Unfaithfulness in a marriage is damaging to the relationship, and more often than not, therapy is required to end the lingering emotional and psychological damage. Sadly enough, infidelity is one of the main reasons for divorce nowadays. The faithful, non-cheating partner can, of course, have a hard time trusting their cheating partner.
Luckily, you two do not have to do it on your own. Couples therapy after infidelity can be hugely beneficial.
What is couples therapy?
Having to deal with the debris and aftermath of an affair is hard. You and your spouse should not have to try and deal with it alone. But, your most trusted partner in the world has just betrayed you, so who can you go to for help?
Couples therapy after cheating offers a solution.
Both the non-cheating and the cheating partner can benefit from this therapy. In most cases, the non-cheating partner will ‘play’ the victim, and of course, he or she is a victim. But don’t forget that also the cheating partner is a victim here. Else he or she would not have committed such an act.
Couples therapy gives both of you a way to cope with the event and to express your feelings about the affair openly. Couples therapy is not meant to be used for justification: what has been done.
Who can benefit from couples therapy?
Every relationship has ups and downs. Unfortunately, many couples wait too long before opting for couples therapy after infidelity and seeing a couple therapist. By then, the damage is already done.
Couples therapy is for anyone serious about his or her relationship and looking to improve it. Some people are ashamed to see a therapist. But if you have psychological problems that need to be solved, should you not see a therapist? So why not when it’s not only for yourself but also for your spouse?
One of the reasons why couples are not eager to start with couples therapy is that one of the two is unwilling to cooperate. This reinforces the belief that there is indeed a victim and a perpetrator, and that one is right and the other is wrong. As such, marriage counseling for infidelity is only for couples who want to
In the process of couples therapy after infidelity, the infidelity therapist usually understands the needs of the couple after the initial interview and then, drafts the following:
Clear goals of the therapy
Focus area of the relationship for the couple
Treating the relationship, and not the individuals in the relationship
A solution based on the resultant changed behaviour post therapy
The questions that need to be answered
What went wrong in the first place?
This might seem like an open door. But it truly is one of the vital questions that need to be answered.
It is also one of the hardest questions to answer, as both partners have a different notion of what went wrong.
Couples therapy after infidelity can help explore this question and delve deep into the emotions that caused the affair to happen in the first place. This creates an opportunity for both the partners to express themselves and their opinion. There is nothing right or wrong here. Both partners need to get an honest chance to tell their side of the story. The infidelity therapist will help with this process of infidelity therapy.
Repairing your relationship and saving your marriage
After the initial phase of discovery of infidelity and deciding whether or not you want to stay together follows the period of repairing your relationship. During this phase, a couples’ therapist can be beneficial in dealing with the damage done and saving your marriage with a sequential couples therapy after infidelity designed specifically for every couple.
For you two to heal from the events, it is required that you understand the underlying motivation of the affair and to start working – both of you – on the things that led to the event.
The cheating partner can find it very difficult to understand why he or she cheated in the first place. And if they know, they might not want to share this information for fear of hurting their spouse further.
The opposite is true: by not identifying the real issues at hand, things are likely to get worse.
Besides, by going for couples counseling after infidelity, the non-cheating partner can regain a sense of control. It helps to fix the problem together. This can be a first step towards building reassurance and trust in your relationship.
Recovering from an affair and rebuilding trust
Having to deal with the aftermath of infidelity is tough.
Determination andforgiveness are essential if you and your partner want to continue with your relationship. You should not underestimate both the psychological as well as the emotional damage that has been done. Trust has been destroyed.
You cannot quickly fix trust.
It takes hard work and effort from both of you to recover from an affair.
The good news is that many couples have been able to recover fully from infidelity and have developed an even stronger relationship, with more intimacy and connection.
To fully recover, some factors determine the outcome:
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.