As a marriage counselor in Boca Raton, I have worked and helped many couples recover and heal from infidelity. It is possible but it takes a lot of work and more importantly, it takes time. Healing is painful, hard work. You both must be committed to repairing the damage, rebuilding trust and reconnecting.
Research shows that half of all couples will experience infidelity in their relationship. Affairs are one of the leading causes of divorce. After an affair has happened, the challenge becomes recovery. Is it really possible to forgive and forget? Can you put the past behind you when the past includes your partner’s affair?
The answer is yes you can recover and have an even stronger relationship than before. It takes commitment, hard work and counseling to work through this pain together. You need to be in it to win it. You need to be willing to make the time, effort and investment in marriage counseling to save your marriage.
Here are some steps to help you and your partner get started:
- The Affair Must Be Over:
The spouse who has been unfaithful must end the affair and have no contact. This means no more contact at all! The phone calls, dates, sex, and contact on social media must be blocked. Sometimes the unfaithful spouse must change their cell phone number to ensure that the contact will be over. This is very important to create a sense of safety for the injured partner. If you ever do have contact again, you must tell your partner about the nature of the conversation. This helps to rebuild trust. The unfaithful spouse must be open and honest with the injured spouse and be willing to show their phone calls, texts, and social media platforms any time the injured partner wants to check them.
- Be Honest with Your Spouse.
You must be an open book. Answer any questions your spouse has about the affair. Be willing to do whatever it is your spouse needs to feel secure again in your marriage. This may mean sharing texts, emails, social media posts, etc. The more open you are, the more likely your spouse will be able to trust you again. Do not say, “I don’t know,” when answering questions.
- Hear Your Partner’s Pain.
Through marriage counseling, your partner will share how your affair has hurt them. This will be painful for both of you. You need to listen and not get defensive. You really need to understand and feel your partner’s pain. Your spouse needs to see that you get it, and that you feel remorse.
- Understand What Led to the Affair.
This is a very difficult step but important so you can rebuild your emotional connection. You and your spouse need to take a look at your marriage before the affair. How was your bond? How was your communication? Did you feel alone in your marriage? Did you feel close or did you feel like you were roommates living in the same house? You both need to take ownership of the problems that contributed the state of your marriage now. This is not an excuse for the affair. I, repeat, this does not excuse the affair at all.
But it will help you both see that your foundation, your bond was broken somehow, and now you both are committing to strengthening your emotional connection again.
After your spouse feels that you have heard their pain and really understand it, you need to apologize for betraying your spouse. This is not just an, “I am sorry.” You must really explain why you are sorry and how your partner’s pain is your pain. You also need to let your spouse know that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your partner trust you again, and feel safe again in your marriage.
Many couples ask how long it will take to do this work. Of course, every couple is different but it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to recover from infidelity. As a marriage counselor in Boca Raton, I want to stress the importance of not doing this work alone. Make the time and investment in finding a good marriage counselor who has experience working with couples who have gone through infidelity. I have worked with many couples counseling boca raton and have seen these couples come out stronger and recover from the affair. Healing is possible. There is hope and you don’t have to go through it alone.