The aftermath of infidelity can be long and painful. Working with a marriage counselor can help. Marriage counseling can be an effective way for both partners to regain trust in one another.
Does marriage counseling work, even after infidelity?
The answer is YES.
What is marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is also called couples therapy. The aim of this type of counseling is to help couples understand each other, resolve conflicts and overall improve the couple’s relationship. Marriage counseling can help couples:
- Communicate better
- Overcome differences
- Solve problems
- Argue in healthier ways
- Build trust and understanding
As such, marriage counseling can also be a very effective way of improving your relationship after infidelity.
This type of counseling is provided by licensed therapist, also known as marriage or couples therapists. Instead of regular therapists these marriage therapist have one specific area they focus on: improving the relationship of the couple.
Marriage counseling is often short term. You may only need a few sessions to help you weather a crisis. Or you may need marriage counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated. As with individual psychotherapy, you typically see a marriage counselor once a week.
Who should attend marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is for anyone seeking to improve his or her relationship.
Unfortunately due to shame or other factors, lots of couples don’t seek the aid of a marriage therapist until it is way too late and the damage has already been done. This will make the process of rebuilding your relationship much harder.
You might need marriage counseling for a couple of months if your relationship has deteriorated greatly. This is definitely the case when there has been an infidelity incident.
For marriage counseling to be effective you will probably see the counselor every week or every two weeks.
The downsides of marriage counseling
Before we start discussing about the benefits of marriage counseling first some of the downsides.
1. It will take a great amount of time and energy – from both of you.
For many couples marriage counseling is a necessary step in order to bring back trust in their relationship after infidelity. Couples who want to work on their relationship know how much time, energy and efforts are required.
Starting with marriage counseling and expecting results with minimum effort is not going to work. Both of you will have to make concessions, put in the work and open up to each other. It’s not easy, but can be well worth it.
2. During counseling you will be confronted with the truth
The truth can be painful.
While working with a marriage counselor be prepared for moments of vulnerability. It is at these times that the hard, unrelenting truth can sometimes overwhelm you.
Is the truth a bad thing?
Absolutely not, although at the time when you hear your spouse talk about infidelity and why he or she did certain things it can feel very bad.
Nonetheless the truth needs to come out. If both you and your partner have openness and honesty this creates the required situation for trust to re-build. Only then can you really deal with the damage that has been made.
3. Be careful of the personal situation of your counselor
Your counselor’s attitude and current mood will impact how he or she steers the conversation. Before deciding to work with a particular marriage counselor you need to know how your counselor is doing personally. The mental state of the counselor greatly impacts the sessions.
As with many things in life this is just one of the events that you cannot really control. Nonetheless you can have an intake conversation and use that conversation to check whether this counselor would fit your marriage counseling needs.
The benefits of marriage counseling
Besides those downsides marriage counseling has a lot of benefits. Marriage counseling has been a blessing for many couples. Not only did their relationship endure after infidelity, it thrived due to increased understanding between partners and more intimacy in the relationship.
Going to see a marriage counselor is hard. But it sure beats doing nothing and hoping that things will get better
1. It is beneficial to work together on improving your relationship
Simply showing up together might seem trivial, but it’s a great first step.
Many issues between partners remain unresolved because one of the two does not want to see a therapist or counselor. However if both of you are committed to the same goal – that is, improving your relationship and building trust – it is definitely a huge advantage.
When the two of you are committed and willing to put in the required work and effort, that is already half the work done. You must be willing to change and improve in order for marriage counselling to be effective.
2. More intimacy in your relationship
Marriage counseling can not only save your marriage, it can also help improve your marriage. Couples have reported more intimacy in their relationship thanks to counseling. This is due to many reasons. Better communication, more empathy and better understanding are some of the common reasons why these relationships flourish after hardships.
3. A better understanding of yourself and your spouse
Lastly working with a marriage therapist will help you better understand your spouse and his or her needs. But not only that, it will also help you take a closer look at yourself. Who are you deep down? What do you value most? What are your desires and needs?
This introspection can really improve both your relationship and your life in general.
Conclusion: Does marriage counseling work after infidelity?
Marriage counseling does work. Even after infidelity.
Is it easy?
A lot of hard work, commitment and forgiveness are required. But if you and your partner both work on the same goal, it can be done.