Infidelity / Betrayal
“Most people will have 2 or 3 relationships in their lives, and some of us are going to do it with the same person. Your first marriage is over. Would you like to create a second one together?” Esther Perel
Betrayal comes in many forms. Infidelity is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust.
For those who are going through the pain, confusion, and anger of broken trust, therapy provides support and guidance to help you cope with the overwhelming emotions, make a thoughtful decision about your future and, if you choose to recommit, rebuild a life together.
If you have just found out about a betrayal, you are likely feeling as if you and your life have been ambushed and threatened. It is an extremely traumatic experience. You may no longer feel safe or secure in the world and are probably struggling with raging thoughts and emotions, especially anxiety and anger.
If you are the partner who has been unfaithful, you may be feeling confusion and loss around the disclosure. Feeling of guilt and remorse for the pain you have caused can compete with missing the positive emotions the affair created- the diversion from your “normal” life now filled with so much pain and confusion, and the feeling of being desired and special.
You may wonder if this relationship can be healed and if so where to begin.
Therapy provides a safe and supportive space to explore and process emotions over infidelity and other forms of betrayal. It’s a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at your options for yourself and your relationship.
I help my clients manage the initial crisis that discovery of an infidelity brings and move past the shock and hurt so that you can come to fully understand what happened, why it happened, and whether you can repair your relationship.
While hard to believe in the initial pain of discovery, a betrayal can also be a wake-up call, challenging couples to confront the issues that led to the infidelity and build a healthier, more intimate relationship.
If the healthiest decision for a couple is to separate, I help clients assess and evaluate their best options for their relationship and gain clarity and confidence about their next steps.
In therapy couples are supported as they address a wide range of important and issues related to infidelity and betrayal including:
- Managing initial crisis after discovery of infidelity.
- Determining what constitutes an affair.
- Exploring and gaining an understanding as to why the infidelity happened.
- Exploring whether forgiveness is possible.
- Exploring and determining whether love and trust can be restored.
- Exploring and resolving ambivalence about recommitting.
- Getting affair-person out from between the two of you
- Reestablishing sexual intimacy after an affair.
- Rebuilding a healthy relationship of greater intimacy and connection.
- Working toward respectful and cooperative dissolution of relationship.