Surviving infidelity can be difficult. But sometimes you can be lucky if you view it as an opportunity to discuss hard issues with your partner and to find ways to go forward that benefit you both.
How can intensive couples / marriage counseling help?
The normal knee-jerk reaction of the partner that finds out about an affair is to leave the relationship immediately. They feel hurt, unloved, lied to and demeaned. And getting a divorce can be a quick operation in the USA, so your only hope is to get them to agree to get intensive relationship counseling as soon as possible.
A normal 45 minute session with a therapist probably won’t be enough. Because little real progress can be made in such a short time period, they may still want to talk to a lawyer rather than to you. And for some inexperienced counselors, the first session may just become a shouting match which is a waste of time.
We recommend that you get a few days of intensive couples counseling. So a number of hours. This will allow you to both communicate fully and learn how to communicate better going forward. It will allow you to discuss what led you to want to have an affair in the first place. Were you bored and seeking stimulation? Were you unsatisfied sexually by your partner? And if it is hard-hitting therapist, you may wind up confessing that you have acted like a jerk. And this intensive work generally isn’t covered by health insurance.
We have a number of counselors at MidWest Counseling that have experience in running intensive sessions. Contact us to arrange for this. This is not covered by insurance.
What is the next step to surviving infidelity?
Patience, compassion, and honest communication are all key. Change doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to set new relationship rules, change expectations, and give each other time to adjust to a new way of relating to each other. Don’t expect makeup sex or anything like that. It takes time to rebuild trust. This isn’t going to be quick or easy.
Even after the intensive sessions, you will probably need some ongoing couples counseling. And probably some individual counseling as well to cope with the anxiety that all of this has generated (and fortunately this is often covered by your health insurance).
But if you love your partner, it will be worth it.