The pain of an affair is like no other. The betrayal, the feelings of anger, shock and disbelief. You both probably feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. The disbelief leaves you feeling all sorts of emotions, least of which is stunned that this has happened to you and your relationship.
For the person who had the affair, the shame and guilt can feel like a ton of bricks that you will never be able to get out from under. Shielding yourself from the anger and hurt of your partner while simultaneously trying to grapple with feelings of loss is so confusing.
You are both hurting so much and it is so hard to know who needs the most care. The answer is, you both do. Affairs can be so isolating because often there is no one you can turn to for help and answers. It’s not like when someone is injured and goes to the hospital. People don’t bring you dinner while you recover or send you cards and offer support. Usually, we don’t want people to know.
But the truth is you are not alone. According to the one research study from 2018, about 30% of men and 20% of women respondents said they had cheated on their spouses. The majority of these people said they had met their affair partner online. The truth of the matter is that it is easier and faster to meet someone in a society that is driven by social media and dating apps. The good news though is that of those who had an affair, 60% said they were still married. In our experience, we have seen marriages not only survive but often thrive because of the renewed commitment, and tools that have been acquired to strengthened boundaries and also because the couple has decided to invest deeply in the relationship.
Affairs are strongly correlated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. An affair can make you feel like you’ve been to battle. You can feel triggered at surprising and inopportune times. There can be a sense of hyper-vigilance associated with the distrust of your partner and their activities online, on their phone, or with finances. Anger and rage can arise out of nowhere. Sadness and depression can flood either partner and make you feel like you are drowning in an abyss.
The partner who had the affair can experience a sense of loss, for various reasons including the loss of the affair partner. This loss, is of course, can be difficult for the betrayed person to understand or have compassion around. Regaining trust can seem like an impossible task with no end in sight. Hopelessness can plague both partners as you both are dealing with your own issues. Affair recovery is absolutely complicated and can truly benefit from those of us who have been trained to help and can hold the hope for you until you can hold hope for yourself.
We can help. We use the Core Values Index and the Gottman Relationship Assessment to get a clear understanding of your individual strengths, strengths as a couple, as well as the dynamics of your relationship. We use these assessments to help formulate a path forward and get to the business of helping you heal, rise up, and learn to love and trust again.
We are expressly equipped to help you because we know first hand how hard it is to heal. You can read about Eric and Sabrina’s story of affair recovery Here. We also have unique methods to treat affairs. Often, you need in-depth, extensive help right away. We can offer a weekend intensive in which you work with a team of us over several hours on a weekend. We incorporate the deeply researched Gottman method of couples therapy, specifically for healing the trauma of affairs. We also offer neurofeedback which is clinically proven to reset the brain after trauma. Lastly, we offer a very special opportunity to have an Equine Assisted Couples session at a barn nearby in which you have an opportunity to actively solidify some of the changes you are making as a couple.
Whether you choose to do an intensive or book your first weekly sessions, this is a big step. You may not even know if your marriage is salvageable. We get it. It can be costly, both financially and emotionally. But you are both worth it. No matter the outcome, you deserve to have a guide on the sidelines, ushering you both into a better place. You never know; it may even be the best thing that ever happened to your marriage. A full reboot, recommitment, a new beginning.
Our team of therapists are here for you. You can read the profiles of our therapists here. You are welcome to contact us here to ask questions or set-up an appointment, we will get back to you within 24 hours. Taking the first step toward healthy change is courageous and powerful.
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