Finding out about an affair is an overwhelming experience for most people. There is a lot of research now on dealing with an extramarital affair. One expert who has researched and worked with clinicians who are dealing with an extramarital affair is Dr. Shirley Glass.
Psychologist Dr. Glass compares learning about an affair in your marriage to the symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
If your partner has "cheated," and you are are dealing with an extramarital affair, you may have trouble sleeping, eating, or even working.
Over and over, unwanted images invade your mind. You repeat in your head what your spouse told you about what had happened, and ask yourself if they are being totally honest.
You start to wonder when else your partner saw that "other person," when they claimed to be some other place.
You can think of nothing else.
You doubt everything they say:
You feel like you are on a roller coaster, with intense emotions. One minute you feel rage...the next minute you just want to have sex and forget about it. A second later, you can't stand the thought of your partner touching you.
Maybe you blame yourself, maybe not. But your trust is shattered, and you may start acting more like a detective than a spouse. And when you are dealing with an extramarital affair, you may be feeling a bit unhinged.
Our situation was dire. We were reeling from the discovery of multiple affairs and trying to see if our relationship was worth saving. We questioned whether the process would even be worth the time and money....We had tried couples therapy previously with no real success and a lot of frustration. .
Couples Therapy Inc. allowed us to make it through the roughest year of our marriage. We learned to fight better, communicate better, and calm down when we are flooded with emotion. We learned to take breaks when needed and come back to hot issues.
We got past the ambivalence and committed to the work, and survived the year together. "
(More) ~Online Affair Recovery, International
If you had the affair, you may be unsure exactly how you ended up having sex with someone else. Perhaps you were drunk, or felt flattered by their attention. Maybe it happened very gradually, and before you knew it, you were involved.
Maybe they reminded you of how your marriage used to be, or how you imagine that your marriage should be. Maybe you've broken off the affair, or maybe you find it hard to end it. Was it just the sex, and the affair doesn't mean much to you?
Or maybe it is a compulsion and has happened repeatedly and you feel out of control and risking it all.
Do you wish your spouse would just let it go and stop harping on it?
Are things getting ugly, now that your spouse knows? You don't know whether to answer the questions they ask you. There are a lot of questions to answer when you are dealing with an extramarital affair. Do you go into detail?
You don't want to end your marriage for a lot of reasons. The kids. Mutual obligations. There are the years of history you have with each other. But maybe you miss your affair partner. Maybe the passion died years ago in your marriage, but the friendship never did. Or maybe your feelings of caring are still there for your spouse, despite everything. You may be feeling actively confused. You may need help dealing with an extramarital affair.
Now it is probably hard for you to imagine how you can heal from an affair and move forward. But you can, in a safe, structured setting.
We'll help you to figure out what to focus on and what to let go of. We'll support both of you in handling seemingly trivial incidents that suddenly trigger World War III fights.
The work requires careful, deliberate steps with the goal of rebuilding the marriage and restoring trust and peace in your home once again. You'll learn how to open up to intimacy, tune into each other, and re-build a feeling of teamwork once again.
You may have only heard of affairs that ended a marriage. That's because those who seek help, don't badmouth their spouses. And as therapists, we know that these couples heal, sometimes ending up much stronger than before.
For some couples, an affair is a "wake up call" that fundamentally transforms their relationship into one that is stronger and more resilient than before. They end up looking back upon this time as a turning point in their marriage, and a time of re-commitment.
I've spent my professional years helping troubled relationships heal from affairs and repair their marriages. I've also hired the most highly trained professionals to work with you across the USA or the world.
Dealing with an extramarital affair is a delicate matter. And much of the hurt caused by an affair happens AFTER the affair is revealed. Know what steps to take to minimize the damage.
You can heal from an affair.