Dealing with Betrayal © Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Counseling to Recover from Affairs

Is your partner is having an affair?
What can you do and what should you avoid?

Affairs and Infidelity . Signs of Affairs . Recovering from Betrayal

Many people react emotionally when they discover they were betrayed. Emotions such as anger, fear, guilt or a desire for revenge may motivate behaviors that are later regretted – behaviors which may complicate you solving the real problems.

During the stress of betrayal, many people age regress and act like children. Whatever crazy things other people do, I hope to help you not to sabotage your flexibility or your sanity. Whether you want to stay together or to separate, avoid making the situation worse. Here are some things to do and some things to avoid.

Many people having affairs are often passive aggressive … afraid of their emotions and afraid of other people’s reactions. Did you have an affair and keep it secret? Are you still doing this? We can help you resolve your guilt and make better decisions.

I wanted to tell my husband the truth. After a horrible month
he told me that I should have kept the details to myself.
I realize now that I only told him to try to reduce my guilt.

What Can you Do About a Partner’s Affair?

This is a delicate time. You may be wrong about your partner – but even if you’re right, an affair need not mean the end of a partnership. Affairs can be passionate and romantic; and they can be destructive and hurtful. Often they are both.

1. Stay adult … avoid reacting like a child!

Observe and consider what’s going on. Gather information to help you make intelligent decisions. Monitor your partner’s activities and attitude about the affair. Perhaps you can work things out.

You’re not a masochistic detective – so why act like one? Avoid obsessing about details and focus on the big picture: you need information to make decisions.

Maybe it was partly your fault. Were you overly concerned with your career, sport or the kids? Take responsibility for your actions or lack of actions We can help you learn and avoid repeating them.

2. Be strong … don’t act like a victim … nor like an abuser!

You may want to tell people about your partner’s betrayal, and get friends and family on your side. Be cautious – confiding in opposite sex friends may trigger sexual advances.

Telling your partner’s friends or family may be counter-productive. They might not take you seriously. Or they may lie, or make excuses or take your partner’s side. Confiding in family and friends can come back and haunt you.

People usually remember unpleasant events long after they’ve been resolved. If you and your partner reconcile, people may continue to show anger towards your partner, or to judge you as a victim, or criticize you. Be careful who you tell.

3. Confront your partner with proof of betrayal.

Denial and lies usually makes things worse. While it is shocking to discover that a partner is cheating, deal with it. Ignoring infidelity may be taken as tacit approval to continue an affair. Confront your partner with proof of betrayal to save time. Maybe say that you know about the affair and that you want it to stop – now.

Confront your partner sooner than later. The longer you wait to express disapproval, the more you will be radiating disapproval nonverbally and the more they may bond to each other. Affairs thrive on secrecy. Tell your partner what you know about their affair.

We believe that most people should soon confront their partners about any cheating. Choose a time and place in which you can discuss the affair and the consequences at length, privately and without interruptions.

4. Have proof, plan, and purpose – don’t be vague or wishy-washy.

Do not ask your partner if he or she is cheating. Avoid cat and mouse games and minimize opportunities for lies. Just present the evidence that proves an affair – names, dates, places, times, absences, phone calls, physical evidence, etc.

Ask why and how the affair started, how long it’s been going on, how they feel about each other and what they intend to do next. Listen carefully, maybe take notes and try to assess the situation calmly. Then you can better decide what to do.

5. Focus on YOU and your PARTNER – don’t be a masochist!

Avoid obsessing about the “other” person. Probably you feel curious, but it’s not worth your time and energy. Avoid interrogating your partner, or using that person’s name in conversations. Avoid obsessing about the details of whatever they did together.

Concentrate on working things out. Do not humiliate yourself by asking the other person to leave your partner alone. Threats or harassment break the law. Name-calling, criticizing or belittling the other person may cause your partner to defend their affair … you may push them closer together. Decide whether or not to rebuild your partnership.

So much depends on how you handle things when you first discover the affair. At first, you may be unsure what you’re going to do. But at least you better know what to avoid. Whether you stay or leave, clear the way for whatever decision you make.

Usually, the best thing is to ask your partner directly.
You do not need raw details …
you want information to make decisions.

Many people try to hide their betrayal … here are signs of affairs.

I was shocked when I found that my wife was having an affair …
I was shocked at my naivety. Many of the signs you list were there.
I just didn’t want to see them.
Arizona

You cannot make your partner change! Review your own behavior. What are you doing – or not doing – that you can change? If your partnership is important enough that you want to change – we can help you!

What do you really want? Stability? Power? Success? Community approval? For your children to have two loving parents? Know why you want to continue a partnership.

Hey man – like what planet are you from?
My girlfriend found your stuff on affairs and made me read it.
So what if I’m married … I want some fun!
Anonymous email

You have more chance of recreating a happy partnership if you accept that part of the reason for your partner’s infidelity is you. Don’t wait for suffering to motivate you to improve your relationship skills.

Heal a Partnership after Betrayal

Affairs need not destroy a partnership, although guilt, recriminations and transferences can tear couples apart. We coached many couples who were ready to separate to learn from their experiences and begin wonderful new partnerships together.

My husband read one your article about affairs and came home early and
caught me! I was just having fun with a neighbor. He didn’t need to know!
Now he’s angry and the children are all upset. I wasn’t so bad.
How can I make him calm down?

Your partnership can be better than you might imagine. We help couples
understand themselves and each other as a basis for renewed relationships.

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