Do You Feel As Though a Bomb Has Just Exploded in Your Relationship?
Are you trying to decide if you even want to seek counseling for the affair?
I am sure that you are devastated after discovering your partner is having or has had a physical or emotional affair. You likely feel as though your whole world has been turned upside down when your partner acknowledged “yes” it happened.
When one partner discovers that the other has had or is having an affair, the initial shock is accompanied by an unfathomable sickening feeling in both your heart and stomach. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and experience an intensity of emotions and racing of thoughts that include intense suffering, anger, sadness, depression, grief, anxiety, loneliness, fear, and uncertainty about your future. You may also have difficulty sleeping, eating, parenting, working, or participating in your normal daily activities.
After making this discovery and asking your partner questions, in an attempt to understand why you may now know details you wish you didn’t. Intrusive images and distressing emotions can begin popping into your head, making it difficult for you to even look at your partner, let alone talk with him or her. Your thinking may shift to the fact that you and your partner were drifting apart or arguing more often, but you never imagined cheating would happen in your relationship.
Are you the partner who engaged in the affair and now feel consumed by shame, sadness, guilt, grief, and regret? With the overwhelming emotions that you are currently experiencing 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 and now know you have caused this enormous betrayal of trust and excruciating emotional pain. You may have rationalized that you were unhappy in your current relationship, and the reason for the affair was because you felt lonely. Maybe you were feeling dissatisfied, but now realize that you want to figure out how to heal your relationship, instead of breaking up or divorcing.
Coping with infidelity is a confusing, exhausting, and painful experience for both partners. Also, many couples feel uncertain about what to do next, so they try to manage the aftermath on their own, instead of reaching out to family members or friends for fear of judgment, partner rejection, or bad advice.
You are not alone!
Statistics collected on infidelity show that infidelity happens to many couples, and not that this makes it okay, but you are not alone. In 2017, infidelity statistics suggested that in over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating. Modern technology allows more people to connect than ever before – but this has also shown there are drawbacks, enabling people to conduct extramarital affairs, both physical and emotional.
The Associated Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 22% of men say that they’ve cheated on their significant other at least once during their marriage, and 14% of wives admit to cheating. Additionally, people are most likely to have affairs with co-workers, with as many as 36% of men and women reporting that they’ve had an affair with someone at their place of employment.
After an affair, many couples feel scared, angry, trapped, or lost, with no specific direction for working through this relationship mess. An affair can make it feel as though the possibility of trust and connection has been sucked out of your relationship, and it’s normal for both partners to feel unable to start a conversation without lashing out or shutting down.
Thankfully, affair counseling offers the safe and stable space you both need to express your thoughts and emotions, re-establish trust, communicate honestly, and explore a new version of your wants and needs for your relationship going forward.
There is a Path Towards Healing and Recovery
An affair is a relationship trauma. As an experienced psychologist, I can help you both recover from the overarching and consuming pain caused by the affair. I will provide therapeutic conversations and resources to help guide the process, and it is a process to reestablish trust, feelings of love, and respect in your relationship.
During our sessions, I offer honest feedback and compassionate guidance so that you both can have direct and honest conversations about your thoughts and feelings related to the affair and overall state of your relationship.
Together, we can agree upon boundaries and guidelines for when to talk about events and issues related to the affair. While things may feel painful or even impossible right now, if you and your partner are both engaged in the therapeutic process, I can help you work through the pain and to identify and build upon the strengths that already exist in your relationship.
I utilize Positive Psychology, Solution-Focused, and other theoretical orientations, drawing upon scientifically validated strategies that have been proven to bring lasting, positive change to struggling relationships. With the guidance and support of an experienced and compassionate couple’s psychologist, you and your partner can nurture your well-being and relationship happiness.
You both can incorporate productive ways of communicating that will open up avenues for honest conversations that are necessary for rebuilding trust. While the affair will never totally disappear from this chapter of your relationship, healing and recovery can occur as you work towards the next chapter of your life together. There is a way to work through an affair, strengthen your bond, and build a better future together.
Growing Back Together Is Possible
I would like the opportunity to help your relationship recover from an affair 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 affair counseling and my clinical practice.