You may feel a sense of urgency if you are dealing with the discovery of an affair or affairs. Most feel completely lost as to how to deal with this issue and even where to start. Therapists who are relationship experts can successfully help you create a path through this complex situation. Therapy with the right expert moves you from crisis to new beginnings.
You and your partner are probably experiencing intense feelings as the aftermath of an affair can feel overwhelming. Everyone seems to have strong opinions, including friends and family, and you may be feeling pressured to make decisions you are not ready for. Take time as you are still in a state of shock and confusion, and there may be much at stake and many consequences to consider.
You may also be experiencing intense guilt and shame, and feel very isolated and confused. An affair is too often portrayed in terms of a villain and a victim. However, infidelity is as a symptom of relationship issues that have been left unattended for too long. A relationship expert understands this and will make sure both partners feel safe in moving forward.
The first challenge is to slow the process down so you are able to make decisions that are truly the best and don’t add further consequences to an already difficult situation. With support of the right therapist you can understand and calm intense feelings so you can prevent further harm to yourself or anyone else. A therapist will help you develop a roadmap so you can make the best choices in traversing the road ahead.
Studies vary considerably in regards to how many couples struggle with affairs. It is safe to assume that somewhere between 30 – 50 percent of partners engage in sexual affairs at some time or another during their relationship. Keep in mind that there are also many other ways, beyond a sexual affair, that can lead to feelings of betrayal. These may include emotional affairs, refusal of intimacy or sex, financial dishonesty, substance abuse, lack of respect, withdrawal, indifference, lack of communication, to mention a few.
Given the statistics, many relationships may have to live through these issues in some form. An affair does not have to mean an automatic end to the relationship, although for some that may be the only acceptable outcome. Either way a skilled therapist will support you in moving forward, re-visioning the future of your life and possibly your relationship.
Can your relationship thrive post-affair? Yes, and it is going to take some real work and commitment. If you are each willing to look at the how you arrived at this place, and commit to working through the issues that exist between you, there is a great opportunity to not only get through this hard time, but also re-invent yourself and the relationship.
What if the relationship has run its course and infidelity was the last straw? Is it possible to divorce without escalating hard feelings? Yes. Therapists who are qualified as relationship experts work in a collaborative effort with mediators, financial consultants and family attorneys so you can make decisions that heal emotionally, and work financially and practically.
The goal in working with a therapist following the discovery of an affair is to decrease conflict and work towards cooperation and closure so a new beginning is possible. This is particularly important if there are children who are affected by this process. Research has shown that one of the key indicators of the mental health of a child in a divorce/dissolution is the quality of the relationship between the parents.
What may feel like an insurmountable challenge can be a time of deep healing, transformation, and a new beginning.
Get help from a therapist / relationship expert.
10 facts about affairs:
- Men are more likely to have affairs due to sexual motivation and less likely to fall in love
- Women are more likely to have an affair due to loneliness and the connection is emotional
- The red flags that signify affairs are sudden changes in behavior, withdrawal, criticism
- The spouse who are more dependent financially is more likely to have an affair
- Men and women define cheating differently and it also depends on their attachment style
- Lack of connection, and not an affair, is the main reason for divorce
- Almost all men (98%) and majority (80%) of women fantasize about an affair
- If you suspect your partner is having an affair, bring it up and get help
- An affair may be what breaks the ‘old’ relationship up to a new beginning
- Nothing works better than therapy following an affair in rebuilding lives