Trust is the foundation of a successful relationship.
Discovering or succumbing to infidelity can feel devastating to both the individuals and the relationship. Initially, many couples believe there is no recovery from it. Feelings of shock, anger, despair, disbelief, vulnerability, defensiveness, guilt and shame threaten the stability of daily life, and it can be very challenging to get any kind of perspective on the situation. Infidelity counseling focuses on getting to the bottom of the issues and moving forward by healing pain and repairing trust.
Couples counseling for infidelity can help.
While at the moment of discovery it’s hard to imagine, many couples not only recover from an affair, but actually improve their relationship as a result. They do this by gaining a deeper understanding of each other, creating agreements and finding ways to nourish their connection. Even if a couple ultimately decides to end the relationship, infidelity couples counseling helps them do so in a way that honors the relationship and each other and paves the way for a healthier relationships in the future.
Couples Counseling during a crisis usually includes three main stages:
Learning skills to navigate the initial crisis: Your counselor will help the betrayed partner learn how to handle intruding thoughts and feelings, making sense of the new information and feelings. For the partner who has had the affair, counseling can assist in learning how to stay open and non-defensive in the current situation so that both people can focus on what is important.
Understanding the context of the affair: Once the initial chaos has subsided, the couple is more capable of exploring the deeper meaning of the affair – why it happened, how, and what they can learn from it. This makes it easier to know what is possible for the relationship, and assists the couple in making the often difficult choice to stay together or to part ways. Therapy for cheating can be equally emotionally difficult as it is rewarding. Even if a couple decides to separate, understanding the context of the affair can assist them in learning from the experience and in dissolving the relationship amicably.
Rebuilding trust and repair: Once a couple decides they want to rebuild their relationship, the counselor will assist the partner in expressing remorse or regret in a way that the other partner can receive it. In infidelity therapy, we also examine larger relationship patterns that have contributed to the affair so that the couple can better understand each other’s needs and desires. Finally, we explore ways for the couple to create and sustain a more secure and connected relationship.