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.
Couples Therapy When Substance Abuse Is an Issue
According to the Addiction Center, approximately 21 million Americans struggle with addiction, yet only one out of every ten individuals grappling with the realities of substance abuse receives treatment for their medically recognized condition. Like many medical conditions, addictions do not simply affect the person diagnosed with this challenge. Substance abuse issues affect entire families, workforces, extended networks of loved ones and potentially anyone else that they touch in some significant way. If your relationship is being affected by substance abuse issues, know that there is hope for your family. There are many resources that you and your significant other may benefit from utilizing at this time. To start with, couples counseling in Great Falls, MD may be an excellent first (or second… or twentieth) step forward.
When Substance Abuse Is Affecting Your Relationship
Committed relationships require a great deal of mental, emotional, physical and practical investment. When substance abuse issues start to color the everyday realities of a romantic bond, those investments can feel as if they are being compromised in a myriad of ways. Where there was once only affection, respect, admiration, hope and even faith, there may now also be fear, anger, resentment, jealousy and frustration. This is normal. It is important to know that even though things may seem and/or be very dark right now, approaching substance abuse issues and relationship issues caused by substance abuse in proactive ways can benefit romantic partners. It is even possible that working through these issues together may deepen your bond and strengthen your commitment. With that said, no two couples are ever exactly alike, so it is important to allow your needs and feelings to evolve as time passes in regards to substance abuse issues, whether they be active issues or recovery-related challenges. Either way, pursuing couples counseling in Great Falls, MD may help you and your romantic partner both as individuals and as a “set” as you navigate any intense period of time.
Counseling Guidance Is Available
If your relationship is being affected by the substance abuse challenges faced by one or both individuals, please know that couples counseling in Great Falls, Maryland could be beneficial for your situation. The team at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates has significant couples counseling experience and would be happy to set up an initial consultation in order to answer any questions you may have about the process and/or about how this process may benefit you and your significant other specifically. Some couples struggle with relatively straightforward issues and others struggle with challenges that are more complex. Substance abuse issues are unquestionably complex, but that doesn’t mean that couples cannot learn to thrive while working through these issues and striving for active recovery. If your relationship is being affected by substance abuse challenges, you are not alone. Please contact our office today in order to explore the potential of couples counseling in Great Falls, MD.
Contact Lindsey Hoskins & Associates for Couples Counseling Great Falls MD can trust.
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