Reconnecting and Moving Forward After Infidelity
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is everywhere. From stores selling heart-shaped boxes of candy to florists offering specials on red roses to TV stations everywhere re-running your favorite sappy love movie—the world seems to be in love with love in February. But what happens when love takes a wrong turn, and happily ever suddenly begins to feel like happily never after?
When a relationship is traumatized by infidelity, it strikes a blow to everyone involved. The partner that strayed is haunted by feelings of regret, anger, and confusion, while the partner who remained faithful is left feeling hurt, betrayed, vulnerable, and humiliated. And what was once considered the stronghold between the two partners—the sanctity of the relationship itself—has been breached, leaving in its wake a minefield of questions, insecurities, and uncertainty.
Of all the insecurities that plague a couple dealing with infidelity, the reality that a trusted partner kept secrets and lied is perhaps the hardest to process. But there is a way to move past these insecurities and feelings of betrayal, and rebuild your marriage with love, trust, and respect. By choosing to approach treatment together, and working with someone trained to help you ask the difficult questions…and process the difficult answers, you can begin to lay the foundation for recovery. When you work with a counselor, you can face questions such as:
- Do you still love your partner?
- What backstory contributed to the betrayal?
- Why did you cheat?
- Is the relationship worth saving?
- How do I trust again?
- Where do we go from here?
To recover from infidelity, there are many steps that will need to be taken, which will take time and trust. But there are two immediate steps you can (and should) take that will help restore trust sooner rather than later. The first step is to reestablish strong boundaries, which means ending all contact with the person ‘outside’ the marriage, and focusing on reopening communication within the marriage. There can be no recovery if secrets still remain, and any contact with the outside person will only create further distance between you and your partner, rather than eliminate it.
The second step is to decide what you both want to do with what remains, and find the right help to get there. As a licensed professional counselor, I am trained to help individuals and couples tackle the challenges of infidelity in a caring, productive, and safe environment where both partners can work through all the underlying issues constructively with the hopes of emerging with a stronger, more loving relationship.
Infidelity may seem like an insurmountable chasm in your relationship, but it doesn’t have to signal the end of everything you love and hold dear. If you or your relationship is struggling with infidelity, I can help. Contact me today for a confidential consultation to help get your relationship back on track, and rebuild the foundation of your partnership.