The Affair: Surviving it then
Thriving from it
Effective Counseling for Saving Your
Affairs. They’re not easy to deal with… Understatement… One of my
specialties is helping couples overcome the pain of an affair and discover
the growth possibilities that can grow out of an affair.
Many people put off the healing process because they think it means they
need to forgive and forget (which is not true). So they wait, and let time be
the healer. Even though you think time can be a great healer, time can
also have a negative effect.
Right after an affair is a very turbulent time. Very hurtful things are said
while emotions are revved up. If left alone without any intervention, a
couple could push themselves past the breaking point and make the
healing process near-impossible.
If you are the one “cheated on”, you may be experiencing the depths of
despair. If you are the “cheater”, you may be wrought with guilt or shame.
The effects of affairs have a far reaching impact on both the “cheater”
and the “cheated on” and of course, if children are involved, the impact
on them can have far reaching consequences. If there is one important
place to get to in working through an affair, it is that no one is “bad” and
no one is “evil”. I know that you may be tempted to call each other these
things (or perhaps even yourself) but there are reasons. But reasons are
not justifications. There is something that has happened that has lead to
the affair and it is essential that you come to terms with this
understanding. It is not easy but it IS possible. And when you can truly
and authentically come to terms with the affair, your relationship can
reach new heights than you’ve ever imagined.
Surviving and thriving from an affair demands a new way of relating from
the very start once the affair has been revealed or found out. If you get
off on the wrong footing, you might sabotage any hope for repair so it is
essential that you take a pause and not allow your emotions to go out of
control. This goes for both the cheater and the one cheated on.
Therapy can be a tremendous help and I am here for the benefit of your
relationship. You need someone who can “hold” your relationship so the
healing process can occur. Therapy is much like setting a broken bone so
that the healing process can take hold. Trying to solve it on your own or
just let “time heal all wounds” not only will not work, it can reinforce a
pattern of relating that will continue to bring pain and suffering.
Here's how the healing process will work. You will be working through
three phases. Each phase corresponds directly to a specific part of the
Individual Healing - Understanding
and Sorting Through Your Emotions and Thoughts
Phase I is all about you (both the “injured” and the “cheater”).
After the affair, your first instinct might be to look for reasons why the
affair happened. You want to know the details of the affair. You want to
know why your loved one did what they did. You want to know if you will
ever be able to trust your partner again.
Understanding the reasons is important but not right now. You are looking
for answers to your emotions but they are not outside of you. If you just
found out about the affair, your mind may be spinning and flooded with
You might believe that finding the "reason" will help you heal. This isn't
the best path to take at this point. What you need to do is try to come to
terms with your own emotions and I lead you through this process. I will
empower you to take control of the emotions that are fighting to take
control of you. Emotions such as jealousy, shame, hopelessness, guilt,
vengefulness, anger, fear, paranoia and frustration are just a few of the
many intense and volatile emotions that you may be experiencing. I've
never met anyone who hasn't experienced these emotions after an affair.
You are definitely not alone. Once you feel them, you can either stuff
them down or learn how to process them. Left alone, they will only make
Working through your emotions is also working through the negative
thoughts and images that you are replaying over and over in your mind.
Imagining your partner with the other person, imagining them having sex
together, imagining that the other is “better” than you are, wondering what
you might have done to prevent the affair are all examples of some of the
thoughts that you might be obsessed with. I will show you and guide you
through eliminating these thoughts so that you can return to your self-
confidence and self-worth.
Discovering how to work through these intense feelings will help you feel
normal again and will allow you to concentrate. These skills will be
priceless to you over the next few months because they will be the anchor
that helps you conquer your feelings of insecurity.
As you can imagine, the “injured” is not the only one who is hurting at this
time. Before we move into the second phase of the system, it is imperative
that we spend equal time helping the cheating partner cope with their
How To Restore Trust With Your Partner If You're The One Who
Whether the affair was “found out” or admitted to, it is essential that you,
as the “cheating partner,” begin to restore trust. This will not be an
overnight process, but if you follow my suggestions consistently, your
partner will eventually warm up to you.
In addition to coping with possible feelings of guilt, shame, and
hopelessness, you might also be dealing with the emotions directly tied
the lover. These feelings might include intense feelings of attachment and
subsequent withdrawal. Moving past an affair is not unlike withdrawing
from a drug. You might be addicted to this person and perhaps addicted
to the intense sexuality that was part of your experience. These types of
feelings can be intensified by the day-to-day hassles of dealing with the
lover and responding to your partner's questions about them.
If you have not broken away from the “other” it will be necessary for you to
do so in order to continue working on your relationship. This may take
some time and patience and you may have to go through some kind of
“withdrawal” as you would withdraw from an addictive drug. We will deal
with each of the emotional aspects of cutting ties and what to do if the
lover doesn't want to cut ties with you.
You'll learn the following strategies:
What to do if the affair meets your needs more than your marriage. How
to communicate what was missing without crushing your spouse or making
them resent you.
- How to permanently break off the relationship with the lover. Six
critical guidelines for terminating the affair and getting a fresh start.
- What to do if the ex-lover won't leave you alone. Four ways to cut-
off off all contact and communication with the lover.
- How to rid yourself from the major withdrawals of the affair. Why
being in an affair is no different than being addicted to a drug and
how to get clean.
Like the injured, you will experience strong emotions that could result in
intense mental and physical pain. Working through these in sequence will
help you process the pain and rebuild the relationship. The reason why is
because many of the emotions you will experience could be tied to why
you had the affair in the first place.
Before we can begin to unravel the complex source of the problem, it is
crucial that we start reconstructing some element of trust.
After learning about your affair, the injured starts to question what is true
and what is a lie. At this moment, for the injured, everything is
questionable; being transparent is the only way you'll rebuild trust.
At this stage in the game, you will start to see the world from your
partner's perspective and begin to understand how your actions affect
their sense of safety. Knowing this information will help you build new
levels of security through transparency and reassurance.
Before you start opening up every door, I will provide several guidelines,
including the pitfalls to developing transparency:
- How to dispel the rejection from your spouse when they give you
the cold shoulder. What to do and say when your spouse starts
- How to live a normal life without arousing suspicion. Five
transparent ways to reassure your spouse that you're not sneaking
around or lying to them.
- What to do when it feels like your spouse will never trust you again.
Uncover what your spouse is feeling and what it is they actually
want, but aren't telling you.
Healing As a Couple -
Working Together to Identify and Resolve Key Issues
This component of the work focuses largely on helping you establish a
healthy way to communicate with your partner. I show you how you can
achieve this, as well as how to approach forgiveness, how to decide when
you should talk about the affair, and how to start learning ways to protect
your relationship from further harm.
During Phase II, you and your partner will uncover many important issues,
but the number one thing we will establish is a step-by-step program for
effectively communicating without making matters worse.
Most people do not have the skills to work through their problems without
getting emotionally sucked into the discussion and destroying any positive
groundwork they've built.
That is why I spend time helping you manage your emotions and teaching
you how to see things from the other person's perspective in Phase I.
Without that foundation, working through Phase II would be fruitless and
do more harm than good.
After you've laid the groundwork in Phase I, I will help you move towards
forgiveness and get your ship sailing in the right direction.
It's during this phase that you will start uncovering why the affair
happened and where there are problem areas in your relationship. Once
you know this information, you will begin talking about them and solving
Talking for the two of you will be the main component of Phase II. Because
you have dealt with the majority of your emotions, discussing the details
or relational issues will not be so taxing. The injured partner will not take
the details so personally and the cheating partner will be much more
sensitive and choose their words very carefully.
At this point, the two of you will sit down and go through the process to
- Why the affair happened. A step-by-step strategy to open up your
relationship and look inside with complete honesty.
- Why people have affairs. Understanding this one point could keep
your spouse from cheating again.
- What was missing in your relationship. Uncover your primary needs
and more importantly, what your spouse needs.
- How to get what you want out of your relationship without dragging
your spouse kicking and screaming. Implementing these 10 critical
dimensions will help to affair-proof your relationship.
- What to do when you both see red and neither party is willing to
back down. Discover a 3-step method for coming into agreement
and solving almost any problem before it splits you farther apart.
- How to protect your relationship from getting any worse. Carefully
avoiding these four destructive minefields will accelerate the
reconstruction of your relationship by helping you gain new ground
instead of managing existing problems.
- How to ask for forgiveness. This is the #1 thing your partner wants
before they accept your apology.
- How to talk through the details of the affair. Use these five
guidelines to move through the discussion, as well as the things
you should avoid at all costs.
- How to enjoy talking again. Implement an 8-step program for
developing communication that leads to a happy, healthy
relationship after the affair.
- How to get your spouse to accept what you say without accusing
you of lying. Learn how you can repair the damage that was done
from repetitive lying.
- How to end a conversation before it becomes too hurtful. Avoid
destructive habits that demolish trust and destroy love.
- How to warm up the lines of communication when they've been
frozen for so long. This 2-stage method will open up your spouse,
even if they are guarded tighter than Fort Knox.
After Phase II, you will see a very big transformational change. There will
be a stronger commitment to your relationship, a feeling of honesty when
you communicate, and a new sense of intimacy, respect, and appreciation
for each other.
It is at this point that you will both want to start trusting each other again.
You will simply need to know how to do it.
Negotiating a Renewed Relationship -
Understanding How to Rebuild and Sustain
A New Trust-filled Partnership
It is at this stage that you will notice more emotional predictability and
You will learn the building blocks for a totally transparent relationship.
Your relationship will begin to flourish with the following qualities:
You will ease into the process of giving your faith back to your partner
using the following techniques:
- How to know you can trust your spouse again without being taken
for a fool. Learn the five forms of trust, as well as which ones you
can give and which ones you can hold back without harming your
- How you can know when it's time to trust your spouse again. Identify
some sure signs that you are crossing the bridge and moving
- After you start feeling emotionally connected again, you will begin
the physical aspect of your relationship. Intimacy will expand past
talking and move slowly back into sex. I will show you how to get
past all the mental hurdles and enjoy being with each other again.
- How to have sex again. Learn how you can feel comfortable with
each again without being consumed by thoughts of the affair or
images of the other person.
It's designed to be a system of steps that helps you focus on doing the
right things in the right order to save your relationship as opposed to
figuring it out on your own.
I will do everything I can to help you survive, especially through something
as excruciating as an affair.
As you can see, if you want to take control of your emotions, have the
pain and sadness disappear, and get your relationship back, then the first
step is up to you.
Now Is The Time To Get Started
The length of the program is 16 sessions. The work we do together is a
commitment. I am committed to the transformation of your relationship but
nothing will happen without your commitment. There may be some difficult
moments and you may have feelings of wanting to abandon the process
but your commitment will allow you to walk through and get to the other
There is homework to accomplish and the more you invest in the work, the
greater will be the reward.
The only way out of any troubling experience is through it—not around it,
over it or under it, not avoiding it or “hoping” that it will fix itself on its own.
The “cost” of not dealing with an affair cannot be measured just in dollar
terms. The emotional stress, the unending arguments, the perpetual
mistrust and unhappiness and the probable ending of the relationship
after a dragged out period of time will cost much, much more. A price tag
cannot be put on the value of your relationship.
The investment that you make in your relationship will be well worth it.
Please call (949-295-9203) or email me if you have any further questions.
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