Common reactions such as anger, regret, anxiety, sleep problems, sadness or confusion are normal and may be your first thoughts. But divorce is not your only option. There is hope!
Often, after an affair comes to light, it becomes apparent to therapists that there were serious pre-existing issues that pushed you apart and which led to someone developing an emotional or intimate relationship with someone outside the marriage. This is common and is usually a prime reason that people have drifted apart. Lack of sex in the relationship is another frequently reported reason for cheating. Alcohol abuse is often present in affairs, as well.
You both may have drifted apart over the years and have not given enough attention to each other. This is understandable when you have a busy life, children, careers and other responsibilities. One of you may be angry, weary, hurt or needing attention after a long period of neglect. Affection erodes slowly and then sometimes another person becomes available to one of you. You may have unmet physical needs, which is obviously a huge motivator for human behaviors. Social media often plays a part in finding, encouraging or enabling these outside relationships.
What do you do now? Before hiring a mediator or an attorney, we always recommend counseling as your first option after cheating is uncovered. During therapy, the pre-existing relationship problems will be explored. Anger and hurt feelings will be addressed. Questions will need to be asked (and answered) by all parties. Rebuilding trust will be the ultimate goal, but it will take an investment from both parties that will require commitment in counseling. Possibly, individual counseling will be needed for one or both of you.
We work primarily with couples at Becker Counseling and have helped facilitate successful rebuilding of many relationships. The important thing to remember is that, while it’s a long process and takes hard work, couples’ counseling often results in a stronger relationship after an affair. When you’re ready, we are here to help.
Call Becker Counseling at 732-406-4422 or contact us here.