Infidelity & Affair
Infidelity in a committed relationship can be an immense strain on both partners and on the relationship itself. Often the news of an affair is like a bomb going off in the middle of the relationship, and it may take the other partner completely by surprise, making that person feel shocked, betrayed, angry, jealous, worthless, lonely, and even confused. The partners who had the affair also experienced hurt which can be feel through guilt, shame, and loss of respect for themselves.
Many couples come to couples therapy at such time to try to understand what just happened in their relationship, and to try to recover and move on. They consider a variety of options along the way, including separation and divorce, but what the partners are looking for is protecting their need for longing. Even though it may feel as a painstaking process, rebuilding trust, love and emotional security is possible.
Rebuilding trust often comes along with mourning the loss of the innocence of the earlier relationship. Regaining trust is a process that takes quite a while and requires willingness from both partners. Often however, the couple can come to a new understanding with each other that allows them to feel a greater connection and a revitalized relationship even after the affair. Some couples end up coming to the realization that “Yes, our first marriage is over; can we build a second one together?”
“Yes, we could get a divorce and have other marriages with different people, or we could try to have a different marriage with the same person.”
Concerns commonly addressed
A couple working through an affair may need to understand why the infidelity happened in the first place, and what are the assurances that it won’t happen again.
- Remorse and embarrassment
- Feeling betrayed and humiliated
- Experiencing toxic shame – a shameful feeling that stick around and start contaminating the ways you see yourself
- Experiencing personal inadequacy
- Feeling stuck into remuneration and jealousy
What to Expect
01 – FIRST STAGES
Through our first few sessions, I am taking the time to unpack my clients’ reality and motif of consultation gently. These first sessions are fundamental because therapeutic work can only happen if there is a sense of comfort and trust in the room. While learning about my clients, I assess the situation, the presence of emotional patterns, recurrent challenges and clients’ strengths. I call this first stage de-escalation as we are looking to frame and identify the negative cycle that keeps individuals and couples stuck. At the end of this stage, clients begin to recognize their cycle as the enemy of their situation – are capable to step out of the cycle as it happens – express hope – and show openness to their partner or other individuals in their life.
02 – MIDDLE STAGES
During the second stage, clients begin to feel the benefits of the therapy. Individuals and couples can now access and engage with their emotional experience. Emotions are no longer foreign or frightening. The focus on this stage is restructuring the bond within oneself or between the partners. Clients describe it as the opening phase through which their fears are no longer triggering. They can be responsive and emotionally engaged with one another in a more natural manner. An inner sense of peace and bonding events mark the transition toward the third stage.
03 – ENDING STAGES
With the need for closeness being restored, clients are consolidating their therapeutic gain. They enact new positions in their ways of living and engage in constructive cycles with others, including their partner. The end of the final stage is no better to describe by the ability to turn towards a significant other in time of need with ease and comfort. In addition, couples are offering mutual support to each other and shape new solutions to pragmatic issues.
If you align with any of the above, and ready to step in a journey to live fully and freely, schedule a phone consultation to get started.