Dealing with infidelity is one of life’s trials that no one should experience. Unfortunately, it happens. Those who discover that their partner has been unfaithful are left feeling dumbfounded, depressed, anxious, and angry. Dealing with the aftermath of infidelity is hard, which is why marriage counseling is recommended to help guide the healing process. However, can a marriage survive infidelity without counseling? Should you attempt to rebuild your relationship without the assistance of a counselor?
Today we are going to explore your options, including when a marriage may survive without therapy, as well as when to start infidelity marriage counseling.
Can a Marriage Survive Infidelity Without Counseling?
Yes, a marriage can survive infidelity without the need of a counselor or therapist. Usually, the relationships that make it through infidelity without needing professional support are those one-time incidents that were accidental. Both partners usually maintain trust and connection, even after the infidelity, and they are committed to rebuilding what they have. In this case, working through the problems in the relationship that may have caused infidelity may resolve through hard work. Furthermore, if a marriage is to survive without counseling, your need excellent communication, clear boundaries, and expectations.
However, infidelity comes in many shapes and forms. Most of the time, it comes as a devastating shock that leaves you questioning if your partner truly is the person you married. You question how you ever trusted them, and you wonder if they care how hard you are hurting. Should the affair strike you so painfully that your relationship begins to teeter over a crevice of oblivion, the situation is too volatile to handle alone.
When infidelity is repeated, or if you and your partner struggle to communicate about the affair, then it is highly recommended that you seek professional support. Marriage counselors understand the complexity of the situation. They also listen to both sides without any judgment, giving you a safe space to discuss your emotions.
All in all, while you can survive infidelity without the help of a marriage counselor, doing it yourself is often less successful and does not always lead to lasting relationships.
Does Marriage Counseling Help Couples Dealing With Infidelity?
Yes, marriage counseling can help couples who are dealing with infidelity. A 2014 study published by the American Psychological Association found that couples who received counseling after infidelity had significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction and lower levels of psychological distress than those who did not receive counseling. Another study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy found that couples who participated in counseling after infidelity had higher levels of forgiveness and greater improvements in communication than those who did speak with a marriage counselor.
Being that infidelity is a traumatic experience that sends ripples throughout your entire life, affecting work, social circles, and even your children, it may be too much to handle alone. Plus, you have to deal with the guilt, anger, mistrust, fears, depression, and other emotions. Alone, this may be too overwhelming, causing more strain on the relationship.
Here are some ways marriage counseling excels at helping marriages survive infidelity:
- Providing a safe and non-judgmental space to discuss the infidelity and its impact on the relationship.
- Helping couples to identify and communicate their feelings, needs, and expectations.
- Facilitating the development of a plan to address the specific issues that led to the infidelity, and to prevent future infidelity.
- Helping both partners to work through feelings of anger, resentment, and betrayal.
- Teaching communication and conflict resolution skills to improve the overall quality of the relationship.
- Supporting both partners in the healing process, and helping them to rebuild trust and intimacy.
How to Fix My Marriage Without Counseling
Fixing a marriage without marriage counseling can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Improve communication: You will hear it again and again: Communication is everything. Make an effort to be honest and transparent around your partner. Be an active listener, too.
- Be responsible for your actions: If there are issues in the marriage that are due to your behavior or actions, take responsibility for them and work to make positive changes.
- Prioritize quality time together: Rebuilding intimacy and connection is important for overcoming infidelity. Go on dates, take walks, and engage in new hobbies together.
- Seek support from friends and family: While professional counseling can be helpful, seeking support from trusted friends and family can also be beneficial. They can offer a listening ear, provide a fresh perspective, and offer support and encouragement. Be wary of biases, however.
- Work on your individual issues: Had personal problems, such as mental disorders or addiction, impacted the marriage? Then you should address this to bring about a stronger, healthier relationship.
- Practice forgiveness: Work on letting go of past hurts and resentments, and focus on moving forward together.
Fixing your marriage after infidelity is going to take time and effort. Be patient when it comes to working through any issues, and if you cannot resolve them alone, speak with a marriage counselor. They can provide you with the tools and insight to get beyond any obstacles in your relationship.
Moving Forward Together
Can a marriage survive infidelity without counseling? Yes, but it is going to be difficult. Whether or not counseling is necessary depends on your unique circumstances, but it is always recommended. If you are struggling with communication, setting boundaries, or have experienced other setbacks on the road to rebuilding your marriage, getting in touch with a counselor is the next step.
Couples Academy is here to listen when you need us most. Our team is dedicated to helping couples recover after hardships like infidelity, and we understand how challenging it can be. We work with you, providing skills and fresh perspectives that help build your marriage up, so you can move forward together. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.