Counselling After Infidelity
Infidelity can hurt but does not necessarily mean the end of your relationship. The trust within the relationship is broken and at least one person will feel extremely wounded.
We know that many affairs cause break ups but many also facilitate make-ups. Sometimes the hardest thing to come to terms with is a mutual acceptance of responsibility. There are many causes of an affair, including; dissatisfaction, middle life crises, issues with intimacy or looking for what seems to be missing in the relationship. Sometimes one partner seeks fulfilment from outside of the marriage even if they love their partners and want to stay in the relationship.
The world around us is changing, including how we connect with each other. The landscape of relationships continues to evolve and it may be the case that you are in a committed relationship with a partner, but struggle with communication and with speaking your own truths.
You may have made the decision to continue your relationship after a betrayal was revealed but the relationship has clearly changed and cannot be the same. Each partner might be feeling confused, guilty, angry, stressed and fearful that the relationship is over. Whilst your relationship will have changed after an affair, there is always the potential for a new chapter. Affairs can have long-term effects and there is no quick fix or magic formula for recovering your relationship.
At Leone Centre, counselling after infidelity, cheating or betrayal can help you make the decision to transcend the stigma of divorce or the stigma of continuing the relationship after an affair. It is the process of reimagining the relationship that moves a couple forwards with honesty and integrity so that they can move towards a healthier relationship.
Sometimes, couples will have already made the decision to temporarily separate in order to recover from their betrayal. Relationship or couples counselling after infidelity can help you grieve the relationship as you knew it, heal and move forwards in your relationship or separately.
What Is Infidelity?
Infidelity and betrayal is a vast, complex and subjective field. People have different definitions of what an affair might mean. Emotional infidelity or betrayal can mean that one partner is emotionally absent from the relationship, fulfilling this need with someone outside of the marriage or relationship. A physical affair and sexual infidelity will also be subjective in each individual relationship, but it is commonly agreed that a physical affair is when one partner becomes sexually and intimately involved with another person.
Cheating can occur online, without the unfaithful partner ever having met the other in real life. Those who are dissatisfied with their relationship may use online forums or chatrooms as an escape or a way to actively seek explicit conversation with an online partner, via the film of an online personality. It may be that one partner should consider individual psychotherapy or counselling after infidelity to continue to explore jealousy, paranoia, depression or low self-esteem.
Partners will have different beliefs on what infidelity entails and this can make it difficult to seek help or even express feelings of disloyalty or insecurity. Counselling after infidelity or an affair will help establish what both partners consider an affair to be. Moving forward, this sets expectations and boundaries within the relationship to ensure both partners are happy and feel safe.
Affairs can occur even in the happiest and most successful relationship. Infidelity does not necessarily mean your relationship is over, in fact, the Guardian reports that many relationships are strengthened after an affair has been discovered.
How To Survive Infidelity In A Relationship?
In order for both partners to fully recover from betrayal, both partners will need to understand what caused the affair. Relationships have never been so demanding and filled with expectations as they are today. Counselling after infidelity can help both partners make sense of their actions and understand why the affair took place. Infidelity can have a deep knock-on effect for both partners in the relationship; many struggle with guilt, blame, unexpressed anger, resentment, denial and confusion. If both partners are committed to the process and are willing to explore the catalyst or causes of an affair, it is possible to survive infidelity in a relationship.
Counselling after infidelity will encourage honesty and transparency. This is often key when an affair was ‘discovered’ rather than ‘revealed’, wherein a partner caught their spouse being unfaithful rather than the individual confessing the betrayal. Couples are given a secure environment to share and disclose details such as the lifetime of the affair. At the Leone Centre, we help both partners tell their personal narrative in a supportive and constructive way. It may be the case that one partner is reluctant to ask questions or reveal information, thoughts or feelings; our team of qualified counsellors and associates will help you recover from betrayal together using integrative techniques designed to help couples explore and strengthen their relationship.
Couples going through the emotional trials of infidelity may also experience physiological affects of thee stress, including:
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Low libido or impotence
- Loss of appetite
- Stress-induced symptoms of other physical concerns
It may be hard to recover sexual momentum or an intimate, affection relationship after an affair or betrayal. It may feel difficult to feel vulnerable around your partner and your emotions are manifesting in the physical aspects of your relationship. It is important to be patient and considerate, both of your personal feelings and the emotions of your partner. Sometimes to successfully recover from betrayal or survive infidelity in a relationship, you might need to consider what a satisfying sexual relationship means to you. If there are irreconcilable differences and both partners agree that their desires and what they need from the relationship is different, the Leone Centre will help you finalise your relationship respectfully. Our divorce counselling services are available to help manage co-parenting and throughout the transitional process.
We understand that counselling after infidelity and recovering from betrayal is a deeply personal journey. The Leone Centre work with couples and individuals from all walks of life and we understand that those in religious marriages have unique trials and emotions that will need to be addressed comfortably before you can both move forwards.
For more information about counselling after infidelity and appropriate routes for moving forwards, contact the experienced team at the Leone Centre for an initial consultation.