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Affair Recovery

Learning of an extramarital affair brings unspeakable pain and confusion to relationships. It’s shocking and overwhelmingly hurtful, and the damage caused by this crisis will require intense work and understanding from both partners to rebuild what has been broken.  Couples who process an extramarital affair with a therapist are more likely to fully heal. And, while recovery work may feel like one step forward and step back, couples willing to put in the work can mend.

Things to consider when managing the crisis of an extramarital affair:

Who can I tell? – Who do I not tell?

What should I do? – What should I not do? – Rash decisions usually make it worse.

What do we tell the kids?

•    Most couples attend sessions once a week
•    Some sessions may be individual
•    The counselor helps couples get to the root of the issues
•    Biblical principles are incorporated into sessions at clients’ request along with proven psychological concepts and theories

Hurt & Anger

Whether you recently confessed to having an extramarital affair, or you were on the other end of the confession and are currently reeling from shock and devastation. If you have been cheated on it can feel so unfair. They caused the offense but now you’re the one to bear the burden. We want to meet you with understanding and help amidst this tremendous pain. You are likely experiencing feelings of doubt, despair, hurt and anger or asking questions you’ve never asked before:

  • What am I supposed to feel?
  • What am I supposed to do?
  • How did I not see the signs?
  • Why did this happen?
  • Is our marriage over?
  • Can I ever trust my spouse again?
  • Do I know everything—or are more revelations coming?
  • Who is this person I am married to?
  • Will she cheat again?
  • How can I ever forgive him?

Understanding the Why

The offender’s response to the offended partner’s pain sets the stage for rebuilding. Regardless of the state of your marriage when the cheating occurred, there is no room for excuses. Instead, the one who chose to be unfaithful must own his/her choices and show proper remorse and seek to understand the emotional longing and beliefs that drove them to this choice.

  • Were they searching to meet a need through the affair?
  • Was there infidelity in your family of origin?
  • Do you have an addiction (sex, drugs, or alcohol) that resulted in making other poor choices?

None of these conditions excuse the affair but are discussed at length because it is always beneficial to understand what got you into the situation in the first place before the repair work can begin. The offender needs to understand the why so that the offended can be reassured it won’t happen again.

Rebuilding Trust

This is likely one of the most difficult things you’ll ever go through. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable again is possible but difficult since it usually feels like, “they caused the offense but you’re the one to bear the burden”.

Extending forgiveness will be a piece of rebuilding trust that will come late in the healing process.

Affair Recovery: 8 Stages You Can Expect as Your Heal

1. Shock

A profound sense of disbelief, betrayal, and emotional numbness upon discovering or learning about the infidelity.

2. Denial

Denial in a marital affair is clinging to the belief that the betrayal didn’t happen or isn’t as serious as it seems.

3. Obsession

Obsession in a marital affair is an overwhelming preoccupation with thoughts, images, or other details..

4. Anger

An intense emotion characterized by feelings of betrayal, hurt, and a desire for retribution or justice.

5. Bargaining

Bargaining is an attempt to negotiate or make deals to prevent the loss of the relationship or ease the pain.

6. Mourning

Mourning in a marital affair is a process of grieving the loss of trust, security, and the envisioned future with a partner.

6. Acceptance

Acceptance is the acknowledgment and understanding of the reality of the situation, leading to emotional resolution.

8. Recovery

Recovery is the gradual healing and rebuilding of trust, intimacy, and the relationship as a whole.