Infidelity is a common factor that contributes to the crumbling of a marriage due to the hurt, betrayal, and trust issues that often manifest. Many relationships become weaker or dissolve entirely as a result. However, this does not mean that every marriage is doomed to fail in such a situation. There are many ways that you can save your marriage and rebuild trust after infidelity if you and your partner resolve to.
What Infidelity Means
Infidelity means when boundaries in marriage between two people have been violated. For some people, the term infidelity only applies to situations that involve a physical affair and also emotional attachment that can easily lead to a physical/sexual relationship outside of the committed relationship. Due to the role of the internet and social media in our age, certain activities lead to online romance or emotional dependence on an outside party with or without physical intimacy as infidelity. In our society today with the role of social media and much more, a couple must be able to have an open and honest conversation with each other about how these outside influences challenge their thoughts, hearts, and day-to-day challenges.
What Can Influence The Likelihood Of Infidelity
Individuals who have affairs typically do so for reasons that may or may not involve sex. Common factors frequently involve situations such as;
- Poor or deteriorating communication between a married couple
- Poor boundaries in marriage and not being clear on the issue of boundaries in marriage
- One’s unresolved childhood and emotional trauma
- Unmet emotional needs
- Physical health issues, such as chronic pain or disability
- Building resentment or disinterest stemming from longtime marriage conflicts
- Lack of healthy relationship skills to know how to have hard conversations
- Addictions to substances and practices such as gambling, sex, alcohol, or drugs
Initial Aftermath Of Infidelity
When unfaithfulness in a marriage comes to light, a lot of strong feelings and emotions arise which can cloud the ability to work things out calmly. Couples who are in this situation often experience feelings of hurt, distrust, anger, regret, guilt, and distress. I must say that you really need to have a facilitator to help you with this conversation. Make sure you find a qualified and experienced psychotherapist/marriage therapist who knows how to help you with this.
In this early stage of consequences following an affair, it is important for married couples to allow one another sufficient space to process the situation individually. You can not do this alone, you must do it with a professional expert who knows how to walk through this with you.
This gives both people time to think more calmly and have a less emotionally charged conversation later to make the important decision of whether to get a divorce or to repair the relationship. Having this discussion too soon is likely to be unproductive and lead to more hurt.
You may feel lost and unsure of what to do next during such an emotionally devastating circumstance. In this case, it is good to speak to a trusted family member or friend who will listen without judgment and offer encouragement and support as needed. A therapist who specializes in helping married couples and families sort through difficult times can provide invaluable advice, support, and act as an unbiased listener. A spiritual counselor with experience in helping people through such situations can also be helpful if you are a religious or spiritually inclined person.
If you feel overwhelmed and feel like you may be a danger to others or yourself, consult a mental health professional or doctor as soon as possible.
After you and your partner have taken initial time and space apart to reflect and decide what your next step will be, it is time to mend broken trust and rebuild emotional bonds. Make sure that both of you have had sufficient time to prepare in order to face the situation more clearly and calmly. This challenge can come with a lot of uncertainty. Remember, as you rebuild trust, admit guilt, learn how to forgive and reconcile struggles, it can deepen and strengthen the love and affection you once shared.
It is essential to make sure that you have plenty of help and support for this challenging situation. Family and friends who care about you or other open-minded individuals can be helpful to talk to and confide in. If you find reading material helpful to gain a better perspective and learn more about what to do in similar situations, ask a specialist in marriage counseling for high-quality recommendations.
To heal your marriage, you and your partner must be on the same page as to what your end goal is. If you had an affair while married, it is vital for you to hold yourself accountable for your actions and cut contact entirely or as much as possible with the third party. If it was your spouse who was unfaithful to you, you must be willing to forgive them and rebuild trust in order to mend your relationship to the fullest. The person who had an affair must take responsibility for the hurt caused and work toward earning true forgiveness at a healthy, sustainable pace.
Seek Marriage Counseling With An Experienced Therapist – The Importance of Full-Disclosure with the help of a seasoned LMFT or a Psychotherapist
Couples therapy is an essential part of healing after infidelity, however, a therapist who knows how to facilitate a therapeutic process of recovery from the hurts and then repairing the marriage. It is difficult to view a situation as emotionally charged as infidelity in an objective way or for someone who feels betrayed to forgive and trust the other person again without further issues.
Psychotherapy or effective couples counseling/therapy is a major part of the solution for both partners within the marriage to getting through the aftermath of an affair. A family and marriage psychologist who has plenty of experience in such matters can help married couples through rough patches such as infidelity.
Licensed marriage counselors not only can bring an objective yet empathetic viewpoint of the situation to the table, but that they know how to help you and your partner process what has happened, which feelings and factors contributed to it, identify you and your spouse’s individual relationship needs, and how to regain a strong emotional bond and rebuild shaken trust. Competent marriage therapists will address the situation clearly without putting blame on either person and provide the couple with a safe space, to be honest about their feelings and communicate with each other openly in a rational, understanding way.
Therapist can help you identify any unhealthy patterns in your relationship, such as tendencies toward miscommunication, lack of openness with one another, and how you and your partner address conflict. Getting issues out into the open will help couples understand each other better, strengthen communication skills, and practice being open and honest about their feelings.
Therapy can help you develop a realistic, steady-paced plan to build a new, stronger foundation for your marriage. This can take a long time, but steady, firm progress is less likely to crumble and will allow renewed intimacy and trust to thrive in the future.
Many marriages go through rough patches that do not break them. If you and your partner have mutually resolved to strengthen your marriage and rebuild care and trust, you can develop a relationship even stronger than what you started with. As a marriage and relationship therapist in Burbank Toluca Lake, I provide an assessment of each couple’s current struggles and offer psychotherapy improving communication skills and helping you make a deeper connection in your marriage. You are not alone, call me today!