If you have been betrayed by your partner, you are likely feeling tremendous hurt, anger, confusion and humiliation. You need to know all the details of the affair, and you may also need time to process all those details. You will never forget and you’re not sure if you can ever forgive. This is especially true if your partner is dismissive, making excuses, or denying aspects of the affair. What’s worse, your partner may be pointing out your faults. You need to know the truth. You also need your partner to truly understand the pain they have caused you, be genuinely sorry, and then share their remorse with you.
Partners who have betrayed often feel shame, guilt and confusion. You may be trying to justify your actions out of frustration that your needs were not met by your partner. Sometimes you defend your behaviours and feel angry that the problems in your relationship were never dealt with. You may be considering leaving and feel a sense of hopelessness that your relationship can ever get back on track.
Ultimately, the best-case scenario when working with affairs is that the affair has completely ended and both people are saying that they are choosing to stay in this relationship and are committed to work through it. It’s very difficult to get anywhere in therapy and move forward in your relationship if the affair is ongoing.
You can recover from an affair, but the affair must be completely over. We won’t be getting far in therapy if there is a third person in the picture. Also, you both need to have a sense of hope, commitment and motivation to work on the relationship. Oftentimes, therapy is still helpful if one person is ambivalent or just not sure where to go from here.
With enough support and hard work on your part, couples therapy may help you reach a level of commitment, trust and understanding in your relationship that is stronger than ever before.
Working with affairs is some of the hardest work we do as couples therapists. We will never judge, take sides or place blame. Instead we will listen to both of your stories, whether you are the betrayer or the betrayed, and validate all the feelings that arise. All feelings are real and of equal importance. It is essential that we look at the bigger picture and understand what led to the affair. It is never as simple as the partner who cheated is a bad person because they did something wrong. We will provide empathy to both partners and help you work through your feelings of broken trust, pain and tremendous loss.
Couples Therapy can Help You
work through and heal from the affair
address any unresolved problems that were happening in the relationship before the affair
share your feelings of loneliness, arguments and feelings of disconnection with one another, which may have been present in your relationship prior to the affair