The second you find out that your husband or wife has cheated, everything changes. You may be overwhelmed, in shock, and wonder what this means for the future of your marriage. Do you leave them? Do you try counseling? How do you confront them about the evidence you found? During this time of anguish, it can be hard to know what to do next. While filing for divorce is certainly one option, attending marriage counseling to find out if your relationship is salvageable is another.
Couples can try to overcome infidelity through marriage counseling, if they are both dedicated to figuring out if their relationship can still work. Through therapy, there are many lessons that the couple may learn about themselves and their partner, including:
An Affair Doesn’t Necessarily Mean They Have a Bad Marriage
There are many reasons why a spouse may stray from their spouse and break a marriage vow. Perhaps the betrayer felt neglected, was struggling with self-esteem issues, or the spark between them and their spouse had diminished over the years. What the couple may come to realize through counseling is that an incident of cheating may not mean that they have a bad marriage or that it is doomed to end. Instead, there may be some changes that have to be made in order for them to achieve a strong relationship foundation again.
For example, if the couple had been together for many years and the initial lust for each other had diminished, maybe this just means they have to reinvent new ways to connect and spark that sense of passion again. While it may be difficult to hear, there may be a lesson underneath the motivation for one spouse to cheat. A marriage counselor can help the couple navigate painful conversations so they can hopefully emerge from the affair even stronger.
They Have To Learn How to Talk About the Affair in a Healthy Way
By attending marriage counseling, the couple must anticipate having to talk about the incident of infidelity in more detail. The spouse who broke the vow will have to be willing to listen to how much their actions have caused their partner pain, and for as long as is needed to alleviate the trauma and build back trust. The betrayer must share remorse, empathy, and guilt for their behavior.
A marriage counselor understands how uncomfortable such a discussion can be. It is important to have this talk while in the presence of an unbiased and neutral person, in case emotions start to feel out of control. Venting difficult feelings while in public or in the presence of loved ones can add more damage to the situation. Friends and family may start to take sides, exacerbating the tension. And children who witness their parents arguing about cheating may be left with devastating long-term effects on their emotional health. A marriage counselor, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center, can help the spouses have a healthy dialogue despite how painful the talk may be.