You feel like your world is turned upside down. The memories you have of yourself and your partner are all now called into question. The life and relationship you thought you had are now a thing of the past. A future you believed you and your partner were creating is completely thrown out the window, as you’re overwhelmed with doubt, uncertainty, rage, and shame. In some moments, you think you’re fine like the pain is behind you. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the pain and the images burst back into your mind and heart with complete ferocity. If this is you, then you’re in the very early stages of learning about your partner’s infidelity.
What else happens early on after an affair?
You demand answers. You feel overwhelmed with an immediate need to know exactly how your partner, who you thought you could trust and with who you thought there was love and respect, could act so selfish, thoughtless, and hurtful.
Perhaps your mind creates haunting images of what you imagine took place between your partner and this other person. Or, perhaps your partner provides you with enough details of the events so your mind paints a vivid and devastating picture based on them.
You find that you keep asking the same or very similar questions of your partner. What makes matters dramatically worse is your partner demands you get over it, and stop irritating him/her with questions, or claims because they apologized that that should signal the end of the questions. All of this is just fuel to the fire.
You also likely feel as though you’re in this competition with the person with whom your partner had the affair. And you conclude that you lost. You think, “If he chose to cheat on me, then he must think she’s sexier, more adventurous, funnier,” etc. This leads you to endure feelings of shame and thoughts like, “I’m such an idiot for not noticing sooner and I’m an even bigger idiot for trying to work this relationship out!”
You wonder, “Should I even stay? Is there any hope for this? If I stay, what will my parents and friends say about me!?”
The Healing Blueprint of Infidelity Therapy
It’s crucial to know that staying and trying to work it out does not make you foolish; it makes you smart.
Here’s why: You can look past this current, horrible moment, past your partner’s terrible action(s), and see through to the greatness you both had prior to this all. You’re able to see beyond the fog, and therefore, to what is possible to recreate and dramatically improve upon.
Both the research and my own personal experience, as a couples therapist, in helping those who have endured infidelity demonstrates that couples who work to heal from the betrayal, dramatically transform their relationship. The reason is that when such a couple goes to infidelity therapy, they will then have to look at all the problems that led to the betrayal. So they develop a variety of helpful skills in therapy to make it so they are no longer vulnerable to these problems in the future. Which in turn profoundly improves their relationship.
Meeting the Needs of both Parties in Infidelity Therapy
The partner who was cheated on demands their partner provide all the answers to their questions. The partner who cheated demands to be left alone and get back to enjoying their lives together. Here’s the thing: both partners are right!
The partner who was cheated on deserves to have the story make sense. That’s the most crucially needed piece to their healing. This means asking a lot of questions, even many of the same questions over and over, and having their partner willingly and consistently provide those answers.
The partner who cheated deserves to, at least to some extent and on a consistent basis, separate from answering the questions, reliving all the pain, and experiencing all of those related unpleasant emotions. This means this partner deserves a regular experience of fun with their partner, totally separate from the affair/affair conversations.
The general formula for healing, then, is going back and forth from these healing conversations about the affair and having fun together.
Heal from Betrayal with Infidelity Therapy in San Diego, CA & Portland, OR
At Stress Solutions, I can help you and your partner understand the normal experience after infidelity. As a San Diego infidelity and couples therapist, I provide a comfortable atmosphere for you both to speak to one another in a healthy way about this terrible experience. As well as learn and implement the skills to overcome it and transform it into the relationship you deserve. Follow these steps to start infidelity therapy:
- Give me a call at 619-881-0593 for a free consultation
- Schedule your first appointment for infidelity counseling
- Start healing your relationship
Other Online Therapy Services Offered in California & Oregon
Along with couples counseling, you can also receive individual therapy. Which includes support for anxiety, stress management, trauma, men, and addiction. All of these services are available both in California and Oregon.