Can WE Really Recover From Infidelity?
It is not uncommon to find myself sitting in my office with a couple affected by marital infidelity or an affair and one or both of the partners ask this very difficult question.
My reply is always yes, if......These elipses are followed by what I have found to be the most significant factors that contribute to couples successfully nagivating the very choppy waters of marital infidelity therapy.
Research reveals that marital infidelity may not be the norm, but the numbers suggest that it is a significant problem in marriages. My experience is that with the contemporary popularity of technology, i.e,, social media, smart phones, texting apps and video chatting apps, their has been a rise in the number of couples that show up in my office reporting some form of infidelity.
While the continnum of behaviors that constitutes infidelity is broad, I have found that the road to recovery is pretty consistent. Because infidelity always creates a sense of betrayal and loss of trust, the path to recovery tends to be relatively consistent. Please note that the following is a list of if's, that need to occur during the course of receiving proffessional marital counsleing by a licensed and trained marriage therapist.
The road to recovery starts with the "offending" partner immediately and completely ending the inappropriate relationship, followed by full acknowlegement of the infidelity, it's emotional impact on the "hurt" partner and the marital relationship. This step is truly the engine that pulls the train; for without it, recovery can never occur. So many couples chose to "push it under the rug" or "move on" and find themselves in a chronic state of confusion, conflict and crises.
The next important factor is that both partners have a deep committment to the marriage and the relationship. This is what is required to stay the course and navigate the difficulties of the process. This committment keeps the relationship together, even when one or the other partner gets scared, angry, or lost in the emotional whirlwind that ensues.
Third, the "offending" partner needs to face the music and tell the story of the infidelity in a transparent and open way. This partner must be willing to answer the hard questions openly and honestly. So much of the work of infidelity recovery is understanding the story of the infidelity. Equally as important is for the "offending" partner to understand his or her motivation for the affair and what needs were being met by the affair. While this can be a very painful process, it is important in the couple's ability to make sense of this traumatic event and how to prevent it from occurring in the future.
Finally, if the couple can continue to show up to therapy and have the hard conversations, time and time again, with the guidance and direction of a trained therapist, they can find the way back to trust, better communication, intimacy, and build an even stronger more connected relationship. Infidelity is most oftern a marital crises, but it is one that can be recovered from. I have worked with dozens of couples that have come through the process with a more connected, committed, loving and satisfying marriage in place.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by the loss of trust and feelings of betrayal of marital infidelity, contact Kimberly at (214) 872-4334 for more information regarding how marital infidelity counseling might help.
I welcome the opportunity to be of service to you and your loved one.