More likely than not, you have heard Hank Williams’ shaky and twangy voice express the hurt adultery can cause…
“Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep. But sleep won’t come the whole night through. Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you…”
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” may be the most popular song ever written about adultery because Williams captures the intense pain many people feel when a partner or spouse cheats on them. People use many terms—infidelity, adultery, cheating—but they all represent the same idea: relationships are devastated.
When affairs are first exposed, they can ignite a chaotic and traumatic time in the life of a couple, family, and even community. Many couples seek out a therapist’s help as they navigate the tumult. Counseling as helped many couples recover after an affair, whether they continue with their relationship or choose to separate.
Thriveworks Newport News therapists understand the chaos that ensues after an affair is disclosed or discovered. They have guided many couples toward healing, whatever healing may mean for them.
Variations of Infidelity
Infidelity might seem like an uncomplicated concept: someone in a devoted relationship breaks the rules of that relationship. That’s why people call infidelity cheating. The rules may be formalized in wedding vows and a marriage. They may be agreed-upon expectations of a long-term relationship.
But reality is almost always more complex than the concept. Adultery can be an emotional affair. It can be a sexual addiction. It can be a long-term, committed relationship. Infidelity can assume an infinite number of forms, but there are a few constants. Adultery always…
- involves secrets and/or lies.
- breaches trust.
- causes relational harm.
Because the secrets and lies occur in the context where truth and safety are expected, they often hurt all the more. Victims of adultery often report being traumatized and experiencing post traumatic stress symptoms. Adultery can turn people’s world upside down, and many people need help navigating the chaos that adultery brings.
What’s the purpose of infidelity therapy?
Adultery brings chaos, but both spouses can recover. If they choose, the marriage may recover as well. Unfortunately, there are no quick-fixes for mending what adultery breaks. Apologies are a first step, but there is still a long road toward health.
The therapists at Thriveworks Newport News, VA have helped many couples through the disorienting journey of infidelity. Through counseling, couples may learn many skills they will need to heal their wounds and rebuild a healthy relationship, even if they choose to separate.
Some of the ways counseling may benefit couples who are experiencing infidelity include…
Increasing Helpful Communication
After a partner or spouse has committed adultery, communication usually completely breaks down. Couples may bounce between intentionally avoiding one another and channeling all their anger at one another. While understandable responses, neither cold silence nor hot fury are helpful to either person or the relationship.
Instead, couples need to gather important information to make decisions about their future. If the uninvolved spouse can communication the harm that was caused and if the spouse who cheated can show empathy, the couple may decide to reconcile. If one person is committed to therapy but the other is not, it may be time to split. However, without trying to communication, couples do not have this valuable information. Having a professional guide the communication process when emotions and tensions are high may be a wise decision.
Setting New Expectations and Goals
After discovery or disclosure of infidelity, life goals may only involve surviving. The trauma can be overwhelming. With a professional’s guidance, couples do not have to stay in survival mode. Therapists often create safe environments for their clients, where they can think and dream. Then, once couples state their goals or expectations, the therapist can help them get there. Some people choose divorce. Others try separation. Others knows they want to reconcile. Many change their minds along the way. Therapy can help clarify these goals and evaluate them.
Infidelity breaks trust. Learning to trust again can feel impossible, especially for the uninvolved spouse. However, rebuilding trust may be an important step toward healing, even if it means not trusting the spouse who cheated but learning to trust other people.
If a couple desires to reconcile, a counselor can help the uninvolved spouse create helpful boundaries that may allow them to trust again. A counselor can also help the spouse who had the affair to pursue accountability and exhibit trustworthy behavior overtime.
If a couple pursues divorce, a counselor may help them build enough trust to separate amicably and maintain a parenting partnership if children are involved.
Scheduling an Appointment for Therapy
Are you ready to move forward after infidelity? Thriveworks Newport News counselors are available to help.
Infidelity is chaotic, but scheduling an appointment for infidelity therapy should not be. When you call our office, you will reach a real person who can schedule your appointment, maybe even for the next day. Our counselors offer weekend and evening appointments, and you will never be on a waitlist. We also work with many insurance carriers.
Call today, and maybe you can begin therapy for infidelity tomorrow.