Healing After an Affair
“Help! I’ve just discovered that my partner is cheating on me!”
Almost weekly I receive an email or phone call with someone expressing their sadness, anger, and hurt over the discovery of a betrayal like this. They often feel confused as to how this could happen right under their nose. They feel wounded by the person they trust the most, and they feel hopeless that they will ever be able to feel joy in their relationship again.
As an lpc, with a specialty in marriage counseling, well over half of the relationships I work with are experiencing some form of betrayal. Inappropriate conversations via text or online with another person, over-drinking that led to sexual activity, a long-term emotional connection that crossed over from friendship to intimacy – Intimate partner betrayal can take many forms, and each affects the betrayed partner similarly.
There is hope for relationships that have experienced these kinds of betrayal. The process of overcoming infidelity involves some clear steps – which though difficult, if followed closely, can lead to a renewed connection that can last a lifetime.
Three Important Steps to Overcoming Infidelity
In the initial stages in which a couple is working to overcome infidelity, the betrayed partner needs to have a space for their hurt to be explored and explained. In this stage, it is also vital that the betraying partner express deep remorse for their actions. Together, the couple should develop a plan for radical transparency so they can move forward with a better understanding of what went wrong. Here, the stage is set for creating an atmosphere of honesty. It is in this stage that the couple may choose to work with a marriage counselor and explore couples therapy to help in their journey towards healing.
In step two, the couple must commit to working through conflict. The goal is to provide healing from past wounds through skillful communicating that is facilitated by a marriage counselor or therapist. Finding the right licensed professional can help facilitate communication as the couple works through conflict. With the right guidance, the couple will learn how to effectively attune to their own emotions while at the same time deepening their understanding of how the other is feeling and has felt about past experiences. It is in this stage that the couple will also learn how to create rhythms in their relationship to safeguard against future infidelity.
In the final stage, step three, the couple will solidify their commitment to continue growing together by developing language that is pro-relationship. In therapy sessions, they will discover how to turn towards one another, and a treatment plan includes teaching them to build these practices into their daily interactions – mutually investing and creating healthy and effective interdependence. As they dream of what the rest of their life together looks like, they will find and create new meaning in conversation, dating each other, enjoying newfound romance and sex, and planning out their days/weeks. Doing so helps to create the type of connection they can count on as they journey toward healing.
Infidelity does not have to have the last word in your relationship. If you are having relationship problems, then I urge you to seek help. Finding the right couple’s counselor and choosing to move strategically through a healing process can lead you and your partner towards an incredibly enriching future together. If you want to learn the next steps towards healing after the discovery of betrayal, complete the Work With Me application on my website to set up your free consultation. I am a licensed professional counselor, and my counseling center is located in Belton, TX. I would love to help, and I’m here to provide a non-judgmental, safe space to help walk you through it together.
How to Get Started with Couples Counseling and Find Therapists in Belton, TX
For couples in Belton, TX and the surrounding area who are seeking therapy, take the first step today! Simply complete the Work With Me application. Once you do, my assistant will follow up and let you know what to do next!
Josh Kellar is a licensed marriage and family therapist, offering mental health counseling services in Belton, TX. Using evidence-based therapy, Josh offers client-centered, solution focused therapy to help couples and families. Josh enjoys using his extensive experience as a licensed therapist and psychologist to help couples and families thrive in their relationships and feel safe to express their individual needs.