Are you in pain about an affair?

Whether you are the one doing it or you are the partner who’s been lied to, infidelity is one behavior that can bring the toughest person to their knees. For the partner who it was “done to,” the painful combination of rejection, betrayal, confusion, guilt, a desire for vengeance and a desire to know details, can at times become unbearable or obsessively distracting.

For the partner who did the cheating, there is also competing and complex feelings. Guilt, shame, remorse, as well as continued desire for the “other” person, desire to leave the primary relationship or a feeling of love for both partners, can all be present at once.

There are lots of theories on why infidelity happens, such as, it is a manifestation of something that’s been wrong in the primary relationship, an acting out of anger by someone who can’t verbalize it in the primary relationship, an acting out of family of origin issues, an indicator that the primary relationship was weak foundationally, a communication that sexual desire isn’t being fulfilled in the primary relationship or simply, that there was an exciting opportunity and it was taken.

Infidelity is one behavior that can bring the toughest person to their knees

Whatever the reason, the person to whom it was “done to,” typically craves to know why. The “why” helps a chaotic situation make sense and gives some feeling of control, and helps them that decide what’s next.

In my experience, the partner that was “doing it” is often less interested in the “why,” at least at the moment of impact. They are often reeling from a different set of emotions. They are often confused by the intent of their actions and feel shame, embarrassment and remorse at that moment, concentrating on their guilt and feeling bad that they hurt their partner so deeply. Sometimes this focus on guilt and desire for forgiveness actually can block the necessary exploration of the root problems.

When couples bring all of this confusion and emotional turmoil to therapy in a timely manner, many times the relationship can be saved. If that’s not appropriate or desired, therapy can also help guide partners to prepare an exit strategy in which both partners are well cared for, shown respect and learn more about themselves and their relationship.

When couples want to recover from an affair, I will help the couple work very systematically to:

  • Rebuild trust
  • Grieve losses and resentments
  • Re-build their sexual bond
  • Establish boundaries
  • Re-discover each other as separate adults
  • Consider the choice to connect with their partner in the here and now
  • Speak honestly about their feelings about the primary relationship
  • Start from scratch and build their new couple relationship

For this process to work, however, it requires commitment and patience for both partners, as well as a tolerance to both articulate one’s own anger and hear their partners without turning away. For those couples who are up to this task, and do the work to stay together, they almost unanimously say the “new” relationship they built is the ideal and much better than the one prior to the affair.

Sound good?

Contact me for an initial consultation. I’m happy to speak with you.

When taken seriously, therapy is a real investment in life transformation. It’s not just about feeling better. It’s about removing burdens that have been holding you back perhaps your whole life. This translates to improved relationships, being more attractive, and often raising your income earning potential. ‍

I take your investment of money, time and trust very seriously. I started my career with the intention of providing excellent service and have never wavered. My rates, non-insurance affiliation, intensive services and continued commitment to my own life’s joy reflect these fundamental values.