For as long as people have been making promises to one another, there is someone who feels betrayed. Figuring out that your partner has had an extramarital affair is bound to rock your entire life. You may be looking for ways to overcome the emotions and trust issues after the infidelity. Maybe you are full of questions and concerns about what happens to your marriage.
One of the best ways to restore your marriage and work through the issues is to attend couples therapy or infidelity therapy. Many married couples who visit a therapist together after infidelity find it pivotal in their success.
By seeking the right help, even couples in crisis—on the verge of a nasty divorce—can come back from the edge and regain love and trust for each other. Here is how a therapist works with couples after infidelity.
What Is Infidelity?
Infidelity is not a new concept. About 20% of women and 37% of men in relationships have been unfaithful at some point. However, 78% of marriages in the US have survived infidelity.
There are some reasons for this percentage. First, infidelity is not the same for everyone. Infidelity, or an affair, is a betrayal caused by one spouse forming a sexual or emotional connection with another person outside of the marriage.
Secondly, couples that commit to therapy after an affair can work through the issues that led to such a betrayal. Therapists today have in place amazing systems that guide even those marriages on the brink of collapse to stronger, happier relationships than before. Affairs are treated as a symptom, not the overall condition, and the underlying issues within a marriage are corrected during the therapy sessions.
What Patterns Of Behavior Lead To Infidelity?
After much research throughout the years, scientists have come to a conclusion about the behaviors that lead to infidelity in relationships. Therapists look for signs of such patterns between the married couples they meet.
Here are some of the common reasons people cheat:
- Not feeling committed or having poor self-control. When the person who cheated doesn’t have any regard for the emotions of their partner or is impulsive, it could lead to infidelity.
- Attention-seeking behaviors. Should an individual feel that their needs are not being met, they search for other sources.
- Anger or selfishness. Some partners feel that infidelity is a suitable punishment. Alternatively, they may be putting themselves before the happiness and well-being of their partner.
- Insecurity or boredom in the relationship. Needing validation or excitement can tempt people to cheat.
However, infidelity is more than just the result of certain behaviors. Infidelity stems from an interplay of the cheater’s personality, environment, and circumstance. For instance, meeting someone online after a blowout fight with your spouse could lead you to give all the details to an online friend. In turn, you develop a relationship with that person that soon spirals closer and closer to intimacy, even if you never met them in real life. Soon, you’re emotionally cheating on your partner.
As such, therapists take a look at all the angles of a marriage, not just the affair itself.
How Can A Counselor Help A Couple Recovering From An Affair?
Couples counselors or therapists utilize a number of exercises or prompt during the session to get you talking. The main focus for the first few sessions is the betrayed partner. Since reconciliation begins with both people coming to an understanding, there must be a certain level of tolerance for conflict. This is built over time, as the hurt partner could have PTSD-like symptoms.
Each step of the recovery process integrates communication skills, honest discussion, acceptance of each person’s role in the infidelity, and clarifying the problems and addressing them. Working through trauma continues to play a major role throughout the therapy sessions, especially since trauma impacts a person’s ability to cope.
A good therapist should discuss how they will work through trauma at the beginning of the affair recovery process.
How Therapists Give Advice
Having answers to the world’s most challenging questions is something counselors and therapists do best.
For instance, you might ask:
- How do I deal with these intense emotions? Does the pain ever stop?
- Will I ever be able to forgive them?
- How do I get over the infidelity?
- How do I respond to my partner’s questioning about the affair?
- When will we be able to trust one another again?
- What can we do now to rebuild the marriage after the affair?
A therapist may tell you this: The feelings you are feeling right now are not going to remain forever. If you decide to trust someone again, it is because you have made the calculations and know the risks. The most important decision you can make is the one that protects your emotional wellbeing. If you can rebuild, it is because you have gotten the tools to rebuild a stronger, healthier attachment to your spouse.
Discovering an affair might put you into crisis mode, but you are not alone. One of the best moves you can make is to call an infidelity therapist or couples/marriage counselor to assist you. Having an unbiased expert opinion, as well as the tools needed to move through the pain, is a tremendous advantage. And it can save your marriage, no matter how bleak the future looks right now.
Couples Academy is one such service that can rescue your marriage from the brink. Whether you are struggling with a specific issue or are working on affair recovery, Couples Academy teaches you how to move forward together. Get in touch with us today to learn more.