Fort Wellness Counseling

Rane Wallace, MS, LPC, LCDC, SAP

It doesn’t matter who you are – working through an affair is tough. (And this is especially true during the holidays). Overcoming infidelity requires intense energy and vulnerability on both sides. However, affair recovery not impossible. If you need help, our experienced therapists are revealing the 7 best strategies for healing after an affair and affair recovery in today’s blog post.

How to Heal After an Affair? Is Affair Recovery Possible?

While infidelity might seem hard to come by, a little over 46% of people in a monogamous relationship said they had affairs. Of those marriages affected by infidelity, 24% reported staying together. Infidelity counseling can help affair recovery.  Those couples are proof that healing after an affair and affair recovery is possible. Here are some practical, science-based ways to get there:

Seek Individual and Couples Therapy

Trust was broken the minute the affair took place. However, regaining it is necessary for the relationship’s survival. While many people believe that attending individual therapy is the only solution, infidelity is something that both partners should navigate together.

For best practices, we would recommend that each person attend their own individual therapist, and then for the couple to attend couples counseling on top of that. Trauma therapy, such as EMDR, Brainspotting or Accelerated Resolution Therapy can be especially helpful for the individual therapy. That’s why we recommend attending individual therapy and couples counseling to regain trust for affair recovery. 

Here at Fort Wellness Counseling, we have helped many couples overcome affairs and their related problems. Our expert team knows exactly what healing after an affair entails. That’s why we’re able to walk you and your partner step-by-step through the process.

Acknowledge the Pain

The first phase in affair recovery is atonement. Essentially, this requires the betrayer to acknowledge their partner’s pain. The betrayed partner must have a safe space to express their thoughts and emotions, and the unfaithful partner must listen in a non-defensive way. Afterward, the betrayer must express genuine remorse. Infidelity counseling can help with healing from an affair.

Share the Narrative

Some people will avoid sharing details of infidelity because they fear it creates more harm than good. However, maintaining an open discussion is essential to healing after an affair. In fact, narrating the affair can facilitate healing if done correctly.

An infidelity counselor can help determine the appropriate level of disclosure when sharing the affair narrative. While being willing to reveal details demonstrates the offending partner’s capacity for honesty and openness, they must be wary of their partner’s feelings.

During these discussions, the hurt partner should ask anything they want about the affair. And if you’re not sure if your questions are on the right track? Our therapists can help you understand whether those questions are fruitful or hurtful towards affair recovery. (Questions that reveal what kind of affair it was or why it happened are best).

Prepare for the Long Haul

As much as we’d like it to, it’s rare that the entire story is revealed upfront. Due to shame, guilt, or an attempt to protect their partner’s feelings, the betrayer usually reveals the details of the affair in small, drawn-out doses.

Sometimes, the hurt partner will interpret this slow unveiling as intentional deceit. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Healing after an affair requires an open dialogue that will carry on for as long as needed.  Without it, affair recovery will be much more difficult.

While some couples might find an ending date helpful, others won’t. Experiences, memories, places, and events can all trigger the hurt partner’s feelings to come rushing back, and they shouldn’t feel guilty for this. Instead, they should be able to ask questions or share feelings until they feel they no longer need to do so.    

Fix Any Underlying Relationship Problems

Yes, the betrayer is entirely responsible for stepping outside the marriage and hurting their partner. However, all affairs happen in a specific context. People have affairs because they’re depressed. Or they aren’t feeling satisfied with their marriage. Perhaps they’ve fallen into substance abuse. Or maybe it’s something else entirely.

Whatever the reason, it is necessary to unearth the deeper issues leading to the affair. Why? Well, no couple can move past an affair and rebuild their marriage without knowing the exact problem (or how to fix it).

If you aren’t sure how to navigate this on your own, working with a skilled counselor can help. Our team here at Fort Wellness Counseling can help both partners process their emotions and work together to rebuild their marriage.  

Create an Imbalance of Power

Usually, couples should maintain healthy, balanced power dynamics. However, when a couple is healing after an affair, this balance might need to shift. Granting the hurt partner, the relationship’s power can help them overcome their feelings of insecurity and mistrust.

One practical means of doing this is to set ironclad, non-negotiable rules for their partner to obey. These can be anything from demanding that their partner answers the phone to reading their texts and messages.  

Not only do these rules help reestablish trust, but they give the offending partner an opportunity to concede their privacy rights and demonstrate their willingness to make things right. Of course, this approach only works if the betrayer is truly regretful and genuinely wants to make things right.

Rebuild Trust with One Another (This Goes Both Ways!)

Once trust is lost, rebuilding it can be a slow and difficult process. For it to work, both partners must commit to putting in the work. Rebuilding trust is more of an action than a belief – the focus should be on what one does instead of what one says.

To rebuild trust in a relationship, the betrayer must:

  • Apologize in a sincere way
  • End the affair and never repeat it
  • Be completely honest and express remorse
  • Acknowledge their partner’s traumatic feelings and be willing to answer questions.

And the hurt partner must:

  • Avoid rehashing the affair surrounding events
  • Express their feelings without making accusations
  • Find a way to forgive their partner (or at least work towards forgiveness)

Infidelity Counseling in Fort Worth, Texas for Affair Recovery

Recovering from an affair is not something you should do on your own. That’s why our Fort Wellness Counseling team is here to help you on your journey towards affair recovery.

As one of Fort Worth’s top three therapists, our counseling team have helped many individuals and couples’ triumph over infidelity and recover from an affair. By providing individualized treatment designed to accomplish long-term change, we’re confident that we can do the same for you.   

Contact our team to learn more.

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