Infidelity Therapy

Has Infidelity Shaken The Foundation Of Your Marriage?

Are you worried that your relationship has been irreparably damaged by an affair? Are you or your partner struggling with compulsive sexual behaviors (or sexual addiction) involving such things as inappropriate online behaviors, sexual activities with other partners, pornography, or prostitution? Have you or your partner developed a non-sexual relationship with another person that feels threatening?  Have those behaviors created mixed emotions of fear, confusion, resentment, and anger? Perhaps you wonder if you can ever learn how to rebuild trust in your relationship again.

If you have been the victim of infidelity, you may be blaming yourself for not seeing the patterns of behavior sooner or for not being able to prevent the affair. Moreover, you may feel guilty for still loving your partner and staying with them.

Conversely, if you have been involved in an affair, you may be beating yourself up, wondering, “How did I let myself do this? This is not the kind of person I am!” Because you don’t understand your own motivations for cheating, attempts at explaining yourself can look like cheap excuses. As a result, you may be burying your guilt or avoiding the issue to protect your partner only to realize that the awkwardness is creating more distance than connection. Or, perhaps you’ve been accused of emotional infidelity, but you don’t understand what the big deal is because you never “did anything.”

Infidelity can be profoundly traumatizing for the entire family. It changes the perspective you have of your partner, your relationship, even your own identity and sense of self-worth.

Many couples feel that an act of infidelity automatically spells the end of a marriage but it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to rebuild trust after an affair and many couples do. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy can help you become clearer about how you are going to move forward after an affair and, in our view, gives you the best chance of repairing the relationship and rebuilding the trust you need to move forward together.

Couples Who Have Suffered An Affair Often Say…

Injuring Partner Injured Partner
“I’m filled with regret. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. All I wanna do is get past this.”   “I do want to understand what happened, but I don’t want to hear any excuses.” 
“I don’t understand how this happened. S/he wants all these answers that I just don’t have.”  “This happened because I’m not good enough.” 
 “I do regret this, but s/he can’t seem to let it go. I just don’t know what to do.” “I’m completely blindsided. I thought everything was great between us.”
“S/he says she wants to know all the details, but if I were honest, s/he would just leave.” “I want to know everything so I can move on, but I’m afraid of how it will make me feel.”
“My apologies seem to mean nothing.” “I always said I wouldn’t stay if this happened. Why do I want to stay?”  
“Is it still an affair if we never had sex?” “It feels like something’s wrong but s/he keeps saying nothing ever happened.” 

Affairs Are More Common Than Many Realize

If you are coping with infidelity, no matter how hopeless you might feel, know that you are not alone. According to the National Health Council, up to 60 percent of all married couples will experience at least one form of infidelity over the course of their relationship.

In Western culture, cheating is often defined as having sexual relations or intercourse outside of a committed relationship. However, an affair can also occur when one person seeks emotional support in or vents about their partner to another person. Although this kind of affair doesn’t involve physical touch or explicitly sexual behaviors, it can make a partner feel inadequate, unneeded, and ultimately, betrayed. 

Whether the infidelity occurred once in the past, was long-term, or involved purely emotional cheating, part of surviving an affair is realizing that the anger, guilt, hurt, fear, sadness, longing, and confusion that you feel is all normal. There is no one response to infidelity, and it’s natural to fear there can be no redemption or recovery. No matter how much you love your partner and want to repair your relationship, overcoming infidelity can be very difficult to achieve without help. 

When an affair is initially discovered, intense emotions can cloud your ability to think rationally and make sound decisions. Your world has been rocked. People tell us they feel off balance, as if they are walking on jello. They feel they can’t trust themselves, can’t trust their own judgment, don’t know how they are supposed to behave or react now. Often when one partner speaks about their pain or needs, it triggers an automatic need for the other partner to describe their wounds, or it drops them into a place of shame. As a result, you get stuck in a cycle of endless criticism, defensiveness, resentment, shame, and anger that just creates more and more distance.

The good news is, Emotionally Focused Therapy can help you achieve the kind of repair that allows you to feel fully heard and understood so that you can reach a place of forgiveness, even when there has been such a devastating breach. It takes work and commitment, and there is no guarantee, but it is possible. And the rewards are often deeply satisfying, sometimes resulting in an even stronger relationship than before. 

Infidelity Therapy Can Help You Understand And Forgive 

Therapy provides a safe, compassionate space for both partners to share their feelings. Our job is to help you unravel the delicate truths of your unique situation. Infidelity can be devastating, but it can also make your relationship stronger if you are committed to healing. Though it may be difficult at times, asking the hard questions and having those difficult conversations have the residual effect of making couples feel happier and more connected.

In an impartial space of confidentiality and respect for your pain, we will work to gain a practical understanding of what led to your situation. Our goal is not to judge or punish people; rather, we strive to have authentic conversations about the affair on both sides. To that end, we don’t regard the offender as a bad or evil person. Neither do we ignore the pain and vulnerability that this affair has caused. By being willing to explore the root causes of the betrayal, both partners’ fears and perceptions can transform into a shared, mutual understanding. This process is slow and intentional, which allows heightened and activated emotions to settle so both partners can feel heard and not attacked. 

We understand that every couple’s dynamic is unique and requires a tailored approach to healing. As a group of highly trained relationship therapists with over 30 years of combined experience, we are uniquely suited to help you work through infidelity. We specialize in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which places an emphasis on vulnerability and emotional depth rather than on superficial or behavioral issues. 

Our aim is to guide your conversations into new territory. We don’t expect you to simply come to terms with the affair and move on. Rather we want the unfaithful party to have a deep understanding of the damage and pain that the affair has caused. Simultaneously, we will work to validate the one who was hurt so that both parties are being heard. 

Repairing a relationship after infidelity is an act of love and faith. By focusing on your shared willingness to work through it, we can repair the damage that was done. Working as a team, you and your partner can begin to restore your trust, and eventually, you can discover a better future together.

You may still have questions or concerns about infidelity therapy… 

I’m afraid you will shame me because I cheated.

We understand your hesitation, however, this isn’t a call to the principal’s office. You are not in trouble; you are in pain and in need of help. Part of our work here is to understand what is or was driving your behaviors. What motivated you to reach outside of your relationship for another connection? 

To that end, infidelity counseling isn’t about assigning blame, and it isn’t an issue of you versus your partner. Therapy is about discovery and exploration that can offer you both greater understanding and closure for your pain.

I am afraid you will confirm that it’s my fault, and I should just get over it.

Many victims of infidelity often feel as if they are somehow to blame for their partner’s actions. However, this is largely a result of not understanding why or how the infidelity occurred. Without this insight, it becomes very easy to turn inward to assign blame. So, when it comes to healing, we know how important it is to understand what happened before you can process the intense pain of an affair. We want to help you come to terms with how you’ve been impacted so you can express your emotions, feel heard, and become empowered to advocate for yourself. 

What if we suffer through therapy and nothing gets better?

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is an extremely well-researched treatment strategy that has mountains of statistical evidence backing up its effectiveness. Therefore, we know that change is possible, and we have the tools to make it happen. Moreover, when EFT therapists need help and support, they turn to their own treatment strategies for healing themselves. That’s how we know that EFT truly does have the power to heal. 

We Can Help You Restore Your Partnership 

Infidelity doesn’t have to ruin your chance at happiness. For more information please call us for a free phone consultation at 303-682-6900, or send us a message here.  You can also click here to schedule a session with one of our therapists.