Have you ever heard these lyrics about adultery?
“Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep…”
You probably have. They are the opening lines to “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” by Hank Williams, one of the most famous songs about infidelity ever written. Williams’ ability to capture the intense pain people can feel after a spouse or partner commits adultery may be one reason for the song’s popularity.
Whatever term people use—cheating, adultery, or infidelity has major repercussions for the whole family. Discovering that a partner has had an affair is usually a traumatic time, and couples can need a professional’s help to navigate the affair, whether they pursue divorce or reconciliation.
The counselors at Thriveworks Media, PA know how bewildering adultery can be, and they have supported many couples as they find their way toward a healthy relationship again, regardless of what a healthy relationship means for them.
What Is Infidelity?
Cheating may seem like a simple idea: the implicit or explicit expectations for a committed relationship were broken. But anyone who has lived through infidelity knows that reality is more complicated. To help their clients understand, therapists sometimes group affairs into three kinds:
- Emotional affairs – More than being friends, emotional affairs hinder a person’s ability to connect with their spouse, even though they do not involve sexual activity. Emotional affairs happen when a person builds a deep, emotional connection with a person who is not their spouse or partner. The connection, while not physical, may still involve fantasy, flirting, secrets, and innuendo.
- Sexual affairs – Many affairs involve one-night stands, pornography addiction, visits to prostitutes, and other sexual activity with little to no emotional connection. With some sexual affairs, the spouse committing adultery may also have a sexual addiction.
- Emotional and sexual affairs – When an affair involves a long-term relationship, there are often sexual and emotional elements to it.
Regardless of the type of affair, the impact of infidelity is often traumatic. Victims of infidelity can feel depression, grief, anxiety, anger, and more. Often, the uninvolved spouse and the children (if there are any) are most affected.
Recovering from an affair is a difficult process, but it is possible. Counseling has helped many couples rebuild their marriage or amicably separate.
How Might Infidelity Counseling Help?
Many couples have overcome an affair and achieved their relational goals, whatever those may be. Unfortunately, there is no easy path for recovering from an affair. No magical words can quickly restore trust and heal the wounds. Instead, recovery takes time and effort. The guidance from a professional may help too.
Thriveworks counselors have provided support and wisdom for many clients whose relationships were harmed by infidelity. They have taught many couples the interpersonal skills they need to overcome a painful season. For some couples, overcoming means seeking a divorce. For others, it means pursuing reconciliation. Either way, counseling may help both spouses find healing after an affair.
What does counseling address? There are many elements and goals that Thriveworks counselors may incorporate into their treatment plan for infidelity. Each client’s treatment plan is tailored for their specific needs and goals, but a treatment plan may include …
- Facilitating Communication — In the aftermath of an affair, communication can completely disintegrate. A couple may coldly ignore each other or speak with hot anger. While these options are completely understandable, they are not helpful for either spouse. A marriage therapist can facilitate healthier ways of communicating.
- Clarifying Goals — A couple may know they want a divorce, a separation, or reconciliation, but often times, one or both spouses do not know what they want. Marriage therapy can help clarify the relationship’s goals and then adjustment them as necessary when the relationship grows or stagnates.
- Earning Trust — By definition, adultery breaks trust. The spouse who committed adultery may have to address behaviors so that they can earn trust. The uninvolved spouse may need to form boundaries that can help them trust again. A marriage therapist can guide a couple toward achieving the amount of trust their relationship will need for the future.
Infidelity Counseling through Thriveworks Media, PA
Infidelity is a sensitive wound and reaching out for help may be the right next step, but it is often a difficult decision to make. If you are thinking about starting counseling because you or your spouse has had an affair, know that Thriveworks Media, PA understands the difficulty you are facing. We want to earn trust and help—from the moment you first call to make an appointment.
This is what you can expect when you reach out for help from a Thriveworks Media, PA therapists:
A scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you make an appointment.
- You will not reach a voicemail or automated answering system.
- Clients are often able to schedule an appointment within 24 hours, even first-time clients.
- We do not keep a waitlist, so you will not be put on one.
- Our office accepts most insurance providers.
Do you want to start healing from infidelity? Scheduling an appointment may be an important step toward your relational goals. Call today.