We Can Help
Chances are if you’ve landed on this page, you’ve recently discovered your husband is unfaithful, your wife is cheating, or your boyfriend or girlfriend has strayed… and your world probably feels like it is:
- Upside down
You never thought this would happen to you. Perhaps your partner has confessed to being in love with someone else, a one-night stand, an emotional affair, an office romance, pornography addiction or an online alliance. Or perhaps they are still denying the obvious evidence, leaving you to wonder if you are a bit crazy. If someone you love, who you thought loved you—lies—it can feel like the earth swallowed up the ordinary, every-day landscape as you knew it. (In fact, lying may be the worst of all the injuries when your spouse or partner cheats.) You may even be getting lost on the way to the grocery store. When you’ve discovered a partner’s affair— unfortunately, it is normal to feel:
In fact, the number one thing people say when they discover their partner is unfaithful is, “I’ve always said this was the line that couldn’t be crossed. I’d feel like a fool if I reconsidered the relationship.”
Yet affairs happen. And it is not your shame that your partner cheated. It is, however, important to discover what happened, why it happened, what was going on in other aspects of your partner’s life that caused them to make a decision that is often against their own ethical code. It is smart to enter a process to figure this whole thing out – even if only for your own future relational happiness.
First Aid Dos
- Call us at Awakenings! You’re at the right place now!! Make a counseling appointment ASAP—We’ll see you within 24 hours in this crisis!! Click HERE to make an appointment by email or call (919) 845-5400
- Tell one and only one trusted friend
- Check in with your doctor or the ER immediately, if you feel like harming yourself or you are afraid of your own violence
- Sleep! Call your doctor if you haven’t slept in 48 hours. Sleep is the fastest way to feel semi-normal again—get some!!!
- Eat—something… anything—try something bland like yogurt, milkshake, eggs, crackers
- Know that you are in a crisis—be gentle with yourself
- Don’t drink alcohol or use any drugs
- Don’t make impulsive decisions
- Don’t assume this has to mean D-I-V-O-R-C-E—most of our couples recover to find happiness again
- Don’t tell the children (if you have kids) what you know
Is there HOPE?
YES!!! A resounding yes!! We’ve seen thousands of couples mend from affairs and go on to have stronger relationships. You may not see the path today and we will not tell you what decision you should make. But we can often help each partner deal with this relational disaster in ways that bring healing, truth, more intimacy, better sex and recovery.
The injured party says, “I didn’t deserve this!”
The unfaithful party says, “I’m not a bad person—I couldn’t see any other way to get my needs met.”
If you were the partner who strayed, the moment of discovery may have opened your eyes to all you have risked—your marriage, your family, your economic stability, and your reputation in the community. You too may feel shaken to your core. You may have mixed feelings of fear, entitlement, remorse, exposure, and anger. You may feel shame at having violated your own ethics. If you decide to work on the relationship, we know that good people have affairs and will help you analyze yourself as well as learn how to comfort your partner.
Whether your relationship had cracks in the foundations for years or seemed perfectly happy to you, our counselors will help you find a way to talk about the affair—what it means, why it happened and see if there is a way for you to go forward together. Therapy helps you:
- Evaluate the marriage/partnership to decide if it is worth working on
- Analyze why it happened and what made the relationship vulnerable
- Learn what you contributed or withheld in the relational problems (not that you caused your partner to have the affair)
- Find meaning from the ashes of the current disaster
- Learn to trust based on joint vulnerability, openness and sharing
- Improve the sexual life to be both emotional and erotic