Adultery, Cheating, and Infidelity: Therapy in Woodhaven, MI
It is difficult to go online or turn on the TV without hearing about another public personality who has had an affair. Tabloids are quick to publish clickbait about how the affair happened, who was involved, and how the spouse might react. Popular movies and TV shows often incorporate infidelity into their plots. Whether it is Don Draper on Mad Men or a member of the British royal family, people are drawn to stories about adultery.
However, when your spouse or your partner commits adultery, it does not feel intriguing or racy—it is often devastating.
Some couples work through the pain and continue the relationship. Others decide that ending the relationship is best. Which is the right decision? Only the people in the relationship can make that decision or the difficult decisions that will accompany either option. There is no right answer, but there is support and guidance. Many people have found that counseling for infidelity was the support they need during a relational crisis.
The counselors at Thriveworks Woodhaven, MI know that affairs are not romantic public obsessions, but they are deeply person and painful relational crises. They have helped many couples overcome infidelity to find relational healing, whether that means ending or reconciling the relationship.
Different Kinds of Infidelity
Adultery as a concept is fairly straightforward: someone in a committed relationship breaks the expectations of that relationship. Those expectations may be formalized in wedding vows and a marriage, or they may be agreed upon through a long-term, committed relationship. But in reality, adultery is always more complex.
Adultery might be an emotional affair or a long-term sexual relationship. It might be a one-night stand, or a sexual addiction. There is no limit to the circumstances or forms for infidelity. But there are a few things that are constant:
- Infidelity involves lying and/or secrets.
- Infidelity breaks trust.
- Infidelity brings relational harm.
Affairs, by definition, happen in the context of a committed relationship; therefore, infidelity’s effects are relational. Someone may justify a one-night stand, thinking, it is just me and a stranger, no one else will be hurt. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Often, friends, extended family, and in some cases, community members are harmed through infidelity.
Often, the uninvolved spouse and the family’s children (if any) are the most directly affected.
- The Spouse: When uninvolved spouses are victimized by an affair, they experience relational trauma and all the devastation trauma can bring. This may include the onset of anxiety or depression; the uninvolved spouse may experience physical illness or pain as a result of the trauma. Adultery can turn their world upside down: a place of safety and love becomes a place of pain and resentment.
- The Children: Some families choose to tell their children about an affair. Other choose not to tell. Either way, children are affected. They may come to resent the parent who committed adultery. Or they may intuit and internalize the tension within their family. If their parents choose to divorce, children may blame themselves. These feelings can affect how children relate to their future partner.
Quantifying the harm from an affair may be impossible, but without a doubt, the harm is severe. Wounds from adultery are deep, and healing requires extensive treatment.
Rebuilding after Infidelity
Rebuilding after infidelity is not an easy process. The spouse who committed adultery cannot simply say, “I’m sorry” and then the resentment and the harm goes away. No magic words can quickly restore trust and love.
Forgiveness, however, is possible. Trust, believe it or not, can be rebuilt. With time an effort, both spouses can have a healthy relationship again, whether they continue in the marriage or not.
Marriage therapists have many tools that may facilitate growth and healing where adultery has destroyed love and trust. A few of these tools include …
- Improved Connection and Communication — After infidelity, communication and connection feel impossible. In some ways, they are. Understandably, emotions may overwhelm both spouses, and trust is low if not non-existent. However, without connection and communication, the relationship cannot move forward in a healthy way, even if both partners agree the healthy way forward is to separate. A trained therapist can facilitate connection and communication so that the relationship can heal, whatever healing the couple chooses.
- Defined Purposes — Some couples know they want a divorce. Others know they want to reconcile. Most are not sure what they want. Many others change their minds along the way. Infidelity brings chaos to a relationship, and counselors understand that dynamic. They can help a couple define what a healthy path forward for them looks like.
- Re-established Trust — To repair the marriage or to separate amicably, some form of trust must be re-established after infidelity. Adultery destroys trust, and leaning on a spouse after betrayal may or may not be wise. A therapist can help couples decide how to build trust for their relational goals.
Counseling for Infidelity through Thriveworks Woodhaven, MI
Has an affair harmed your marriage? Are you ready to move forward? Thriveworks Woodhaven counselors understand, and we are here to help.
Experiencing infidelity is difficult, so we have done our best to make reaching out for help hassle free. A real person will answer when you call our office. You can often schedule your first appointment for the next day. You will never be put on a waitlist (because we do not keep them). We also accept many major insurance providers.
Are you ready to overcome infidelity? Call today to get started.