Are You And Your Partner Struggling With the Effects Of An Affair?
After an affair, do you wonder if you can or will ever trust your partner again? Perhaps you can’t stop thinking about the details and circumstances of the infidelity and find yourself wondering if you could have done anything to prevent your partner from straying. Beneath the anger and sadness, do you feel deeply shaken by your partner’s betrayal? It may be that you want to work on your marriage or relationship, but don’t know how to rebuild trust and move out of the shadow infidelity has cast over your life together. Do you fear that if you continue the relationship you will be condoning your partner’s betrayal, prompting him or her to continue having affairs? Do you wish there was a way to repair your relationship and to be sure that the cheating won’t happen again?
If you have had an affair, you may be wondering if and when your partner will stop talking about it and move on. Or, it might be that you’re struggling with sincere remorse and fear that you’re going to lose everything. Maybe you’re having difficulty understanding your partner’s intense emotional response, and while you love your partner, you feel limited or unfulfilled in some way in your relationship. You may have told your partner the affair has ended, when in reality it’s continuing. Perhaps you have a longstanding history of affairs and fear you don’t have the strength or capability to remain faithful to one person. Or maybe you believe that if your partner could just forgive you, overcoming infidelity would be possible and you could save your relationship. It might be that you wish you could go back and erase your actions or that you had the skills needed to talk openly with your partner before you stepped outside of the relationship. Do you wish you could find a new way forward that is satisfying and strengthening for both of you, allowing your partner to trust you within the mutually agreed boundaries of your relationship?
Infidelity Is More Common Than You Might Think
Whether or not we care to or can admit it, infidelity and extra-marital affairs are incredibly common in our supposedly monogamous culture. Research shows that between 30-60 percent of married individuals will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. While both men and women are unfaithful, infidelity rates are especially prominent amongst older men. With over half of all marriages breaking down, infidelity is reported as the number one reason for divorce. Whereas in the past, infidelity required pursuing somebody in person, affairs are now, quite literally, available at the touch of a button. Through technology, people now have unprecedented access to social media, past relationships, dating sites and apps. Essentially, it’s becoming easier and easier to simply look elsewhere instead of working on an existing relationship that may be struggling in one or more areas.
Another result of the rapid advance of technology is that many couples are spending less quality time together. They may be sitting side-by-side, but be distracted by phones and laptops, becoming less connected to each other. Lives are also lived at a faster pace and people are working harder than ever, with less time or energy to focus on relationship problems. And, affairs rarely happen in an entirely happy and satisfying relationship. Very often, there are other factors in the relationship that cause one or both members to feel insecure, dissatisfied and, ultimately, compelled to cheat.
Influential couples researcher Esther Perel has devoted years to uncovering reasons behind infidelity and has greatly impacted the way many therapists view monogamous relationships. Perel believes that, with the right mindset, dealing with infidelity is possible and relationships can recover from affairs. And, by working with a skilled couples therapist, it becomes possible to let go of blame and hurt, get to the heart of your trust issues and uncover the reasons behind the affair. Through the affair recovery process, you can become closer to your partner and strengthen your relationship going forward.
Infidelity Counseling Can Provide You With Skills, Support And A New Path Forward
Long-term romantic relationships are extremely complex and often difficult to sustain. In our culture, we choose one person and he or she is then supposed to fulfill every aspect of our being. Typically, we believe that men cheat because of boredom or a fear of intimacy, while women cheat due to loneliness and a hunger for intimacy. While this is true in some cases, the reasons behind the infidelity in your relationship are likely much more complex.
Infidelity counseling can help you and your partner explore the affair(s) thoughtfully and discern what they represent. In the comfortable, confidential space of couples therapy sessions, I’ll help you—as a couple—identify what has been lacking in your relationship and what your partner may have been searching for when he or she was unfaithful. As we go through this process, I can also help you explore and uncover lost dreams or desires and develop skills that can help you both feel more comfortable expressing your true thoughts and emotions. We’ll explore if and when the romance in your relationship failed to meet one or both of your expectations, as well as work on better understanding each other’s true desires. Through working on communication and strengthening your emotional connection to each other, you’ll be able to discover where things went off course in your relationship and learn how to come together to foster a relationship that is mutually supportive and based in love, trust and respect.
As you discover and communicate hidden dreams and desires to your partner, you can also work collectively to figure out how your discoveries can be facilitated and honored in your relationship. As researcher Esther Perel has said in her influential writings on infidelity, most people have multiple marriages in their lifetime and they are often with the same person. There are different meanings behind affairs, which, when revealed, can actually bring a couple closer and strengthen their relationship.
I am trained in Systems Theory and the Gottman Method for couples and marriage counseling, as well as incorporate Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) techniques into affair recovery sessions. I’m skilled at facilitating productive conversations and have the expertise and experience to help you and your partner strengthen your emotional connection. As a therapist with 22 years of experience who has been working with couples since 2007 and someone who has been married for 16 years, I know both personally and professionally the ups and downs that come with intimate relationships. I also know that with support, guidance and a willingness to self-explore and actively work on your relationship, you can not only recover from infidelity, but actually deepen and strengthen your relationship.
You Still May Have Questions And Concerns About Infidelity Counseling…
I’m afraid I’m going to be blamed for the affair.
Each person plays a part in the relationship dynamic, and therefore I will never blame one person. I do believe that the person who went outside the relationship does need to take responsibility for their behavior and offer a sincere apology, often multiple times. But, assigning blame is incredibly unhelpful and creates roadblocks for repair. The goal of therapy is to atone for the behavior, acknowledge the pain inflicted on your partner as a result of the betrayal and learn to heal your wounds as a couple.
I’m worried you’ll judge me/analyze me/make me lie on a couch.
The stereotypical depiction of therapy you may know from popular culture is not how I work. In sessions, you and your partner will sit facing each other and will communicate with each other, not with me. My role is simply to facilitate this communication and connection and help you work through the challenges in your relationship patterns.
I’m afraid we’re just going to go around in circles and not change anything.
Couples therapy sessions with me are designed to limit unhelpful fighting and ruminating. Rather, I’ll help to facilitate connection and insight, allowing you to gain a greater understanding of the thoughts, feelings and events that led to the affair, how the affair has impacted your partner and ways to work as a team to strengthen your relationship and move forward.
You Can Feel Secure And Happy In Your Relationship
If you’re ready to begin taking steps toward improving your relationship after an affair, I can help. Call 215-939-6476 or email [email protected] today for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I am happy to answer any questions you have about couples therapy, affair recovery and my practice. I am conveniently located in Estero, Florida which is close to Fort Myers and Naples.