Infidelity is something that we don’t talk enough about in our culture. However, it is a huge obstacle many couples face. If you are struggling with infidelity in your relationship, know that you are not alone. Infidelity can occur in any relationship, even a happy one. It is not a function of a faulty partner or a bad marriage. There is a truth that a sexually and emotionally distant marriage can make an affair more likely. Still, people also have affairs in excellent relationships. For many people, marriage counseling for infidelity is a great place to start to heal.
Healing from Infidelity
Healing from infidelity requires both of you to have a deep and meaningful conversion about your relationship. You must both resist the urge to become defensive, blame one another, or deny the problems you are experiencing. There are likely some “vicious cycles” of communication that need breaking for you both. You must be willing to forgive past hurts and be completely honest with one another. You can begin to address what brought you here and start to move on by facing your emotional baggage. Know that:
- It’s not easy, and it hurts
- There will probably be anger, tears, and even depression
- It will take time to heal and to trust again.
- The cheater must take responsibility and not blame anyone else for their actions
- The “victim” must also take responsibility for underlying problems in the marriage
- Serious commitment is required from you both.
- You can process what happened if both of you are willing.
Marital Counseling for Infidelity
Couples’ counseling for infidelity can help you address the root cause of the problem. As long as you both are willing, the couple will dissect what lead up to the affair. Each of you will take an in-depth look at how the affair has affected your lives. The goal is to:
- Examine the roles you both played in the affair
- Identify how and when the relationship became dysfunctional
- Discuss and acknowledge the damage the affair has done to your relationship
- Decide what needs to be done for your relationship to survive and thrive
A counselor will help you improve your relationship by working on your communication and conflict-resolution skills. Not only will you each be given the opportunity to recommit to one another, but you will also put measures in place to prevent another instance of infidelity. Additionally, the therapist will recommend individual counseling as a way to dig deeper into your relationship.
In individual Counseling, the therapist addresses issues that are damaging the relationship one on one. In most cases, there are issues related to trauma that inform or increase one’s likelihood of cheating. These traumas can include:
- Child abuse/Neglect
- Dysfunctional communication patterns
The therapist can further support you and your partner by understanding the underlying personal issues. You will be encouraged to examine your past experiences to consider how they might influence your behaviors. Should the two of you have children, family counseling might be recommended as another additional option.
Family counseling is similar to couples counseling in that both partners are involved in helping heal the relationship. Family counseling differs because the therapist may take on a holistic approach by involving your important people in the therapy process. In some cases, your children might be involved as the infidelity affects them too. The goal is to get everyone into a safe place where they can be completely honest with one another. In this format, the family works to:
- Be honest about what led to the infidelity
- Examine how cheating has affected the family dynamic
- Discuss how the relationship will look going forward
- Improve communication and conflict-resolution skills
- Learn the “warning” signs in the relationship
- Learn how to overcome other issues that arise – financial, child-rearing, extended family, work-related, etc.
Marriage counseling for infidelity is meant to help you and your spouse heal from instances of cheating. Depending on your unique circumstance, your therapist might recommend couples counseling, individual, or family counseling to help. You will work on improving your communication and conflict resolution skills and work on a plan for the future. With time and commitment, you can learn where your relationship broke down and work to improve it going forwards.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a therapy office serving the Chicagoland Area. We offer couples counseling for infidelity and mental health services. Our therapists are skilled at working with those who are struggling with infidelity in their marriage and want to find a way to heal. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us at info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.