In our article, Did You Cheat On Your Partner? Couples Counseling Can Help, we talked about what it’s like for the person who had an affair. This post is about what’s going on for the partner who has been betrayed.
When you’ve discovered that your partner has had an affair, you feel hurt or even traumatized. You may wonder if your relationship can be salvaged. Some of these thoughts and feelings are common for the betrayed partner:
- Even if your partner has apologized many times, somehow those apologies are unsatisfying.
- You’re caught in a cycle of feeling angry and pushing your partner away and then wanting reassurance.
- You’re not sure whether to believe what your partner says about the affair.
- You’re doubting everything you thought you knew about your partner.
- You want information about the affair, but when you learn more it hurts.
While you’re dealing with all of these feelings, you’re hearing all kinds of advice. If you share what you’re going through with your friends and family, they have their own opinions based on their experiences and beliefs. Some people will insist that you should leave your partner. Others may tell you it’s time to forgive them. You’ve been thrown into a crisis you didn’t choose, and all of that advice can be overwhelming.
When you try to talk to your partner, sometimes it doesn’t help.
Many couples get caught in repetitive and painful conversations when they try to heal from affairs. One common pattern is for the betrayed partner to express anger and the partner who had the affair to express defensiveness. The more defensive one person becomes, the angrier the other becomes until both people feel hopeless and shut down.
A couples therapist can help to shift this pattern and guide both partners into a healing conversation. She’ll slow you down so that you can hear hear each other. She’ll help you both feel more grounded so that you can begin to work through this crisis together.
There IS hope after an affair.
If you and your partner are both committed to healing, couples therapy can make a big difference.
If you’re ready to talk to an experienced couples therapist, call us at (415) 534-4051 or schedule a free and confidential phone consultation with one of us now.