Are You Struggling To Recover From An Affair?
Have you recently found out that your spouse is involved with someone else and feel as though the marriage as you know it is over? Perhaps you’ve known something has been off for some time, but now that the truth is out, feelings of devastation run so deep that you doubt you can ever trust your partner again. Perhaps you wonder if the affair is still going on, and questions about how your spouse spends their time leaves you feeling angry, confused and alone. Do you look back and ask yourself what you could have done differently to prevent this from happening and worry that it will happen again? Do you wish you could process these heavy emotions, reestablish love and trust in your marriage and move on?
Discovering your spouse’s infidelity is often an overwhelming, shameful and lonely experience. As the cheated-on spouse, you’re left not only with a lack of trust in your partner, but also a crisis of identity that leaves you doubting your marriage and even yourself. Even maintaining a daily routine can become unmanageable. Relationships with family members, coworkers and friends, as well as your productivity at work, may be suffering, increasing your sense of isolation and leading to more feelings of guilt and embarrassment. You might desperately want to feel better, but don’t know how to approach your spouse or begin the healing process.
You Are Not Alone
Over the course of a relationship, many couples struggle with infidelity. While marital infidelity poses challenges for good data analysis (it’s difficult to record because many people don’t wish to report it), recent data from the General Social Survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, indicates that adultery among American married couples ranges from 26-70 percent of women and 33-75 percent of men. This indicates that adultery is fairly commonplace in our culture.
Affairs typically demonstrate and/or result from some kind of sexual and/or emotional disconnect in the marriage. And, because the topic of sex and relationships is highly stigmatized in our culture, many people don’t know how to express their feelings and concerns with their partners. If someone’s needs in the marriage are not getting met, it’s common for that person to pursue intimate and emotional pleasures elsewhere, in secret.
Within a monogamous commitment, there is an impossible challenge to meet your partner’s each and every need. These expectations not only create barriers in authentic communication that can lead to isolation and frustration, but also can keep you from reaching your full sexual and emotional potential. One of my favorite quotes about affairs, which sums up my approach to affair recovery counseling, comes from love and dating advice columnist, Dan Savage. He says,
''We tell people that humans are naturally monogamous, and it's not true. It's saying that one blow-job on a business trip should be given more weight and consideration and more importance should be attached to it than the 25 years you've spent together, the kids you're raising together, the property you own together, the history you have together, the affection you still have for each other – all of that must be discarded. All of that weighs less on the scales.''
Healing after infidelity is painful for everyone involved, but if you believe that the life you and your spouse built together is more important than the infidelity, affair recovery counseling can help. With the knowledge and guidance of an experienced relationship and sex therapist, you can develop insight into your relationship dynamic, discover your authentic emotional and intimate needs and attain tools that allow for lasting, healing change in yourself and your marriage.
Affair Recovery Counseling Can Help You And Your Spouse Heal And Rebuild Your Marriage
Marriage counseling for infidelity can help you and your partner process pain, create new boundaries, reestablish trust and identify what you both want from your relationship moving forward. Unlike traditional marriage therapy modalities, with my approach, the goal is not necessarily staying together. Instead, the goal is to identify what you both truly want and discover whether or not you and your partner can live happily and harmoniously together. The truth is, sometimes relationships just don’t work for a variety of reasons, and if that’s the case for you, I can aid you both in conscious uncoupling. Regardless of what you discover and decide, affair recovery can help you both learn how to cultivate a more fulfilling romantic life moving forward.
In a safe, non-judgmental environment, you can openly share and explore your emotional and intimate desires, beliefs and challenges. My approach is collaborative and incorporates a wide variety of customized interventions and blended modalities. Together, we can uncover the root causes of the discord in your relationship and emerge new awareness and satisfaction from your marriage.
Increasing satisfaction in the marriage will always be at the forefront of our work; however, we’ll also explore productive ways for each of you to get needs met outside of the partnership. Having your own “playtime” as an adult – hiking, taking a painting class, reading, etc. – is so important because it keeps you from getting stuck in the same routine or relying on your partner for personal fulfillment. A lack of freshness is a common pathway to infidelity and disconnection.
Because affairs are generally a symptom of a larger, ongoing issue, together we will work to repair broken parts of the marriage and continue to build upon a strong foundation of love and trust. With the guidance of an experienced couples counselor, you can learn the language needed to describe your feelings more authentically, as well as gain insight into your partner’s experience. You can also come to recognize warning signs that lead up to an argument and acquire tools to de-escalate and even prevent harmful outbursts. We can also redefine and respect a new set of boundaries that feel comfortable and reasonable for you both.
My approach to couples therapy and sex therapy is non-judgmental and aimed at supporting the ultimate good of the relationship. With the guidance of a compassionate marriage counselor, it is possible to fall in love in a renewed relationship. Life after infidelity, believe it or not, can be better than before.
You may still have some questions or concerns about affair recovery counseling…
Is it too late to mend our relationship?
Even if there have been multiple infidelities from both partners, it’s possible to heal and build a satisfying, connected relationship. With that being said, the success of therapy is dependent on the strength and commitment level of both partners. If you are both committed to repairing and rebuilding your marriage, lasting change is possible.
I’m afraid the affair is still going on.
If the affair is still going on, I may recommend individual therapy for both partners. Ultimately, I want to help you both make choices that benefit the partnership moving forward.
I’m involved in an affair and am interested in seeking advice about ending my marriage.
I’m happy to work with you individually and provide insight and guidance about moving forward. Affairs are generally a clear sign that something has gone array in the partnership, and sometimes uncoupling is what’s best for both partners. If this is the case, I am happy to help you identify internal and external factors that have brought you here and aid you in your amicable separation.
You Can Heal From Infidelity In Marriage
If you’re recovering from infidelity, I invite you to start the healing process by scheduling a free 20-minute consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about my practice in Boulder, CO.