How marriage counselling
can help survive an affair...
Many couples attend marriage counselling for the first time after discovering that their 'life partner' has had an affair or infidelity.
Marriage counselling will help couples navigate these difficult times and challenging circumstances to best manage the current damage and minimize future damage to their marriage. The harm to a marriage caused by an affair is often too complex for couples to struggle through without the professional help of a qualified and experienced marriage counsellor.
We have found that when a couple seeks marriage counselling soon after the discovery of an affair or infidelity, the strong negative feelings doing not remain as strong and present.
The impact on the 'injured partner' is significant and should not be minimized, downplayed, or ignored.
An injured partner does experience a wide range of feelings such as fear, anger, anxiety, depression, guilt and shame.
When a persons assumptions and beliefs about their life partner and marriage are completely shattered by an affair, the injured partner frequently becomes disorientated, thrown off balance, unsure about their direction in life, and their everyday feelings of safety and predictability in their life circumstances are no longer present.
"Understanding why is vital
Marriage counsellors understand the devastating impact an affair can have on the injured partner. It can be the same or similar to those people who have suffered severe trauma such as in situations of war, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents and criminal assaults. That is, the injured partner can suffer with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The marriage counsellors at our Marriage Counselling Services emphasis that your partner's affair results from their deliberate decision to have an affair and that the affair is not your fault. It is more helpful for both parties to find the emotional gaps in the relationship that can lead to an affair happening.
Marriage counselling does help the couple reclaim and build a 'loving marriage'.
Marriage counselling does this through helping the couple understand the larger picture of what happened in the past, what has recently happened and how it all happened... followed by what is likely to happen.
A specialist Couples Therapist will assist the couple to develop an understanding of how their marriage reached the point where it became vulnerable to an affair.
Understanding how and why affairs occur is vital. This is often complex with many contributing factors that span across different times and developmental periods of the marriage. Restoring trust, confidence and security in the marriage following an affair often draws on each person's full committment and capability to manage high levels of conflict and emotional turbulence, as well as emotional and physical distancing.
Here the Couples' Therapist will help to address and resolve the critical questions the couple have at this time. The counsellor will then develop a relevant and explicit strategy that enables the couple to safely manage and work through their marriage crisis.
Providing a 'road map' for the couple to follow and move forward in life as they attempt to navigate and understand the complexities that they are now faced with. finding out how to reclaim their trust, the connection, their positive beliefs and assumptions in each other, to regain their sense of safety and predictability in their marriage, and to regain intimacy and togetherness.
"You need to invest back into the marriage."
Essential to the recovery process, is the readiness for both partners to reinvest themselves into their marriage. Whilst there are many ways to work through this, the emphasis of our* approach is to focus on taking responsibility and gaining understanding rather then assigning blame to either person. This provides an environment to regain trust and a positive future for your relationship.
The Therapist will guide couples through these very difficult circumstances and conversations to restore the marriage to a strong and healthy state.
*At the Humaneed Marriage and Relationship Counselling Service.
© Copyright Humaneed® 2012