Are You And Your Partner Wondering How To Recover From An Affair?

couple arguingHave you discovered that your partner has been unfaithful? Are either or both of you struggling with intense feelings of resentment, anger, and hopelessness? And are you left questioning if and how your relationship can be repaired? 

Betrayal looks and feels different for everyone experiencing it. Perhaps you’re a betrayed partner who has recently become aware of your significant other’s emotional infidelity, porn use, or full-blown affair. You may feel compelled to find out every detail of the betrayal, constantly asking your partner questions about where and when everything took place so that you can have a little bit of clarity about why this happened. 

Yet, regardless of how much information they offer, you probably feel unsatisfied with their response. Instead, humiliation and confusion have taken over—causing you to wonder if you will ever be able to trust your partner again. 

On the other hand, you may be the partner who cheated. Caught up in a pattern of deception, you may have grown accustomed to lying to your partner, even if only to protect them from the truth of painful details. You might also feel humiliated and ashamed of your behaviors. Or maybe you’re eager to brush the incident under the rug so that you both can move on. 

An Instance Of Infidelity Can Turn Your Whole World Upside Down

gay coupleIn the days following the discovery of a betrayal, one or both of you may experience disruptive physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms. You might find yourself often crying, unable to stay present, or experiencing frequent nightmares or flashbacks. Perhaps the betrayal has triggered an upswing in your sex life, or maybe you can’t even fathom being physically intimate with your partner. Whatever the case may be, you’ve likely become distracted, forgetful, and clumsy, which contributes to an overall sense of overwhelm in your daily life and relationships. 

Not to mention, there may be other factors involved that complicate your ability to navigate and recover from infidelity as a couple. If you have kids, you may be concerned about discussing the betrayal at home out of a fear of creating conflict or allowing your children to find out what happened. Or maybe the two of you are trying to manage affair-related stress on top of demanding schedules and work responsibilities. 

At this moment, you probably want nothing more than to go back to a time before the affair so that you could address early warning signs or stop yourself from cheating. And while affair recovery can be a painful process that takes commitment and work, healing after infidelity is possible in counseling. 

Though Infidelity In Relationships Is Common, Open Discussions About Infidelity Are Not

While infidelity and betrayal are often shrouded in shame and secrecy, the truth is that affairs are very common. The Institute for Family Studies estimates that 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women have had sex outside of their marriage, and that close to 40 percent of unmarried couples will experience an affair.  However, that same research indicates that couples who seek counseling for infidelity have about a 60 percent success rate after working with a therapist.

holding handsUnfortunately, we as a culture lack the proper tools and emotional awareness to fully understand infidelity and how to deal with it. Many factors can contribute to an affair, including a lack of healthy communication and physical intimacy. But ultimately, affairs happen when one partner gives themselves permission to pursue their satisfaction over the wellbeing of the marriage or relationship. 

The resulting betrayal may contribute to a heightened or intensified stress response, or what’s otherwise known as betrayal trauma. This can cause the betrayed partner to become hypervigilant and untrusting or develop low self-worth and protective barriers that can be hard to penetrate without the help of an infidelity therapist. 

We are here to tell you that surviving an affair is possible and that your relationship can be repaired. By allowing yourself to become vulnerable about the betrayal in affair recovery at J. Woodfin Counseling, you and your partner can overcome infidelity and strengthen your connection. 

Wounds It Has Created

Dealing with infidelity can be a hugely painful and emotionally taxing process. Therefore, the neutral, supportive atmosphere of therapy helps to foster a sense of safety as you and your partner explore, process, and reconcile. By working with a therapist who can help you rebuild a more intentional and intimate relationship, you can heal and grow a stronger future together. 

The Affair Recovery Process At J. Woodfin Counseling

At our practice, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to infidelity counseling. Our clinicians customize the therapeutic experience for each client, incorporating intensive weekly couples sessions and individual or family counseling as needed. 

lesbian coupleThe beginning of affair recovery will focus on creating a safe atmosphere where both partners can come and learn ways to minimize further damage to the relationship. As coping mechanisms are developed and applied, your therapist will help you uncover the reason for the infidelity and how to slowly rebuild trust. Soon, you both will have the mental and emotional clarity you need to know how to proceed with the relationship. 

Our approach to infidelity counseling and couples therapy is strongly influenced by Esther Perel, Shirley Glass, Terry Real, and attachment-based models that allow our clinicians to understand how early relationships shape our clients’ experiences of intimacy. Though it’s important to facilitate a safe, objective therapeutic space, we know from years of working with couples recovering from infidelity that addressing problematic patterns and gentle challenging are necessary for setting intentions and fostering accountability.

An affair does not necessarily mean the end of your marriage or relationship, and we have seen many couples not just survive—but thrive—following infidelity. The sooner you can start working with an expert in affair recovery, the better chance you will have in fostering mutual understanding, re-instilling trust, and healing as a couple. 

Let us help you recover from infidelity to create a stronger, more intentional relationship. 

Perhaps You’re A Couple Dealing With Infidelity, But Not Quite Sure If Counseling Is Right For You…  

Why do we have to talk about the affair? Every time we do, we end up fighting and making everything worse.

It’s very common for couples to fight in the process of recovering from an affair. After all, infidelity is a painful thing to discuss. But until you learn how to communicate and recover from the affair effectively, you will probably continue fighting about it. 

One of the most useful exercises in affair recovery is learning to stop an argument and table it for the next session. As you do this throughout ongoing sessions with your therapist, you and your partner can learn to listen to one another and de-escalate infidelity-related conflict as it arises. 

Can I ever trust my partner again?

You can—and if the two of you truly commit to the work of infidelity recovery, you will. 

But your trust will look different in the future. Counseling aids you through the process of forming a new union as you grieve the existing union that’s been lost due to infidelity. Fostering this new trust requires hard work, reflection, vulnerability, and a little bit of discomfort, but the payoff is creating something entirely new with your partner. With this opportunity, you can learn to become more intentional, thoughtful, and trusting. 

As the one who committed infidelity, are you going to treat me like the “bad” partner in counseling?

Our clinicians recognize that even if you’re the partner who initiated an affair, you’re probably shocked and shaken to the core by all that you have risked. You may be worried that you will lose your family and have to face the judgments of others, and you are likely dealing with changes in your identity as they relate to your infidelity. 

We are trained to support both partners in affair recovery. For you, this means guiding you in becoming less avoidant, more transparent, and more communicative with your partner. With our help, you can explore the reasons behind the affair as you learn to validate your partner’s emotions and experience. As you gain a deeper awareness of your wants and needs in your relationship, you can feel valued and empowered to communicate those wants and needs. 

Though You’re Disconnected And Devastated Now, There Is Hope For Your Future As A Couple

Healing after an affair is possible. In therapy at J. Woodfin Counseling, you and your partner can learn how to recover from infidelity as you foster healthy communication and emotional awareness. 

Visit our homepage to book a free consultation or to schedule your first appointment with one of our infidelity therapists. 

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re ready to consider therapy, Great!  You can choose your therapist and schedule your first session here:

Or if you have questions you can call or send us an email. 

We’ll reply the same business day, answer any questions you have, ask how we can help, decide if we’re a good fit for each other and we’ll get the process started. 

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