Daniel Linder, MFT
Can we ever truly recover from an affair
Having an affair is not the end of the world for a relationship. Rather, it can be a turning point. When two people come into couple’s therapy to deal with an affair, the prognosis is often good. This is because an affair forces a couple to confront each other about what went wrong, what is missing in their relationship, and to make a renewed commitment to each other. They realize in couple’s therapy that they want to save the relationship and they will work harder to do so. They will be more committed to couple’s therapy, and they will be very communicative about what is really going on, and confront issues they have previously avoided.
You recover from an affair being able to communicate about all the things that were going on in the relationship before the affair occurred. You have to go back and address all the issues that were avoided and that caused increased estrangement from each other. This distance set the stage for the affair to occur. Both people are going to need to talk about the impact hat the affair had on their relationship.
An affair usually results in mistrust, betrayal, anger, resentment, and a lot of other very strong feelings that need to be acknowledged and understood. The person who had the affair also needs to take responsibility for what they did seeking an outside source of relief when they could not deal with their own feelings and longings, and they could not deal with the conflicts and issues that were going on in their own relationship.
The couple has to rewind back through the issues, the situations, the conditions that led to the affair, and then discuss the impact of the affair. It is a lot of work, but the prognosis is good. It means that they care about each other, and they want to save the relationship. It’s an impetus or a catalyst to them to really look at their relationship in a way they never did before.
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