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Respond to Having an Affair

spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy, a leading provider in couples therapy and marriage counseling in New York City, has marriage counselors and marriage therapists, who are experts in helping couples in crisis, dealing with infidelity or extramarital affair and saving marriages in crisis, while building healthy relationships. Spiral2grow, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers proven marriage counseling and couples therapy.

How the betrayed spouse responds after an affair

The respond to an affair is hard and can manifest itself in many ways. The discovery of the affair has tremendous effect on the relationship and specifically on the betrayed spouse. The impact of the infidelity on the betrayed spouse may be physiological hyper-arousal, flashbacks, rage, mood swings, withdrawal and intrusive images, which is similar to the symptoms of a PTSD (post-traumatic stress Disorder).

A spouse’s affair can cause you to doubt your self worth and self-esteem. The betrayal inflicts deep wounds, causing psychological and relational turmoil. In the emotional turmoil and devastation after infidelity and affair, you are dealing with images that continue to run through your mind of your spouse with another person. In addition to being angry and sad, the feelings of being hyper-vigilance and supper-protective means you have another strong emotion to work through: jealousy.

  • Why counselling is advisable to help manage infidelity?
    • Some of the common reactions to the loss of the trust and ideal partnership, include obsessively pondering on the details of the infidelity; not believing the spouse, while continuously looking for additional signs of betrayal. Checking cell phone messages, credit card bills, email account, asking endless questions, are just few examples of attempts to understand the entirety of what has occurred.A high level of hurt, insecurity, and anger as well as a tremendous fear that such the betrayal will take place again in the future is normal and hard to avoid. The raging thoughts may lead to angry behavior and strong desire to punish the involved spouse by telling the children about the incident, telling bosses, mothers, and others about the infidelity. Some spouses will resort to verbal and even physical abuse toward the unfaithful partner. At the same time, the involved spouse may fear that they will be never be forgiven or forever punished for the what they have done. The unfaithful partner may be left to deal with their guilt alone and might justify their behavior by blaming their partner by distortions of what the relationship was like and how unhappy they were in it.The shocking news may lead to a situation that the betrayed spouse is numb and somewhat unable to function normally. Some individuals may be in rage, impulsively will ask for separation, divorce, etc.. Others may look for insight, try to understand what went wrong, what they have done, and other might look for validation for their feelings, and might need emotional stability as opposed to drastic action. Some betrayed spouses may blame themselves for not having seen the patterns of lying and deceit, and for not acting sooner. Some might feel shame and fear judgment to unfortunately keep them isolated in their fear and hurt.In other cases, some betrayed spouses will dramatically engage in sexual or seductive mode, thinking that if they provide enough sex, their partner won’t “need” to look elsewhere. Others may direct the hurt of their partner onto the individual(s) with whom their partner had the affair, protecting their spouse and their “ideal relationship,” while denying the responsibility of their partner’s behavior.As one can see, there are many ways individuals respond after infidelity. Regardless of how the response is, it is hard to process it and overcome the overwhelming emotional challenges. If couples are not able to manage this crisis by themselves, and many cannot, it is recommended to seek help of psychotherapist who is an expert in infidelity and affair.
More about Affair and Infidelity
Resources
  • After the affair by Janis Spring - Book
  • What Makes Love Last? How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal by John Gottman
  • Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love - by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, and Susan L.
  • The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships - by John Gottman
  • Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples -  by Harville Hendrix
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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
License # : 000697