Infidelity, Adultery and Cheating—Counseling in Kennesaw, GA
Almost every day a story hits the tabloids or Internet about a celebrity or politician who has had an affair. It seems like the public loves to hear the details of how it happened, who it involved, and what will happen to the marriage. The sordid affairs of public figures can capture people’s attention as they search for clickbait. Something about cheating gets people’s attention.
However, when adultery occurs in your relationship or your marriage, it does not feel glamorous or exciting—cheating is usually a crisis point for the couple.
Adultery has ended many marriages—some that were decades old and some that were barely a year old. And yet, some spouses have worked through the affair and restored their relationship. Which is the right way? Only the people in a relationship can make that difficult decision or the thousands of difficult decisions that follow, but there is support and guidance along the way. A professional therapist may give couples the tools they need to bounce back from adultery, whatever decisions they make about their relationship.
The counselors at Thriveworks Kennesaw, GA understand that cheating is more than a cultural fixation—it is often a harsh reality that many couples face. Adultery often brings devastation to a relationship and a family, but our therapists are experienced and supportive guides for recovering from infidelity.
Infidelity: What is it?
Cheating. Adultery. Infidelity. Whatever word you use for it, the concept is the same: someone in a relationship breaks the expectations of that relationship. The relational expectations may have been formalized in marriage vows or not. People often associate infidelity with marriage, but it can also happen in long-term relationships where the couple committed to monogyny.
The cheating may look like an emotional affair where one partner forms an affectionate but not physical relationship that hinders intimacy within the marriage. The affair might look like a long-term sexual relationship where a spouse is emotionally and physically involved with a person outside of the marriage. The adultery might be purely sexual and involve one-night stands, strip clubs, or prostitutes.
Infidelity always includes keeping secrets, lying, and breaking trust.
There are infinite ways a person can commit adultery, and whatever those circumstances may be, the fallout is disastrous.
The Fallout from Infidelity
Affairs happen within a relational context, so by definition, they harm people. Some of those people may include family members, friends, extended family, and (in certain cases) community members.
Adultery upends the family system. The uninvolved spouse and the children (if any) usually suffer the most from the affair.
- The Uninvolved Spouse: Adultery can traumatize the uninvolved spouse. When discovering their spouse’s affair, many uninvolved spouses have reported that severe emotional and physical pain washed over them. Because cheating involves lies and the break of trust, reality can feel reversed: what should be the safest relationship becomes the most painful. What should be the most honest relationship becomes full of lies.
- The Children: Whether children know their parent cheated or not, they often intuit the insecurity, tension, and strain an affair can bring into a family. They can also internalize it. If their parents choose to divorce, children often blame themselves. Parents who commit adultery may also shape how their children form relationships later in life.
Quantifying the relational harm adultery causes is difficult, but without doubt, the harm is acute. Affairs can leave people feeling deep grief and trauma. Victims of the adultery may feel distrust, anger, anxiety, or depression. Affairs cause deep wounds, and treatment for healing is extensive.
Healing from an Affair
There is no silver bullet for healing from an affair. Apologies do not magically restore trust and love. Divorce does not guarantee safety or happiness. Neither does reconciling.
And yet, forgiveness, trust, and healing are all possible.
A trained therapist has the tools and expertise to facilitate healing within each spouse and then within the relationship, if that is what the couple desires. Here are a few things counseling for infidelity may address.
- Communication — During or after adultery, communication often completely dissolves. Couples may see-saw between yelling matches and cold silence. This is understandable and normal when emotions are intense and overwhelming, but it is not healthy or sustainable. Therapists can help couples communicate in a more healthy way, regardless of their relational future.
- Goals — Some couples know they want to continue the marriage. Others know they want a divorce. Some may want to separate for a while. Many change their minds along the way. Counseling helps many people clarify the goal of their relationship, and then take concrete steps toward that goal.
- Trust — Moving forward in a relationship, even if forward means divorce or separation, the trust that infidelity destroyed must be rebuilt in some way. Boundaries may need to be established. Accountability may need to be incorporated. A therapist can guide that process so that the couple has the trust it need for the relationship they choose.
Infidelity Counseling at Thriveworks Kennesaw, GA
Has your spouse or partner recently committed adultery? Have you cheated or are you currently cheating on your spouse and you are ready to come clean? Thriveworks Kennesaw, GA counselors are available to help.
When you call our office, a real person will answer and help you schedule an appointment. We do not keep waitlists, but our therapists can often see clients (even new clients) within 24 hours. We also work with many insurance companies.
We know adultery is destructive, but we also know that couples can survive—even thrive—after an affair. Making an appointment for infidelity counseling may be an important part of learning how to thrive after an affair. Call today to get started.