I have been asked, in the past, if offering couples therapy after an affair is any use. There are a lot of issues. For example, trust, honesty, self-esteem and confidence, to name a few. It’s not only the relationship that is damaged, but the individuals within it and nearby. Honesty, communication and taking responsibility are essential. However, the question above could be ‘how to recover from having an affair’?
There are many reasons relationships experience challenges. However, in my experience as a counsellor and person, I will focus on one of the most common.
The affair. Where is the love?
Your relationship, your individual stories, the pressure of your lifestyle and your beliefs are all factors that can help understand why an affair has happened.
Consequently, think about when it happened. What was your partners’ state of mind? What was your state of mind? Whatever the trigger, can it be fixed? Can your relationship make it through the affair?
Importantly, be honest with yourselves and each other. Above all, repairing the trust can take time and be distressing but be patient and make things better. Getting over the affair will take time.
Two truths after an affair:
- You are not responsible for the ‘other’ having an affair.
- However, just because everything is rosy doesn’t mean they will not get ‘cosy’. So be clear from the start about your expectations and needs.
Can relationship therapy make a relationship better?
We all have our ups and downs. As a result, every relationship has its problems. A relationship therapist can help.
Here are some suggestions:
- The one who had an affair must stop. Most importantly, finally and permanently. You both need a solid foundation to rebuild on.
- Leave no room for doubt. Be clear and transparent about where you are and who you want to be with.
- It’s about rebuilding trust. Don’t be afraid to ask or answer questions.
- Manage your communications. Agree on a time limit. Try not to talk if you’re emotional or tired. If possible, don’t be accusatory. Above all, communicate how you feel.
- Discuss options for limiting the chances of the situation repeating itself for you or your partner.
- If you want to stay together, lay the foundations. Essentially make a ‘new contract’.
- Chances are you loved each other once. Why?
- Sex? Take your time, be patient. Let the desire grow within and between you. Sometimes, a partner may need sex to dispel the anger and hurt experienced due to the affair, to assert their place. It’s not a pissing contest. Therefore, make love, not war.
What are some effects of an affair?
Should you stay together? Only the two of you can answer that question. You both need to communicate, honestly, between yourselves and within yourselves. Relationship therapy can help.
However, the affair and fallout will affect the two of you, without a doubt. Consequently, others will be affected: children, family, friends, to name but a few. Consider the overall picture, not just one aspect. For example, should we stay together for the kids? They may be better off away from a hostile environment.
Is the unfaithful partner really sorry regarding the damage done to your relationship or just sorry they got caught? It matters.
An affair doesn’t mean the end of a relationship, but it would be naive to classify it as anything other than a crisis. Talk to your partner about your needs, wants and expectations. Listen to your partner about their needs, desires and expectations. As above, renegotiate a new contract. A contract between yourselves as opposed to the relationship within society. Take your time. Relationship therapy may help you to navigate the choppy waters. A chart of how to recover after an affair.
Should I stay, or should I go?
We are all affected by our past, present and (hoped for) future. So you know what happened – but try to understand why. Communicate honestly between yourselves and within yourselves.
Communication is necessary. Likewise, honest communication is critical. The affair has challenged most of your beliefs within the relationship. Most importantly, trust.
As a result, there will come a time when the talking gives way to action. Stay together or part. However, that is your, and only your, choice. Likewise, what you wanted may not be what you want today. Do you need someone or the one?
Most importantly, we all have our ups and downs. Getting our needs, expectations and hopes’ out there’ and communicated is undoubtedly a better way forward than an emotional ‘knee jerk decision’. I am not suggesting emotions don’t matter. They do, hugely.
What Percentage of Marriages Survive Infidelity? But, first, let’s Look at the Stats.
- 40% of American adults (regardless of gender), who have ever cheated on their spouse, are currently separated or divorced.
- By comparison, only 17% of American adults who have never struggled with infidelity have divorced.
- Nearly 50% of involved (unfaithful) partners are still married to their “hurt” partners.
- 76% of faithful spouses successfully remain married.
- Husbands who cheated are more likely than female cheaters to remain married.
- Of those husbands who have previously been unfaithful to their spouses, 61% are still married. 34% are no longer together (either divorced or separated). Husbands tend to survive their infidelity with their marriage intact more so than wives.
- Only 44% of unfaithful wives are still married to their hurt partner. 47% are either separated or divorced.
Try to move forward from what they said you said. Think past the affair.
How to recover after an affair? What questions are you asking:
- Can a marriage work after an affair?
- How to get over an affair?
- Can you forgive a cheater?
- How to move on from an affair?
- How to stop an affair?
Infidelity is a severe test for you and your partner. Although many couples divorce as a result of it, the majority of couples do not.
Most divorcing couples do not seek out relationship therapy.
Infidelity is heartbreaking and devastating. However, it does not have to be the end of your relationship.
According to research, your relationship happiness may equal or exceed couples who have never shared the experience. As a result, you can recover and become stronger than ever before.
Couples therapy can help you learn new communication skills, increase patience, and rebuild trust. The most important promise of science-based Relationship therapy can help if you and your partner are highly motivated and work hard to move on.
Contact me for more information and help with your recovery.
I do feel understanding is a better platform for making important decisions. Relationship therapy can provide a safe place where you can be heard and answer your questions.
How to recover from an affair?. Make it your choice (ii).
‘Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.’
Author and Life Coach
‘I’m sure the vast majority of us need it. Relationships can be tough’ JoAnn, @Midnight Harmony https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/96154581