The list of politicians, celebrities, and fictional characters who are famous for their infidelity could go on and on. People take the clickbait and want to know… who was involved? How were they discovered? How will the spouse respond? Infidelity generates drama that draws people into the salacious and enthralling details. But when it happens in your marriage or your relationship, it is not glamorous or intriguing—it is usually a time of crisis.
In the aftermath of adultery, couples face serious and difficult questions: Do we reconcile? Do we divorce? And a million more that follow after these. No one can answer these questions except the partners; however, the couple will need support along the way. Regardless of what they choose for their relational future, many couples seek a therapist’s help as they recover from the crisis that adultery ignites.
Thriveworks Counseling in Houston, TX has therapists who know the challenges that couples face after an affair, and they have helped many couples find their own path toward recovery.
Infidelity and Pain
Adultery. Infidelity. An affair. Cheating. The different words express the same idea: a person in a dedicated relationship violates that relationship’s expectations for fidelity. The expectations may be in the form of marriage vows, or they may not. Either way, cheating causes pain.
There is no limit to the ways a person can commit adultery. People have emotional affairs, pornography addictions, one-night stands, long-term illicit relationships. Regardless of the form the adultery takes, a few things are constant:
- Broken trust
Discovering a spouse’s infidelity is often a traumatic experience. Long-term relationships and marriages should be places where people are loved, known, and safe. Infidelity turns this upside down. Instead of love, there is betrayal. Instead of being known, there are secrets. Instead of safety, there is pain.
The context of infidelity is relational, and therefore, people always are hurt. Each situation is different, but extended family, friends, and community members might feel the betrayal of infidelity. Most of the time, children and the uninvolved spouse experiences the most harm.
- The Uninvolved Spouse: When their partner’s infidelity is discovered or disclosed, many uninvolved spouses describe the revelation as traumatic. They may even experience post-traumatic stress symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, compulsive behaviors, depression, anxiety, and more.
- The Children: When a couple has kids together, the infidelity inevitably affects the children as well. Even if they are too young to know what is happening, they feel the disruption in safety. If the kids know about the infidelity, then they may resent the spouse who cheated. Children also may internalize their family’s difficulties, blaming themselves.
Infidelity can rupture relationships and cause deep pain. Recovery, therefore, requires thorough healing.
Recovering from an Affair
The couple’s context and the circumstances of the affair may determine the path of recovery. For some couples, recovery may mean separating. Others may want their recovery to try to reconcile the marriage. For others, divorce could be the best path to recovery. Every couple has their own relational goals, and a skilled therapist can guide the healing process. Counseling may give couples the structure and support they need.
A therapist may facilitate couples as they…
- Communicate – Communication usually breaks down after an affair is discovered or disclosed. A couple may ignore each other in cold silence. Couples may only be able to communicate in hot anger. Therapists can help each couple find a better way.
- Define their relationship – Uncertainty about the relationship’s future is very normal in the aftermath of an affair. There are many options from divorce to reconciliation and many ways to achieve the type of relationship each partner wants. Counseling can help the couple define and achieve the relationship they want.
- Rebuild trust – Betrayal decimates trust. A therapist may lead couples through exercises that, with time, rebuild trust. These exercises may include setting boundaries or incorporating accountability.
Setting Up a Session at Thriveworks in Houston, TX
Is your marriage or relationship facing the challenges that infidelity brings? Are you feeling the trauma of betrayal and ready for some help and support? Thriveworks Houston therapists understand, and we are ready to provide support as you and your spouse heal from infidelity.
Affairs can bring pain and chaos, so setting up an appointment for therapy should not add more chaos to your life. Thriveworks Houston, TX has made scheduling an appointment as simple as possible. When you call our office …
- A person will answer and schedule your appointment.
- You might be able to see your therapist the next day, even if you are a first-time client.
- We work with many insurance companies.
- You can schedule evening and weekend appointments.
After infidelity, many people find they are a stronger person and have stronger relationships. Call today to start recovery.