Infidelity is breaking a promise or agreement (by vows or verbal promises for example) to your spouse or partner related to sexual and/or emotional commitment and exclusivity.
And when a spouse or partner is unfaithful, it can have devastating consequences.
Learning of a partner’s infidelity is traumatic for the betrayed spouse and can cause a flooding of overwhelming thoughts and emotions.
Many powerful emotions and thoughts accompany disclosure of an affair. This is where getting help through marriage counseling or couples therapy can be very helpful.
Seeing a marriage counselor or couple therapist can help with processing the impact an affair has on relationships.
Betrayed Spouse or Partner
The betrayed spouse or partner may feel feelings of anger, rage, betrayal, embarrassment, disgust, anxiety, etc.
If you’re the betrayed spouse or partner, you may be having continuous intrusive thoughts. Such as wanting to know details of what happened.
Involved Spouse or Partner
The involved spouse or partner may feel feelings of shame, remorse, guilt, anger, etc.
If you’re the involved spouse or partner, you may feel as if there is nothing you can do to regain the trust of your partner or spouse.
Affair Recovery – Is it possible?
Affair recovery is a personal decision that only you can answer.
What becomes important for couples that want to remain in their relationship is the decision to recommit to each other and deciding what that new commitment will look like moving forward for both partners.
But, before couples can begin discussing whether to stay or leave, mourning of what has been lost is a significant step that should not be over looked.
Grief and Loss
There are many losses that accompany infidelity.
An example of some are:
- Loss of special-ness
- Loss of what you thought your relationship was
- Loss of the vision you may have had of your future
- Loss of trust
- Loss of stability – feeling as if the ground you stand on has just been yanked out from underneath you
How couples therapy can help
While sessions may be difficult as you both process your thoughts and feelings, couples therapy can help with this process.
Couples therapy can be beneficial for helping with the magnitude of strong emotions that occur after learning of a partner’s infidelity.
It can help both partners talk about their inner worlds in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
Couples therapy can also help with the grieving process and can help partners as they work toward deciding whether or not to stay together and recommit.
Schedule an appointment
By: Anna McElearney, LMFT
Serving Austin Area for Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling