Affair Recovery in a Pandemic
You are juggling work, caring for your kids, running errands in 100-degree heat while masked and now this–your partner is having an affair. With all of this going on, are you wondering how to fix a marriage after infidelity? Let me break it down for you. Recovery from an affair takes time and hard work.
You will experience a wide range of emotions after your partner discloses the affair. An affair is a devastating blow to your relationship, but it can get better. In fact, many couples I work with report stronger commitment and trust as they progress through infidelity recovery.
Affair Recovery Stages
Affair recovery occurs in three stages:
During Atonement you will both experience a wide range of emotions after the affair disclosure. Emotions shift from anger, rage, sadness, and grief, to a desire to feel loved by your partner. You might experience symptoms of PTSD. You both might have anxiety at the start of the recovery process, because emotions are confusing and unpredictable. The therapist teaches both of you tools to cope with the sadness, anger, guilt, and grief.
During Atonement, your therapist will help you express your negative emotions without criticism and or contempt and provides empathy and support to both you and your partner. Atonement is a lengthy process where the betrayer takes responsibility for breaking relationship trust. As you work through the trauma, you and your partner disclose your emotions and hurt. You will have time during session to ask questions, and gain a better understanding of your partner’s betraying behavior.
In the second phase, Attunement, you will learn about the patterns that led to the affair. You develop skills to improve communication, and clarify relationship strengths and weaknesses. The therapist will teach you ways to manage conflict and express your needs, which helps build trust and strengthens your relationship bond. Together you will develop rituals of connection and learn how to respond lovingly to one another.
In the third phase, Attachment, the therapist helps you both engage in meaningful conversation about your values, dreams, and hopes for the future. During his phase, you will both engage in work to improve sexual intimacy and rekindle passion.
How to Fix a Marriage After Infidelity
Do not attempt affair recovery alone. A therapist can help you safely and confidently process the trauma so both partners feel understood. When you look for a therapist, ask about their training and experience with infidelity. I recommend 90-minute sessions for all couples, but more importantly for couples who experienced infidelity.
Quarantining complicates affair recovery, because you live in the same home and work side-by-side all day. If your relationship experienced an affair, call an experienced couples therapist right away. Make an INVESTMENT in your relationship.