Finding out your partner is having an affair can leave you reeling with all kind of emotions. Marriage counseling can help you find out what went wrong and if the relationship is worth saving. What if you are the one having an affair? Making the decision to tell your partner or deciding if you want to try couples therapy is not an easy one.
Relationship infidelity can make you question your entire relationship and even yourself. You might be skeptical about marriage counseling because you are mad or don’t think you can rebuild the trust again. You may even be questioning everything about the relationship and how you could have missed the signs. Couples therapy could provide you an outlet for your pain, fears, and concerns. It can get everything on the table to see if there is a way to saving a marriage after an affair.
Saving a marriage after an affair requires work and commitment on everyone’s part. Maybe you have children, or many years of history together. The emotional pain that you feel is very normal and it’s important to reach out for support, but often family and friends are not the best options. Saving a marriage after an affair is where the help of a professional can benefit you the most.
Deciding to seek the help of a marriage therapist or couple’s counselor means that you are brave enough to explore your options before throwing in the towel. Marriage counseling can provide validation, support, objective feedback, and skills for you to use as a couple to recover from the emotional damage. There are many things to look for that indicate couples therapy could work for you:
There is a lot to consider when you have been faced with relationship infidelity. The most important thing is that you know the emotions you are feeling are normal. You may be feeling rage, anxiety, sadness, anger, regret, guilt, physical pain or depression, confusion, stupidity, and complete betrayal. The one thing you will learn in marriage counseling is that you don’t need to make any permanent decisions while you are in this emotional state, nor should you. Anytime a person experiences a trauma, they need to take a step back and remember that it will take time to heal the wounds.
There is no time line for how long the healing process will take or what it will look like for you, but you can trust that if you have the right support, you will begin to see improvements
Most relationship experts are very skilled at how to guide couples in marriage counseling after an affair. There will be areas of your relationship that will be worth evaluating. Here are some possible areas that marriage counseling will bring to light as you begin to heal and move forward:
You each have contributed to the overall health of the relationship. In the beginning, everyone is happy and putting their best foot forward. Over time, people often allow themselves to get complacent or don’t put forth as much effort into making one another happy. By acknowledging where you might have begun to pull back or contribute less, you can ask yourself if this negatively impacted your connection. Was there a specific incident that happened which you never recovered from? Is there lingering resentment or contempt? These questions can lead to valuable insight into things that might have gone unresolved and need to be corrected before moving forward.
Physical touch and intimacy are critical to a healthy relationship. The human desire to be cared for and nurtured is often satisfied in this way, whether through sex or a through a single hug. When affection begins to taper off in a relationship or become non-existent, it is normal to feel neglected or deprived. Often, rather than asking your partner for what you need (maybe you aren’t even sure yourself), you close up even more and become resistant to touch. Finding ways in a relationship to keep staying physically connected is very important and exploring where things might have stopped is also helpful. It isn’t easy to trust again, but it can be done.
If you have children or a demanding job, the routine can leave little time for one another. At the end of the day, you might find it easier to slack off in your relationship than other areas of your life. But, over time, this takes a toll on your marriage and you will start to drift apart. It can be easy to put the kids or work first, but you should ask yourself if you are avoiding each other for a reason? More importantly, if you have not resolved an issue and have gotten in the habit of just sweeping things under a rug, those issues build up over time. This topic is important to discuss and find ways to manage the work/life balance better.
If you have never received expert help for your relationship problems, now is the time to start. Saving a marriage after an affair takes commitment and the right support. You may have relied on friends and family all this time for support, but those resources can lack neutrality. What you need is professional marriage counseling. Couples therapy or marriage counseling will link you with someone who has the skills and objectivity to help you navigate your relationship issues in a productive way. Talking through your relationship concerns and goals with a marriage counselor will give you insight into whether your marriage is worth saving or if you need to go your separate ways.
Marriage counseling focuses on the damage in your relationship and gives you a safe space to talk about your fears and concerns. Marriage counseling will give you an opportunity to evaluate your relationship and determine where things started going wrong, whether those things can be resolved, and how to do it. The outcome of your relationship is dependent on many things, but it makes sense to see if there is anything to salvage before you walk away completely.
Marriage counseling provides a couple with a new perspective on their relationship, but also helps each individual work through their thoughts and feelings. It is very normal for each person to have individual sessions during the marriage counseling process so that they can work on their own individual issues too.
Questioning saving a marriage after an affair and what steps to take to get there is a challenge. Most people in committed relationships do not expect to cheat or be cheated on. Evaluating your relationship, and finding the right support through marriage counseling, could make all the difference in how you handle the affair and how to move on more positively either alone or together.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.