After the Affair

broken heartDealing with infidelity in a relationship can be a very stressful, emotionally draining and ultimately destructive time for any couple.

For partners who have had their trust betrayed, carrying on with the day to day activities of life become that much more difficult, let alone facing their partners and trying to maintain some semblance of a functional relationship.

For the person who has had the affair, s/he has to deal with feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment.

Often times, the resultant struggle that both partners have to bear becomes too much and most end up choosing to end the relationship altogether.

It is even more painful if children are involved.

How Couples Therapy can help

Couples Therapy offers an alternate approach to dealing with infidelity in a relationship, as it allows for the feelings of both parties to be expressed and worked through together with a trained therapist.

Couples are guided in the best way to communicate their feelings about the affair, in a manner which aims to salvage the relationship rather than ending it. These feelings commonly include:

  • anger;
  • betrayal;
  • guilt;
  • humiliation; and
  • depression, to name a few.

Furthermore, anxiety may develop leading to sleepless nights or panic attacks.

These feelings need to be expressed, explored and communicated in a healthy environment. Once they have been addressed, the process of forgiveness can slowly be started and trust can begin to be rebuilt.

Why has the Affair Occurred?

CoupleCouples Therapy is also vital in understanding the reasons as to why infidelity has occurred in the relationship. There might be underlying reasons in the relationship and through the process of therapy, the couple is able to gain insight and take action to address these reasons so that infidelity does not occur again. Couples find this process immensely beneficial to their relationship because it allows them to work collaboratively to strengthen their bond, rather than descending into the “blame game” which is all too common after an affair has occurred.

It is also important for a couple to understand what specific aspects of an affair have done the most damage. For men, knowing their partner engaged in a sexual relationship with another is often the most hurtful; whereas for women, the thought of their partner having an intimate emotional connection with another woman can be the hardest to deal with.

If your relationship has been rocked by infidelity, I understand that this must be a very difficult and draining time for you both. I would encourage you and your partner to see a psychologist to help you work through some of the painful feelings that you have experienced.

The ultimate goal would be to repair and restore you relationship and as unrealistic as it might appear to be now, it can be achieved over time. If anything, the chance to work through the fallout of the affair would allow you as individuals to recover and function better in your own personal life.

I aim to ensure that both parties in the relationship feel comfortable in therapy and that at no time does anyone feel like they are being judged. Confidentiality is also ensured in this trying and sensitive time.

Joey Tai (2)Author: Joey Tai, BA (Psych), Master of Clinical Psychology.

Joey Tai is an endorsed Clinical Psychologist, with a special interest in working with couples. He conducted research on couple attraction and couples’ therapy while obtaining his Master of Clinical Psychology in Brisbane.

Please call 1800 877 924 to make an appointment or book online now!