Trying to recover from infidelity in your relationship can be challenging to do without support from a therapist and counseling, like counseling in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center. You and your partner may have gone back and forth arguing about the factors of the infidelity, only to feel pushed even further apart. A therapist can be a supportive listener, who doesn’t take sides. A therapist can listen as both partners share their feelings about the unfaithfulness, and then help each person learn about what they need during this time.
How long will it take to heal from the infidelity?
Healing from an affair can take time. Couples shouldn’t expect the process to be quick, and must be dedicated to working through this issue for the long-term. While there isn’t a way to tell whether the couple will be able to fully mend their relationship, experts suggest that healing may take a couple years or longer. For others, perhaps forgiveness happens sooner. Factors that can influence how soon the couple heals from infidelity include:
- Capacity for hearing and practicing honesty
- Ability to tolerate conflict
- Willingness to communicate effectively
- Accepting personal responsibility
- Each partner’s attachment style
What are the phases a couple may go through after one has been unfaithful?
While each relationship is unique, there are a few phases that most couples tend to go through after one of them has been unfaithful. After the couple has taken each step described below, they will then have to embrace the new relationship that has been created. Therapy allows a space for couples to build a stronger bond after a major setback in their relationship. It may still be challenging for the partner that was betrayed to trust the other completely. But, with understanding of why the affair happened and working through these phases, healing can occur overtime:
- The Trauma Phase: After the affair has been discovered, the partner who was betrayed may enter a state of shock, trauma, and anger. They may feel like taking revenge against their partner, or hopeless about the relationship continuing at all. Both partners are likely to struggle immensely at this stage, and may need help from a therapist to think clearly. Physical symptoms of weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy are common.
- Clarifying The Why: With support from a therapist, the couple can examine what contributed to the affair. There may be a fair amount of emotional instability as both partners try to understand the infidelity and reach closure. Intense and challenging emotions are likely to be felt, and couples can get the guidance they need in processing them by seeing a therapist for help.
- Addressing The Issue: The real work begins when emotions have settled a little bit and each partner can start working on the problems which contributed to the affair. The couple may feel guilt, anger, and grief over the relationship for what it was in the past. By persevering through this strenuous phase, the couple can get to the root of their discontent and start to heal the deepest parts of themselves.