You've just learned that your partner or spouse is cheating.
Perhaps you're the cheater, and you're looking to end your affair and fix your marriage.
Maybe it's 2:00 a.m., and you're looking for help.
Regardless of why I'm glad you're here.
You're not alone.
According to a 2018 survey by the Insitute of Family Studies, 20% of the male participants admitted to cheating versus 13% of their female counterparts. Out of the 441 survey-takers, the older contributors created a wider gender gap in the admission of infidelity.
It doesn't come as a surprise that affair recovery is most prevalent among married couples, with over a quarter of the survey participants reporting that they stayed in the relationship versus 13.6% of the unmarried couples.
Most couples split up after the revelation of an affair because there isn't a clear path to healing and repair. How can you ever forgive the cheater? How will you ever trust him or her again? How could s/he have done this to your and your kids? The what, why, where, and who questions follow.
Would it surprise you to know that the cheater usually goes through emotional turmoil too? They typically ask themselves, how did this happen? What if my partner/spouse finds out? I'm destroying my life, but I can't stop what do I do now? If the partner has learned accidentally, the cheating partner now faces trying to figure out how to even start to show remorse in a meaningful way.
Affairs happen for a variety of reasons, the least of which are for love. Two people in a committed relationship either grow together or grow apart. When the latter happens, it's hard to find a way to talk without criticism and contempt. It's equally as challenging to listen without feeling defensive or shutting down.
One partner usually becomes the "pursuer" -usually the woman - and the other becomes the "distancer" and shuts down -typically the man (Horsmon, 2017).
What used to be a safe place to land at the end of the day is now filled with eggshells to walk on and land mines to avoid. One false move and the environment can turn into a war zone.
This is the point where the sex stops, the arguments become the "norm" of communication, and the "D" threats start. Both of you are feeling tension, anger, sadness, frustration, and just plain stuck. This is called "gridlock," and it's a relationship killer.
Enter the breeding ground for an affair. The cheater creates a fantasy with the affair partner and feels externally validated (Gornto, 2015). In a world of technology, these relationships don't just start at the office anymore. Cyber-affairs and emotional affairs are just as devastating as a sexual affair.
Then the affair partner wants more, or the cheater comes to his or her senses, or the spouse finds out accidentally. Some cheaters can't stand the guilt, and they fess up to the spouse or partner. Now what?
If you are cheating or cheated upon, affair recovery is possible. But how?
Here is my approach to helping couples recover from infidelity:
The affair must end. For recovery to start, the affair must end. That means the cheater must tell the affair partner that the relationship is over and communication must cease. I require full disclosure, and before we start working together, the cheater must commit to this.
Affair recovery is up to YOU. I have a magic wand that was given to me back when I graduated from my master's program. I learned pretty quickly that it doesn't work when I wave it. I can guide you but I can't fix your problems. What I know about working with couples is that it's up to YOU whether or not you repair the relationship. I have the tools, and I'll teach you. What you do with those tools is up to you.
Independence is key. The most solid relationships are when two independent people come together. That means there's no room for insecurity or jealousy. But wait - my partner has just breeched the most sacred of commitments. How do I ever get to the point where I can trust again and gain my independence back or give it in return? I have tools to help you get back to being healthy and independent.
No abuse! I don't work with couples who have active physical abuse going on because repair can't happen if there is abuse among you.
Digging into the issues. Here's the hardest part - to face the problems that contributed to the affair. I want to help you and your partner get out of the blame game and into problem-solving. The betrayed partner certainly didn't cause the affair, and the cheater most likely didn't plan to step out of the relationship. Both people contribute to problems, and that's where we'll focus. I'll ask you the tough questions: what is my contribution to these issues, and how can I participate in resolving them?
The cheater becomes the healer. This may seem counterintuitive, but the healing has to start with the cheater turning towards the partner. I will walk you through every step of learning how to provide support and healing to your betrayed partner.
Emotionally focused repair. Here we address issues around unresolved feelings the cheater may have for the affair partner, for the betrayed partner, and the betrayed partner's anger, hurt, and both partner's shattered trust. I help you create a healthy attachment to each other, rebuild trust, and allow yourselves to be vulnerable again so that you can restore your fondness and admiration for one another.
Creating a path to hope and healing is possible if both partners come to counseling with an open mind and a willingness to use the tools you'll learn in sessions.
Affair recovery is possible. Call me today for a free consultation and let's get started.
LEARNING THE NEWS
Shock, disbelief, anger, horror. You've now entered the early stages of grief.
This is the start of the emotional roller coaster. Anger, fear, rage, dispair - where do you go from here?
Research shows that couples who decide to reconcile after an affair can build a stronger and healthier relationship.
Separation and divorce are never easy. One foot in and one foot out can damage the relationship further.