When you find the person, you want to spend your life with, it is a joyous day. You are filled with love and happiness. Images of a future built together, the home you will build together, and what you will do when you two enjoy retirement together. But what happens when infidelity in marriage strikes? Those images become lost in a sea of betrayal, hurt, and lost trust.
Infidelity can be detrimental to a marriage, but if you and your spouse decide to work through the infidelity there are some things that can keep the healing progressive. This blog will break down some ways you and your spouse can confront the issue of infidelity and begin repairing your relationship.
Counseling for Infidelity in A Marriage
Therapy for infidelity in a marriage is one of the best ways to address infidelity. In marriage counseling and couple’s therapy, it will allow you and your partner to both speak openly about the infidelity. You two can work together to begin the process of healing and reconnecting. There are many contributing factors individuals cite for infidelity, ranging from anger, self-esteem, neglect, feeling disconnected, and situational. Working with a marriage counselor in Florida can help the two of you open up honestly about how to address the specific issue.
Individual counseling for adults can also be helpful. Each of you will be able to process how the infidelity affected you, your perception of the relationship, and your goals moving forward. While these topics will also be discussed in couple’s counseling, some find it beneficial to also focus on these topics as it pertains to them individually.
True You Always Counseling is available for online therapy for all Florida residents. Whether you and your partner want to commit to individual, couple’s counseling, or both, there is a therapist ready to help. But before you even step foot in counseling, there are some things you can start right away.
Don’t Weaponize Infidelity in Marriage
There is no doubt if you have experienced infidelity, you are deeply hurt. You feel hurt and likely feel a deep sense of anger. It may even impact your self-esteem and sense of value. In fact, it is common, even after committing to repair the damages, to let the anger take over. It is not uncommon to bring up the infidelity and remind your partner of the hurt you have endured. But it is more damaging to your goal than helpful.
Weaponizing the infidelity in marriage against your significant other will only draw a further divide between the two of you. It will not allow you the opportunity to process your grief and anger effectively as you experience it. It is okay to discuss the infidelity with your partner outside of marriage counseling and couples therapy but avoid criticism and accusing. This will only cause your partner to become defensive or even to shut down, which will raise your anger in turn. This will eliminate any chance of effective communication during that interaction as well as increase the divide the infidelity created.
Don’t Seek Understanding with Infidelity in Marriage
It is human nature to want everything to make sense. To have answers to our questions. Especially when those questions revolve around our hurt and sense of being wronged. You may want to know why the infidelity happened. Or, you may blame yourself and wonder what you did to cause it or could have done to prevent it. The reality is, that there is a real possibility you will never fully understand the infidelity. Finding acceptance in this is a step in the healing process.
Seek Forgiveness Instead
More important than understanding is the desire to forgive. One partner must make the decision to forgive, the other must want to be forgiven and make amends. Without question, forgiveness is not black and white, nor is it as simple as saying, “I forgive you.” It is a long road with many bumps and detours.
The first step is to make the decision you want to forgive your partner and attempt to rebuild the marriage. Then actively work together to rebuild the relationship and connection, working through the infidelity without the weaponization of it, and continuously make the decision to forgive.
This does not mean you are not entitled to your pain or that it is not valid. It simply means that while you honor that pain, you do not allow it to dictate how you interact with your spouse. You do not allow it to determine how you approach the marriage after infidelity.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Often times in infidelity people do not allow themselves the opportunity to grieve. The process goes by very quickly with a whirlwind of emotions that become overwhelming quickly. Fear, anger, sadness, helplessness, and many, many others. Then you make the decision to work through infidelity and repair the relationship which comes with all new emotions.
But it is important you allow yourself time to grieve what was lost in the infidelity, even if the two of you decide to work through it and rebuild the marriage. In the process, you lost the perception you once had of your partner, you lost your perception of what the relationship was and would be, and what your marriage meant.
Once you grieve what was lost, you then have the ability to appreciate the new relationship which will form. Even in the case of repairing the relationship, something was lost when infidelity occurs. Allow yourself the freedom and safety of mourning that loss. Online Therapy in Florida offers a judgment-free and safe space to do so.
When you experience something terrible, such as infidelity in marriage, you just want things back to how they were. You want to be happy again, fully in love again, and able to trust again. Sometimes this desire can lead to rushing through the healing process in an attempt to be “back to normal.” However, this can lead to more issues than results. It can lead to back-sliding as well as feelings of guilt. If you try to rush and find yourself still feeling hurt or betrayed you will feel guilty about yourself and your partner may also be frustrated which will leave you questioning yourself more.
Research suggests it can take upwards of two years for a relationship to fully recover from infidelity. Be patient and celebrate the small victories along the way. The moments of growth and reconnection you and your partner experience through the process. Understand that there will be times, especially early, when there is doubt and pain. That is normal and experiencing it does not mean that you are not trying or that it is not getting better. As with any type of change, it takes time and dedication.
Build a Culture of Appreciation
While there are many reasons one may choose to enter into an affair, the common theme among all of them is a sense of distance or anger at the other person. To combat this and rebuild the connection between yourself and your partner, it is important to build a culture of appreciation. This can be particularly challenging in the early stages of recovering from an affair.
However, each day you and your partner should find one thing you appreciate about the other person. These things can be shared with the other person or kept to yourself (though it is good practice to share with the other person so they are aware of your appreciation). In doing this you grow closer to the other person and feel more connected to them, especially when both parties are showing gratitude.
Journaling Can Help After Infidelity in a Marriage
You will experience a roller coaster of emotions. Some days will be better than others. While much of this will be discussed in therapy for infidelity in marriage, there may be times you find yourself overwhelmed with emotion, positive or negative. As mentioned above, it is not beneficial to confront your partner or weaponize the affair. However, it is not fair to you to keep your emotions bottled up, nor is it healthy. So, journaling should be used to express these emotions.
Journaling allows you a private and safe way to express what you are experiencing without fighting your partner. It can also help you organize your thoughts and over time notice patterns in your emotions. It may help you identify triggers or moments where you are more vulnerable than others. This information can be helpful in your road to healing after infidelity.
Can Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy Really Help?
So, there you have it. A few steps you can take to begin trying to repair your marriage after infidelity. These are things you can begin right away if repairing the relationship is your goal, and before entering counseling. While these tips can be beneficial, counseling is the best way to work through this situation together. Marriage counseling and couples therapy for infidelity is an emotional and difficult process but will be a crucial step in the process. With the support of a skilled marriage counselor, you can begin the process of recovery. To get started, follow these simple steps:
- Contact True You Always
- Get support from our couples therapist
- Begin healing from infidelity in marriage
Other Services Offered at True You Always
Here at True You Always, we offer many services with a wide range of therapists. We are here to walk alongside you no matter what you’re dealing with. Our goal is to provide a safe and accepting space for you to breathe and be your authentic self. Along with couples therapy, we offer additional services at our Florida practice. You may also be interested in therapy for first responders, therapy for work stress, anxiety, and stress treatment, or PTSD treatment and trauma therapy. Additionally, we offer couples therapy, family therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, therapy for disordered eating, therapy for teens and tweens, support for families with a loved one struggling with ED, therapy for adults, substance use disorders, therapy for spouses of first responders, play therapy, therapy for allergies, and chronic illness. All services are offered via online therapy in Florida so you can get help from the comfort of your own space.