"I just found out about my partner's infidelity....what do I do now?!"
If you just found out about an affair or betrayal you are feeling all sorts of things. Usually, you are wondering why it happened, why you may have done wrong, how you are going to ever move on knowing this information...and more. It's normal to have all kinds of emotions from anger to sadness to hurt. Then, maybe even relief. The relief can come from knowing for a long time that things weren't quite right in your relationship and you didn't really know why.Now you may know at least part of why. As therapists, our biggest suggestion to you during this time is to be kind to yourself. Know that, unfortunately, many people have gone through this and come out on the other end feeling okay with the outcome...whatever that is. This is an emotional and scary time. Of course, you may want to jump to some quick decisions about your relationship. We suggest to take a pause, reach out for support to a friend or therapist, and take the time your relationship deserves to figure this out.
How can couples therapy for infidelity and affair recovery help?
lf you recently found out about an affair, betrayal, or "cheating" in your marriage or relationship, infidelity therapy can help. Our marriage and family therapists approach this in a few stages: 1. Crisis Management: We help you through managing the crisis your marriage or relationship is currently in and how to get through this highly emotional time. We offer coping skills, communication activities to practice at home, and support for both partners. 2. Contributing Factors: This is where we help you figure out what made your relationship vulnerable to this in the first place. We aren't looking to make excuses, blame, scapegoat, etc. - BUT if this happened once, we know it could possibly happen again. We need to figure out how you got here so we make sure we can "affair-proof" your marriage or relationship. these contributing factors could be individual, couple, environmental, or familial. We will help you look at this from all angles. It's almost never one thing, but a myriad of factors. 3. Facilitating Forgiveness: We know there's a lot of forgiveness that needs to happen here. We aren't suggesting that you forget what happened, but in order to move on, some level of forgiveness is helpful. 4. Treating Risk Factors: This is where we help you fix what you identified as your "whys". Maybe someone is battling long term depression or other mental illness, maybe you haven't ever really learned how to communicate about sex with each other, or maybe there is some unresolved trauma. We treat these things individually or as a couple so you can feel confident they won't be impacting you or your marriage in the same way. 5. Re-connection: As Esther Perel says:
"Most of us will have two or three relationships in our lifetime, and some of us are going to do it with the same person. Your first marriage is over, let us help you create the second one together."
For the partner who did the betraying
First, let us say that we know you aren't necessarily the bad person in this marriage. We aren't here to judge you. We are here to help you figure out why this happened and what you can do to move through it as best you can. Some people in this situation find themselves wondering if they are a "sex addict". If you'd like to see some signs that your sexual behavior may be problematic click here. Infidelity doesn't automatically mean someone has a problem with sexual compulsion. but it could. We can help you figure this out.
How can I get through this right now?
We realize you might be in crisis and need help now. If you would like to start coping with and dealing with this right away we suggest a few things. 1. Reach out for support. Find a trusted friend or family member to talk to. If worry about what this could do to your relationship, find a support group to join where you can talk freely about your feelings. 2. Take care of yourself. This is very important. Take a walk, get some exercise, meditate, take a long shower, cook yourself your favorite meal. Whatever it is, do it with the intention that you are loved, you are important, and you deserve to take care of yourself. 3. Resist the urge to overly investigate the situation. Take a step back from needing to know everything that happened. You are not in a completely rational state right now. You may not want to find everything out right now because you may struggle to handle it. There will be time for this later if you still find it important. 4. If you feel safe with your partner, use them for support. You don't have to forgive them in order to let them support you. Tell them what you need. 5. Watch this ted talk with relationship expert Esther Perel called "Rethinking Infidelity". She also has a book called The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
Seeking Therapy for Infidelity in the Minneapolis Area? Start Here.
It's hard to move forward as a couple after an affair. But if both partners are willing, couples therapy can help. We offer a safe space for infidelity therapy in our Plymouth, MN counseling office. We also offer online therapy services for couples anywhere in the state of Minnesota with our skilled therapists in a simple, secure video telehealth platform. Set your doubts and fears aside and let us help you save your relationship. All you have to do to get started is:
Sexual Wellness Institute, PLLC is a specialized sex & relationship therapy practice in Plymouth, MN. We serve clients all over Minnesota and Wisconsin and are located near Maple Grove, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, & Minnetonka.