Therapy for Affairs and Infidelity on the Main Line
In the United States, approximately 30% - 60% of married or otherwise committed adults admit to having had at least 1 affair — and the true incidence is likely even higher.
Working through the profoundly devastating discovery of infidelity requires both partners to bring the best parts of themselves to therapy. Healing and rebuilding from an affair requires both to be honest, transparent, reflective, introspective, compassionate, vulnerable, and — ultimately — forgiving.
The following statements highlight Main Line Relationship Center's approach to affairs:
An affair is a wake up call. It does not mean the marriage is over. It does mean the marriage is in trouble, and badly needs attention.
Couples therapy won’t help if an affair is still active. If the affair is ongoing, therapy (to save the relationship) cannot help. To begin healing from an affair, it must be over.
Affairs are never about the affair partner. The affair partner is almost always irrelevant. Affairs are about the quality of the primary relationship before the affair occurred, as well as the acting out partner’s (cheating spouse's) personal history. This is where the focus of therapy should be.
The affair is not the story. Your relationship is the story. In the therapy I do with couples after the admission or discovery of an affair, I spend little time discussing the affair itself. The “who, what, where, when, and how” are not the story. The story is the “why and what now.”
There are no victims or villains in marriages. Couples are co-creators of their relationship, and affairs rarely happen unless there’s “room” for them to happen.
Sometimes good people do bad things. Someone can both be a good person and have had an affair. They are not mutually exclusive, and one has nothing to do with the other.
The acting out partner was trying to solve a painful problem. Affairs typically happen when the acting out partner feels profoundly unloved, disconnected, unimportant, inadequate, invisible, lonely, etc.
After an affair, both partners are in pain — not only the betrayed partner. This is especially tough for the betrayed partner to stomach. But it happens to be true.
Affairs are recoverable (though not all couples recover). In fact, some couples report having a stronger relationship after an affair than they did before. These couples succeed because both partners are able to see their contribution to the relationship problems they had before the affair occurred, and once they address and correct those issues, their relationship is better than ever.
You may also be interested in reading the following related artices:
Getting the Most from Couples Therapy