Marriage Counseling for Affair Recovery
When an affair is discovered there is a flood of emotions: fear, hurt, anger, shame, and even guilt. While an affair is an extreme crisis for a couple, it does not necessarily mean the end of the relationship. There are many couples that find a way to reconnect with one another and repair their relationship. They find a way to turn heartbreak into strength and make their relationship healthier than before.
This healing process does take time. It is not an easy task to recover trust, friendship, and hope for the future of the relationship, but with the right support and guidance it can be done. Marriage counseling can help both partners to express and understand their pain in order to begin to feel the promise of a happier and healthier life.
Affair Recovery Counseling Topics
Marriage counseling for affair recovery typically lasts from six to nine months. It includes managing the intense emotions, dealing with vulnerability, examining yourself and the relationship, and practicing practical forgiveness.
Topics in marriage counseling for affair recovery include:
- How to repair the relationship and rebuild trust
- Defining the future of the relationship
- Answering necessary questions for healing
- Accountability and boundaries
Affair Recovery Counseling
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does affair recovery therapy last?
Typically, affair recovery therapy lasts from six to nine months with weekly appointments. This will vary depending on the amount and impact of betrayals.
What if I am unsure about staying in the relationship?
Attending affair recovery therapy does not mean you are agreeing to stay in the relationship. It means you are willing to see if it is possible. Your therapist will help you evaluate whether it is worth it to you to stay in the relationship. You will have the option to leave the relationship anytime throughout therapy.
Can we talk about the affair outside of therapy?
Yes. In fact, we encourage the betrayed partner to ask questions about the affair. Likewise, we encourage the spouse who had the affair to answer these questions with total transparency.
Your therapist may instruct you to agree on a time and place for these discussions. You will also want to limit the discussion time so it doesn’t become the focus of your relationship or interfere with necessary functioning (sleep, work, childcare, self-care).
Your therapist might also instruct you to write down questions you have in between discussions and to consider whether the answers you are seeking will help you heal or do more damage.
Can I talk to anyone else about the affair?
Both partners are encouraged to select one friend to talk to during this crisis. This person should be someone your partner trusts to be supportive of the repair of your relationship. It is unwise to speak with family members or children about the affair as this may cause unrepairable damage.
How can I be sure the affair is over?
Your therapist will strongly suggest you and your partner contact the affair partner together in a way that makes it clear no contact is to continue. The involved partner will be expected to notify the betrayed partner if there is any contact.
You and your partner will also need to give each other full access to cell phones, email accounts, social media, etc. Once the involved partner’s betrayal is known, complete transparency is the absolute best way to re-establish trust.
How will we know when affair recovery therapy is over?
After you and your partner have agreed to stay in the relationship and have forgiven each other, you will begin talking about a new relationship contract. Your therapist will prepare you for life after therapy. Your therapist will teach you how to handle setbacks, identify warning signs, and remain accountable to each other in the future.
Your therapy sessions will occur less frequently, and you will feel ready to handle your relationship on your own. You will always have the option of returning whenever you need a refresher.
What if the relationship cannot be repaired?
Affair recovery therapy works best if both partners are willing to work, are honest about their mistakes, are willing to address each other’s pain, and are committed to the relationship. Unfortunately, not all couples recover and not every relationship can be repaired.
You and your partner may reach the conclusion that your relationship is beyond repair. At this point, your therapist will assist you in defining what constitutes a healthy goodbye and how to end the relationship respectfully.
If you wish to pursue affair recover therapy, please contact a therapist at Keystone Counseling to schedule an appointment.
Article Resources for Couples Working Through an Affair
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