A Bend Marriage Counselor Shares Advice on How to Heal After an Affair

April 10, 2012 by

A Bend Marriage Counselor Says It’s Possible to Heal after an Affair

As a Bend marriage counselor, I know how difficult it is when my clients are trying to recover from an affair. The partner who was cheated on often feels betrayed, angry, and possibly even stupid for putting their trust in someone who would abuse it in such a way. And the partner who cheated has his or her own confused mass of emotions to sort through, which can include guilt, shame, anger at themselves, and a feeling of helplessness at losing their partner’s trust. An affair causes huge relationship problems that can often seem irreparable, but it is possible to save your relationship if you are willing to fight hard for it.

Bend Marriage Counselor: Fight for Your Relationship by Not Taking Shortcuts

One of the worst things that either partner can do is rush to put the infidelity behind them. This will only allow unresolved relationship problems to fester and grow, even if you think you are doing it for the good of the union.

Vent. The wronged party in the affair must be allowed to grieve and vent his or her emotions, and the party who cheated has to bear witness and give his or her partner whatever time they need, while continuing to remain supportive, apologetic, and understanding.

Stay honest. No matter how small, both people have to be honest with each other during this process. For the person who strayed, this means no secret nights with friends, and no holding back on any questions that your partner asks. Keeping things from your partner, even things that seem insignificant, will only cause further relationship problems. For the victim, this means a couple of things. First, that you don’t short change your own feelings and try to move on before you are ready. Second, that you don’t start spying on your partner, believing that you can catch or prevent their lies. For this to work, there has to be some level of trust; ask your partner to share everything with you, but do not sneak around.

Take responsibility. I urge my Bend marriage counselor clients to both take responsibility when an infidelity has occurred. The first reaction to this is often anger and hurt feelings, but I believe avoiding this step makes it more likely that an infidelity will reoccur. Though no one ever “makes” anyone cheat, and the person who strayed has to admit to complete responsibility for taking action, people in strong, happy unions typically don’t stray. Relationship problems often existed long before the affair; it was merely the event that made both partners sit up and take notice. Now that you’re both well aware there’s a problem, you need to dig deep to uncover the source and work to fix it.

If you are struggling to overcome an affair, I urge you to seek out the expert advice of a Bend marriage counselor today.