Infidelity 2016-12-12T14:55:18+00:00

Has An Affair, Infidelity or Betrayal Left You Uncertain About Your Relationship?

Has an affair left you feeling angry, insecure or unsafe in Side view of a muslim man comforting a sad caucasian girl mourning in a train stationyour relationship? Are you struggling to make sense of a recent or past betrayal? Are you overwhelmed by negative thoughts and questions about why infidelity happened and what it means for the future of your relationship?

You may feel confused and shocked by the discovery that your partner has been unfaithful. Perhaps you replay the betrayal in your head, running through what you saw or imagined and struggling to process painful images. You might be desperate to find answers but hesitate to ask your partner, worrying about what else s/he might be hiding and how it could impact your relationship. Or, you might ask but feel unsatisfied with the answers s/he has to offer. Maybe you wonder if something is wrong with you and blame yourself for your partner’s affair. You may want to make things work with your partner but worry that if you stay in the relationship, you will end up getting hurt again. The combination of overwhelming emotions you may be experiencing – confusion, disbelief, shame, betrayal, doubt – can be incredibly difficult to navigate on your own.

You may feel a similar sense of shock, confusion and self-doubt if you were the one who was unfaithful in your relationship. Perhaps you are struggling to understand how you could hurt someone you love so deeply. It may be difficult to make sense of why you engaged in an affair, and your partner may become frustrated or distant when you cannot provide answers to his or her questions. You may worry that your partner will never be able to forgive you or trust you again.

To make things more difficult, the ways in which you and your partner are each trying to cope with or move on from the infidelity may be adding to your relationship issues. The uncertainty, pain and regret over what has happened can create a sense of panic in your relationship and lead to increased conflict or withdrawal. You may find yourself wishing you knew how to understand and address the infidelity so you and your partner could work together to heal, move forward and restore trust and safety in your relationship.

Many Couples Struggle With InfidelityHomosexual young couple hanging out in Greenwich Village - New York, USA.

Whether it was you or your partner who was unfaithful, the sense of betrayal – of your partner, your relationship and your values – can leave you feeling ashamed and alone. Because an affair is a difficult topic to discuss, you may avoid talking to your close friends and support system and feel incredibly alone. However, infidelity and betrayals are not uncommon in relationships. In the General Social Survey, conducted annually by the University of Chicago, approximately 10 percent of respondents admitted to cheating on their spouse. Infidelity happens more often than we might ever think and is often a symptom of insecurity or unmet needs in the relationship.

Infidelity or betrayal typically occurs when one partner (the offending partner) turns outside of the relationship to fulfill unmet needs that s/he has been unable to recognize, talk about or address. When our underlying needs to feel seen, understood, accepted, loved/desired or engaged are not being met, internal feelings of conflict, tension or emotional pain can arise. If these negative feelings are not recognized or addressed, they can drive our behavior, even without our awareness, as we attempt to cope and find relief. Some offending partners might recognize the overwhelming internal feelings and unmet needs that resulted in the affair. Others, however, remain unaware of underlying issues, which can make it harder to work together as a couple to find healing. Whatever your situation is, we can help you make sense of it. You may realize that you and your partner do not have the communication skills you need to address the broken trust, disconnection and intense feelings you are facing. This does not mean that something is wrong with you, that you or your partner are inadequate or that your relationship cannot recover. Communication challenges in the aftermath of a betrayal are the result of a tremendous amount of emotion which, when left unaddressed, can create blocks in your ability to reach each other and heal together.

At Relationship HQ in New York, NY, we recognize how tricky it is to navigate these difficult emotions and that you may need help understanding what happened and resolving questions, conflict and emotional pain surrounding an affair. With infidelity counseling, you and your partner can work together to address the causes and consequences of the betrayal, reestablish trust and restore love and safety in your relationship.

You Can Reestablish Trust With Infidelity Counseling

It is possible to recover from an affair or betrayal, if you and your partner are willing to listen to each other and risk sharing your experience openly and honestly. Infidelity counseling can help you and your partner understand how the affair happened and what you can do to move forward and rebuild a relationship that is based on honesty and authenticity. Our therapists at Relationship HQ believe that when infidelity/betrayal happens, both partners are in pain in different ways. We can help you find the purpose in the pain so that you and your partner can build a new relationship with each other, one that brings forward the good from the old relationship and leaves behind the aspects that were implicitly or explicitly not working.

playful young couple holding eachother on a benchIn our New York office, we provide a safe space where you and your partner can talk about what happened and share your feelings in a way that each other can understand. If you are the hurt partner, you can learn to express feelings of betrayal in a way that allows your partner to actually see your pain and bear it with you, rather than becoming dismissive, defensive or shutting down. If you are the offending partner, you can learn to listen to your partner with an open heart and see the impact the betrayal had in a way that enables you to show your partner your feelings of remorse. We can help you both feel equipped to respond to the other when you feel hurt, angry, ashamed or doubt. You can organize the aspects of what happened that do not make sense so you can both have a clearer understanding of how your relationship became vulnerable to such hurt. At Relationship HQ, you can take steps to rebuild trust and safety with your partner and, together, protect your relationship from such injury in the future.

Many of our therapists use Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) to help you and your partner repair the injury caused by betrayal or infidelity and rebuild your relationship.

We help you and your partner understand your relationship cycle, resolve difficult issues and build a stronger, more secure bond so you can both feel able to be open and responsive to each other. Because we use an experiential model, we work to have the change occur in the therapy room so you can continue building on it at home. You can begin to talk and listen to each other in more effective ways that prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, stuck, unheard or unproductive--ways that bring you closer instead of leading to conflict or avoidance. We have been helping couples understand and respond to infidelity and affairs for the past 10 years. We offer the guidance, support and resources you need to restore trust and build a stronger, more secure and honest relationship.

You may recognize that infidelity counseling could help your relationship but still have questions or concerns…

My partner betrayed my trust – I’m not sure I can forgive or open my heart again. I don’t know if I can continue the relationship.

It is natural to feel unsure that you can forgive your partner or open up your heart again when you are reeling from the pain of the betrayal and confusion about why or how something like this could happen. It makes sense that there are parts of you that want to exit the relationship and escape from the pain. At the same time, regardless of whether you stay or go, it is important for you to be able to explore and express the depth of your hurt so that you are not haunted by it for the rest of your life. Through infidelity counseling, you can receive the repair you need to resolve the pain and move forward with your life, which will help whether or not you stay in the relationship.

My partner will never forget about the infidelity, so what’s the point of therapy?

Therapy is not focused on helping your partner forget about the infidelity but rather on helping you and your partner know how to cope with the hurt together. Therapy is focused on helping you feel confident and equipped to discuss and address emotional pain. Instead of feeling like a deer in headlights when your partner expresses how your behavior hurt him or her, you can learn to comfort your partner and find the courage required to express remorse. This is what will ultimately help your partner be able to offer forgiveness and make the pain fade away.

Nobody wants to actively hold on to hurt and pain. If your partner appears to be holding on, it is likely because he or she may still have questions or hasn’t received responses that would allow him or her to heal. It is a sign that your partner wants their pain to feel seen by you and be comforted (even if you have done it a thousand times before). Infidelity counseling can help you know how to communicate your remorse to your partner and respond in more effective ways so you can move forward together.

I’m worried the therapist will take sides and blame me for everything.

Infidelity counseling is not about placing blame or pointing fingers. We don’t expect you to come into therapy knowing why the affair happened, and we can help you identify issues you may not have been aware of in your relationship. Our therapists are non-judgmental, compassionate and trained to be objective, so they can help you and your partner understand the challenges you are facing and work together to start healing.

Your Relationship Can Heal From Infidelity

If you are ready to begin healing and recovery following an infidelity in your relationship, or if you still have questions about infidelity counseling, we invite you to contact us at 212.730.7400 to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation. We can meet in person in our New York City office or over the phone to discuss your situation, respond to any questions you may have and determine if you and your partner would benefit from therapy.

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