Once an affair has been exposed, the marriage may be put in a state of crisis. If you are a couple, struggling with the aftermath of infidelity in your marriage, you are experiencing anger, pain and confusion regarding the state of the marriage. Both of you may be wondering if the marriage is strong enough to survive this?
There are three issues that you may find helpful to know as you both
work through this difficult time. First, consider the importance of time. Do not rush into hasty decisions that are based on your raw emotions at this time. Do not rush towards any major decision and allow time to process what has happened. As a couple, you may feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster.
Secondly, consider who to tell. Evaluate who your safe people are. Safe people are those who will not pass judgment or hold it over your head regarding your decisions. It may not be in your best interest to engage your families or best friends. Regardless of who you decide to tell, take time to evaluate how these selected people will react. You do not want to choose people who will hold a grudge or ill feelings towards a spouse, should you decide to work on healing the marriage.
Thirdly, explore how this happened. The betrayed spouse is never blamed or at fault for the infidelity that intruded upon the marriage. It is important, however, to evaluate all disconnects that may have been present in the marriage. Both of you may have shut down, avoided
discussing problems, or sharing what you are experiencing. Sometimes, couples do not communicate what their needs are due to fears of rejection, hurting their spouse or inability to identify needs.
A therapist can guide you through the ups and downs following infidelity. In counseling you decide what your goals are and the therapist works with you to meet the goals that you have established. The blame factor does not play a part in counseling, but accountability is an important factor. The straying spouse needs to be accountable for the choice of infidelity and not blame the betrayed spouse as an escape from accountability. The betrayed spouse must also be willing to work towards the healing of the marriage and not hold the infidelity as a constant poison in the marriage . It is encouraged to explore what the marriage looked like before the affair and during the affair. This is done to discover what disconnects there may have been between the two of you. It is possible to restore a marriage following infidelity. It will take work, honesty and willingness to commit to the process.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist