Research shows that 66% of couples (one or both parties) have had an affair. Well intentioned people who had not planned to stray are betraying not only their partners but their own beliefs and moral values provoking inner crises as well as marital ones.
There are many forms of betrayal but an affair is the violation of the expectations and standards of a relationship by physical or emotional involvement with a third party.
Infidelity is nothing less than traumatic. The discovery of an affair precipitates a crisis for all three people in the extra-marital triangle. In an instant the betrayed partner’s world is shattered. They no longer feel safe and everything they believed to be true about themselves, their partner and their relationship is gone. The person who had the affair is often consumed by feelings of deep regret, guilt and shame. The symptoms that follow discovery are akin to those of post traumatic stress disorder and intense grief.
When an affair is revealed or discovered the following areas need to be addressed:
- Find constructive ways to deal with the immediate painful feelings
- Provide honest and full disclosure about the affair
- Come to an agreement of what the next step will be, separation or reconciliation.
If both parties are willing to stay together and work on rebuilding their relationship counselling can assist with the long term recovery process in the following ways:
- Provide strategies for effective communication to avoid further damage.
- Provide a safe environment where both parties can come to understand their own feelings and those of their partner.
- Provide information, strategies and tools for re-establishing trust.
- Help both parties gain an understanding of why the affair took place.
- Deal with pre-existing problems within the marriage.
- Provide insight and tools for strengthening the relationship and increasing the levels of true intimacy.
In many cases relationship counselling can assist couples to deal with and overcome the challenges that come from rebuilding a relationship after betrayal. Many couples also find that after counselling their relationship is better than it was before the affair, stronger and much more honest and intimate.
Feel free to contact me for help on 0412 466 426
Please note: I do not provide emergency care. Please ring Lifeline now on 13 1114 if you feel suicidal or are suffering from mental illness.