Infidelity/cheating

Whether you've been cheated on, had an affair or even suspect your partner of being unfaithful, your world may feel upside down. It's hard to think straight when your relationship is in trouble. Therapy can help you put the pieces back together.

Is your relationship in jeopardy because one of you has been having an affair - or is suspected of infidelity?

An affair is one of the most painful experiences a couple can endure. For many, cheating is a deal-breaker. Yet couples can and do survive infidelity, often coming out stronger and more committed once trust is restored and each person understands what happened and why.

Why do people cheat?

When people have relationship problems, they often withdraw from each other. Their attempts to feel connected and close don't seem to work. Or they feel they have to keep certain aspects of themselves hidden - things they believe their partner would judge or even reject them for feeling, doing or believing. They may then turn to food, alcohol, drugs, overwork, or sex - whether Internet porn or an affair. These behaviors are often attempts to find soothing or distraction and avoid further discomfort in the relationship.

Therapy provides a safe place for each of you to look at how you've avoided emotional intimacy with each other. You can share the deep pain that has been getting in the way of closeness. As this becomes clear, you may find deep reserves of empathy and compassion for each other, restoring love and trust.

How do I know if my spouse is unfaithful?

Follow your instincts and intuition - if it FEELS like something is wrong, then something IS wrong. You don't have to be psychic or become a private investigator. I help you check in with your gut and then communicate with your partner about your worries in a way that feels thoughtful and emotionally safe for both of you.

Can a marriage survive an affair?

Absolutely. It takes work and willingness on both sides. It's important for each person to work together to rebuild trust, work through feelings of aloneness, betrayal abandonment and grief. As you learn to really listen and empathize with each other, defensiveness will decrease, and you may find you are closer to each other than you have ever been before.

What if I can't get past this?

Then the work is about letting go. Often an affair sparks very painful wounds to the Self. After an affair, the person who was betrayed may have difficulty feeling "good enough," desirable and secure in relationships. The one who cheated may feel guilt or shame, angry at him or herself for "throwing it all away."

If the marriage doesn't survive, then each person needs to address these self-wounds separately and find wholeness and healing within.

How to Recover when Betrayed

Each of us has the ability to self-heal. I help clients activate this natural innate ability and provide support through the process of recovering from injured trust. Often the feelings of betrayal in the present have echoes of betrayal, rejection or abandonment in the past. Therapy allows you to heal past and present wounds, leaving you free to experience yourself in new ways and with time, to feel safe again in close, caring relationships.

Is the betrayer a bad person?

Actually, no. While cheating hurts, in comes from a place of hurting. The one who cheats is coping with pain in a bad way - but they are not bad themselves. They need a safe place to look at why they are reaching for comfort outside of their primary relationship and hopefully then co-create that comfort within the relationship.

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