believe in the stability of your relationship. Your thinking may shift to the fact that you and your partner were drifting apart or fighting more often, but you never would have imagined cheating would happen to you. Perhaps, as you begin to gather your thoughts, you find some relief in knowing that your suspicions that your partner was lying and cheating were true and that you weren’t crazy or imagining things. Do you doubt you can ever trust your partner again? As you consider your next steps, you might be wondering how you can restore and maintain your self-respect and advocate for your needs so that you never feel this deep hurt, anger, and loneliness again.
Are you the partner who engaged in the affair and now feel consumed by shame, guilt, grief, and regret? With the overwhelming emotions that are now in your relationship, you may wish you could go back in time and erase what happened. Perhaps you’re unsure of how you let things go as far as they did or you worry that you can’t do anything to help your relationship get past this and reestablish trust with your partner. Maybe you have been feeling unhappy in your relationship, but now realize that you want to figure out how to make it work again. You might long for your partner’s forgiveness, but wonder how he or she could possibly offer it when you can’t imagine forgiving yourself right now.
Coping with infidelity is a confusing, exhausting, and painful experience. You may be wondering when you lost sight of your personal values or started acting like a person you don’t even know. Perhaps you feel so horrible and are struggling to manage the aftermath on your own, but you feel ashamed and hesitant to reach out to family members or friends. Do you wish you could find a way to your process anger and sadness, understand what you need to do to begin the healing process and feel able to trust again? Do you want to redefine yourself, your relationship, and your future together?
You Are Not Alone
Statistics collected on infidelity show that infidelity happens to many couples.
After an affair, many couples feel scared, angry, trapped and lost, with no clear path forward. One of you likely feels unsure which questions to ask, while the other is unsure of what answers to give. An affair can make it feel as though all possibility of trust and connection has been sucked out of your relationship, and it’s normal to feel unable to start a conversation without lashing out or shutting down.
A committed relationships or marriage feels like a safe, special, private space that no one else can enter. Even if there is conflict, life transition or disconnection, you’ve agreed to make this commitment with your partner, and when you discover it is broken, it can feel like your whole world just caved in around you. Many people feel lost in their emotions and find themselves losing sleep, losing weight, missing work, and lying curled up in bed, eager to find a distraction, but unable to stop thinking about the pain of the affair. Thankfully, affair recovery counseling offers the safe, stable space you need to express your honest emotions; explore your true wants, needs, and desired relationship changes; and discover a way to move forward with increased clarity and personal confidence.
Affair Resolution Counseling Can Guide You Toward A Positive Future
An affair is a relationship trauma that needs to be resolved in order to move forward into a positive, healthy relationship again. As an experienced couples counselor, I can help you recover from the pain of this trauma. I will give you tools to help the process of reestablishing trust once again in your relationship. Affair counseling provides the forum to not only express emotions without fear of judgment, but also think about what your next positive steps are going to be.
In sessions, I offer accepting, compassionate guidance, and support, helping you and your partner face any obsessive thoughts about the affair that may be keeping you stuck and in pain. I can also help you both recognize and shift your ineffective patterns of engaging so that you can have direct, honest conversation about your thoughts and feelings, and build a future with trust in it again. Together, we can agree upon boundaries and guidelines for when to talk about events and issues related to the affair, as well as how to talk about them. And although things may feel painful or even impossible now, if you and your partner are both engaged in the healing process, I can help you identify and build upon the strengths that already exist in your relationship. You can agree upon a shared vision for how you will move forward, not backward, as we go through the healing process together.
I utilize a Positive Psychology approach, drawing upon scientifically validated strategies that are proven to bring lasting, positive change to struggling relationships. With an effective, affirmative approach and the guidance and support of an experienced and compassionate couples therapist, you and your partner can nurture a sense of individual and mutual well-being. You can begin adopting new, productive ways of communicating and connecting that can restore harmony and trust. While the affair will never disappear from a chapter of your relationship, healing and recovery can occur in your next chapter together. There is a way to work through an affair, strengthen your bond, and build a different future for yourself and your relationship.
You may have questions or concerns about affair counseling…
I’m worried that you’ll judge me.
Affair recovery counseling is a completely nonjudgmental space. I will never judge you for anything you share in sessions or take sides. I am here to support your relationship and to help you and your partner repair the hurt and disconnection between you. Rather than telling you what you did wrong or that you were the bad person in the relationship, I will help you and your partner heal and identify positive steps forward.
I think this betrayal is too big. It’s impossible to work through.
Affair recovery is not impossible, but it does take work. If you and your partner are willing to be honest and to learn new, positive ways of communicating with one another, then you can begin to restore trust and move toward a future together. If both of you are committed to the process, healing is possible.
Infidelity counseling also offers the stable, honest space needed to make important decisions about your next steps. You and your partner can engage in respectful, productive conversations and express what each of you need. If you decide to separate, counseling can help you resolve the trauma of the affair as individuals, as well as separate amicably, which can be especially important if you share children, finances or a home.
I don’t know if I want to go through infidelity counseling.
In order for affair therapy to truly help, it’s important that you and your partner are willing to engage in the process together. For the therapy process to be effective, both of you must be committed to working on your relationship both inside and outside of the therapy office. Your problems will not be resolved with only one therapy hour of constructive conversations per week. By coming together to talk with one another, listen to one another and develop a plan, the gaping hole you feel inside right now can begin to mend.
Coping With Infidelity Is Possible
I would like the opportunity to help your relationship recover and invite you to call me at 714-783-8500 or contact me for a free 20-minute consultation. I am happy to answer any questions you have about infidelity counseling and my practice.