Has Infidelity Caused A Rift In Your Relationship?
Whether you are the partner who has strayed or the one who was injured, infidelity has probably created a sense of distrust, frustration, or grief. You likely also have trouble communicating with each other and may wonder where to go from here.
If you are the straying partner, then you may feel guilty about hurting your partner, but are uncertain about how to make it better. Or, you might feel like your marriage was a prison sentence but still feel terrible for the family impacted by your actions. Time spent with your spouse may be awkward or tense. It may seem like every conversation ends in an argument, tears, or hopelessness. Or maybe you are caught up in a secret habit or other unfaithful behavior that has yet to come to light, and are uncertain how to stop.
If you are the injured partner, then you may feel like you aren’t safe in your own household anymore, and possibly like you don’t know your partner at all. You might be struggling to think of anything besides what your partner did and no longer able to enjoy your hobbies. Things in your everyday life, such as seeing something sexual, might trigger you and bring along feelings of anxiety, fear or helplessness.
In the aftermath of infidelity, people often wonder where to go and what to do from here. There is a mess of confusing problems to deal with, and you may very well not know where to start with untangling them.
Infidelity Happens More Often Than You Think
Each year, approximately 2-4 percent of adults will be unfaithful to their partners and about 20-25 percent of marriages will suffer from this infidelity.
With the advent of technology, people have access to dating sites, pornography, or other temptations that can make it easier for them to be unfaithful to their partner.
This ease of access means that even happily-married individuals can be seduced by online opportunities. It also allows people who are unhappy with their marriage or who may have been more sexually open before committing to a relationship to have a convenient means of getting together with a fling or other partner.
All of these experiences can lead to shame, anxiety, and broken trust. When infidelity comes to light, it can be difficult to figure out how the relationship can be healed—or even if it should.
But you don’t have to try to navigate this confusing and difficult time alone. A trained counselor can help people in either situation figure out the best path forward and understand what it would take to find peace again.
Infidelity Counseling Can Help You Come To Terms With What Happened And Move Forward
Couples who have faced infidelity in marriage often go through three different stages:
Why did it happen?
Where do we/I go from here?
Many people seeking therapy are in the first stage, as they are likely in a state of confusion. Therapy can help them make sense of the situation, clarify their short and long-term goals, and provide a plan for achieving those goals. At the same time, it does not make any assumption that reconciliation is the only positive goal.
I offer a safe, non-judgmental space because I see everyone who walks through my door as a unique and complex individual for whom grappling with infidelity is only a part of their story. The topic that brings you into my office does not and will not define you.
And because everyone’s needs are unique, I will meet you exactly where you are. I see individuals who have strayed, individuals who are struggling with betrayal, and also couples who wish to overcome infidelity together.
Therapy will be planned with an overall long-term goal, and frequent feedback will be given to help you understand where you are on the road towards your goals.
Understanding the exact behaviors and motivations behind the infidelity is a useful starting point when working with the unfaithful partner.
A relationship affected by sexual addiction will require a different intervention from one involving an emotional affair.
Each person receives specific psychological assessments relevant to their role in infidelity and to their goals. Both the straying partner and the injured partner will likely tread different paths on the road to recovery. For the straying, therapy will provide self-understanding and a safe place to express your pain. It will also provide specific direction such as how to give a disclosure and how to move forward with honesty and integrity. For the betrayed partner, therapy will provide safety, understanding, direction and hope.
Both partners might receive education on precautionary sexual practices, managing interactions with the other, therapeutic separation, how infidelity resembles trauma, and how recovery from even long-lasting problems is possible.
I have been working with issues relating to addiction, deception, and mental health challenges since 1999. My background in forensic psychology is uniquely suited to assess, understand, and treat behaviors like infidelity that feature deception and harm towards others. I believe good people make mistakes. Since 2013, I have turned more attention to helping people recover from infidelity.
Infidelity is painful for any relationship or individual, but you can still get past it. It is possible to use this event, despite its pain, to develop new insight, new hope, and, in many cases, rebuild a better relationship than you thought possible.
You may still have reservations about infidelity counseling…
The affair’s already over, so do I still need to seek help?
If left unresolved, it’s likely that the factors involved could again lead a person into another affair or other sexually unfaithful behavior. After ending the old behavior, professional help can be a great way to ensure that lingering doubts or unanswered concerns don’t cause relationship problems down the line.
I’m worried I’ll be judged for having an affair.
I believe it is very admirable to step up and try to make amends and understand that you, too, are struggling and likely have your own concerns about your primary relationship. I make sure that I address these issues during infidelity counseling and that you feel just as heard as your partner.
I’m worried that I’ll be blamed, even though I remained faithful.
Your partner alone is responsible for their choices and behavior. Therapy is not about assigning blame but about understanding yourself on a deeper level, your relationship on a richer level and building a better future.
Healing From Infidelity Is Possible
If you would like to learn more, I offer a free phone consultation at 936-444-6710. Whether you want to fix a broken relationship or simply find your own path forward, I am here to support and guide you.