Some people believe that if their spouse cheats on them, the marriage is over. They believe ending the marriage is the only option available to them. Some believe they will never be able to trust their spouse again. Many fear they will never be able to forgive their spouse. They wonder whether staying in the marriage will give their spouse “permission” to cheat again. Oftentimes, others are afraid people will judge them for staying. They are afraid people will judge them for leaving. In short, infidelity seems like a lose-lose situation. Yet a multitude of couples are surviving infidelity every day.
The good news is, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that many marriages become stronger and even more intimate after couples therapy. If your husband has cheated on you, you’re not alone. Almost 45% of men have experienced sexual or emotional intimacy outside of their long-term relationships. If your wife has cheated on you, you might be interested to know that 35% of women have also experienced sexual or emotional intimacy outside of their long-term relationships. Most people assume that monogamy is a given in a marriage, but the facts show that many marriages are faced with the reality of an extramarital affair at some point. Unfortunately, many people do find themselves struggling with a cheating spouse, or learning of infidelity a year, five years, twenty years or more into a marriage.
You can not only learn that surviving infidelity is possible, you will learn how to make your relationship safe from an act of unfaithfulness ever happening again.
After the discovery of an emotional or sexual affair, marriage counseling can help you and your spouse externalize your emotions and communicate in a safe space with the guidance of an objective third party therapist who can help mediate and navigate the betrayal, pain, fear, and other emotions that can rise to the surface. Interestingly enough, both men and women struggle in very similar ways to cope with their emotions after an affair, and whether you or your spouse has cheated, both of you can benefit from uncovering the reasons why your spouse cheated, how you can rebuild your relationship after the affair has ended, and what you can do to prevent the conditions that can increase the likelihood of an affair happening in the first place.
I’m Lisa Ryan, a licensed and certified marriage counselor in Westport, Connecticut, who has been helping people via couples therapy, individual counseling, email, Skype, and telephone sessions since 2002. I help couples repair their relationships using a unique approach, asking the tough questions that can help you regain trust, rebuild an honest relationship, and repair each individual’s self-esteem by letting go of the embarrassment, shame, resentment, and anger that can accompany an extramarital affair.
The truth is, if your marriage has been challenged by infidelity, finding a way to talk about it is the first and most important step to recovery. Even if you or your spouse is adverse to therapy, your marriage can benefit from counseling. If your spouse won’t join you, try coming in for a session yourself. You can still learn from the experience, find ways to talk to your spouse about the affair, and you might be surprised to find that your spouse will want to join you for sessions eventually. As Peggy Vaughan, the author the The Monogamy Myth, has shared in multiple resources on recovering from an affair, even though every couple’s struggle is unique, their reactions and emotions can be surprisingly similar. Couples counseling can provide the support network you and your spouse need to find ways to forgive each other and move forward in your relationship.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started. Click or Call me today 203.226.8800.