Connect Through Therapy: Infidelity Therapy
Are you struggling to get past an affair in your relationship and need some help? If you’re ready to dive into couples counseling Great Falls MD couples rely on when their marriage is at a cross-roads, contact Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, today; we’re here to help.
What to Expect from Infidelity Therapy
As a top resource for couples counseling Great Falls MD residents turn to, we see many couples struggling to overcome infidelity. Sometimes these affairs are long, physical, and intense; other couples are working to recover from short-term affairs that may not have included physical contact. Couples therapy can be a difficult proposition for any couple, but is especially daunting in the context of infidelity when there is an easy temptation for a “good guy/bad guy” dynamic to be present.
This kind of couples counseling Great Falls MD couples seek is a delicate balancing act for therapists, too. Good couples therapists working with couples in infidelity therapy should balance the needs of two individuals whose perspectives are completely at odds with each other; while at the same time making each person feel heard and validated. It can be tough, but there are few things that make our work as couples therapists more rewarding than seeing a couple successfully come back together after infidelity has threatened to tear them apart.
So what can you expect from infidelity-focused marriage counseling in Great Falls MD? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- At the beginning of therapy, you might feel pretty hopeless. This is to be expected. Whether or not infidelity came as a surprise, it is a very painful thing to deal with in what was otherwise believed to be a committed relationship. You won’t discourage your therapist if you come in the door telling us that you’re not sure the relationship can continue. As an experienced resource for couples counseling Great Falls MD couples trust, we are prepared to hold on to hope for you until you’re ready to hold it yourselves.
- The betrayed partner might need to ask the same questions over and over, and the partner who had the affair may need to be willing to answer them. The betrayed spouse could be dealing with a kind of emotional trauma that can elicit flashbacks, constant thinking about what happened, and looking for meaning and explanation where none seem to exist. At the same time, the partner who had the affair often expresses a desire to just “move on” and leave the affair—and any discussion of it—behind. We often ask the betrayer to be patient during this part of the process; to hang in there during a difficult but normally finite phase of searching and questioning.
- If the affair was sexual, your therapist may recommend that you both see your physician to be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This can be especially difficult for the betrayed spouse, who will likely feel very embarrassed at having to submit to such testing because of the other person’s hurtful actions.
- You’ll need to apologize—probably many, many times. The betrayed partner may need to hear an apology every day, even multiple times a day, before it really starts to sink in. There may also be a request for more frequent positive contact between partners, as a way to re-establish the primacy of the relationship bond.
- At some point during our sessions of couples counseling Great Falls MD residents find strength in, we may decide together to leave the affair in the past and start a new phase of the relationship—and of therapy. Once this happens, a new conversation can emerge, and this is where the real transformative work can happen.
- I often use the metaphor of jumping off of a cliff: making a decision to have an affair is like choosing to jump off of a cliff. It’s big, dangerous, thrilling, etc. The fact that the relationship was at a point where an affair looked like an option—where the partners were standing together on the edge of that cliff, whether they knew it or not—may need to be explored and understood in a collaborative way. Affairs don’t tend to happen in a vacuum.
- Phase 2 of therapy is most often when a physical relationship resumes. The betrayer may need to be very patient about this and not push the betrayed partner to return to physical intimacy before he or she is ready. As trust starts to rebuild, this can be a powerful way to reconnect. Your therapist may encourage this when it’s appropriate.
- Many couples do stay together. This is probably the question that I get asked most often by new clients who are seeing me for infidelity—how often do people stay together after something like this? I can honestly tell you that the vast majority–about 80%–of couples who come in for infidelity counseling, and stay committed to the process, stay together.
- I consider therapy a success when both partners are happy with the outcome. Sometimes this does mean that they separate; more often, after couples counseling Great Falls MD couples consistently turn to, it means that they come to understand each other and their relationship in new ways. They may develop a deeper connection, recommit to their couple bond, and leave my office with their relationship intact.
Contact Lindsey Hoskins & Associates for Couples Counseling Great Falls MD can trust.
Schedule an appointment online for couples counseling with one of our clinicians or call today!