Category Archives: Affair

Affair Repair: Where to Start

Affair Repair: Where to Start

One of the most devastating moments in any relationship is when there has been an affair. I don’t think I can overstate enough how profoundly traumatic it is to have that kind of betrayal in a close, intimate relationship.

There are feelings of hopelessness and despair.

I don’t know what to do. I’m damned if I stay, I’m damned if I go.

How can I possibly fix this? I can’t possibly save my marriage after this massive breach of trust.

There’s emotional exhaustion.

Every day is an emotional storm. Sometimes I feel like we’ve never been closer, and other times I feel like I’m sleeping with the enemy.

There’s doubt.

Will I ever be able to stop visualizing my partner with someone else? Can I ever feel special again? How will I ever forgive them?

You’re going to have all kinds of feelings and emotions. It is a roller coaster every day. For a long time.

So the first step in recovering from an affair is giving you permission to be where you are at this moment.

It is okay that you’re not sure if you want to work on the marriage. It is okay that you’re not sure if you’ll ever trust again. Let it be okay that you don’t know what you are thinking and feeling.

Early Decisions are Not Set in Stone

Feeling these strong emotions after an affair is normal. You’re just not going to act on them.

You need time to grieve for the loss of the marriage you thought you had, assess the damage, figure out how you feel about it. Then you need some time to heal and pull yourself together.

Only after all that can you decide if your marriage is something worth fixing. You don’t want to make permanent, life-altering decisions in an emotional state. You’re going to get in trouble almost every time when you do that.

So declare a moratorium on decision-making for at least six to twelve weeks after you discover the affair. This provides a period of safety where you can fully explore your thoughts and feelings.

How long you wait depends on your situation and how you respond.

I recently had a client whose wife was having multiple affairs for 15 years and practically prostituting herself out. Recovering from that probably will take more time.

But I had another client who went on a business trip and slept with someone while he was out of town. One time.

While both are traumatic, the recovery period could be completely different.

The key is waiting until you have your emotional state under control every day. However long that takes.

Ambivalence is Normal and Healthy

Another mistake I often see is clients who move through ambivalence too fast and give up.

Ambivalence is a part of the process when you’re depressed, and I can’t imagine a situation where there’s been an affair and you’re not depressed. Infidelity is tough stuff.

Let yourself be ambivalent and tune out while you process the emotions.

We call this “responsible distance taking.” Tell your partner you need some time away. You need some time to think about it and be ambivalent.

Just don’t ignore your partner and withdraw completely from the relationship. Your partner’s bad behavior is not a green light for yours. You can’t make them pay by staying in the marriage but not talking with them for six months, even if they hurt you.

That’s emotional abuse. That’s retribution. You don’t get that right.

Staying is Just Time to Heal

Tell yourself that staying doesn’t mean you condone your partner’s behavior. It doesn’t mean you are trapped forever in a bad relationship.

Staying just means you’re committed to the process of grieving and healing. You are committed to forging a new partnership.

Divorce Your Marriage—Not Your Spouse

We often tell people not to divorce your spouse, divorce your marriage and build a new one.

Is this relationship worth salvaging? And if not, is it worth trying to create one that is worth keeping?

Most affairs don’t end in divorce. Most affairs actually make it through and survive. The difference between a marriage that survives and one that doesn’t is the desire to save the relationship.

That’s the difference.

Is that something you’re interested in?

It may be hard to believe, but we find that if a couple is ready to partner together and change the dynamic of their marriage, they actually can have a better marriage after infidelity. An affair can be an opening for dealing with problems that have been festering in the marriage for a long time.

Get Ready for a Long Journey

Research shows that it takes between two and three years to recover from an affair.

This is not two or three sessions. This is two or three years.

That doesn’t mean you will be miserable all the time. But it does mean you will need to learn how to navigate the ebbs and flows that come as you grieve and rebuild. You will need to hold yourself responsible and accountable. You will need to learn how to forgive, how to partner again. You will need patience.

A partner having an affair is like a fox that got into the hen house. You have to clean up the mess, and then you have to find out where the fence needs fortifying.

Not every marriage with an affair is a bad marriage. An affair just means there is a gap somewhere.

Somebody let down their guard.

Somebody blinked

Something happened.

Repairing after an affair isn’t easy. But it is possible. And we can help.

We’re going to help you recover emotionally. Then we’re going to find out what happened, the dynamic that made the marriage vulnerable. And we’re going to help you fix it.

So if you find that you’re stuck in the grieving process, or the forgiving process or you just can’t close the gap, call or go online to schedule an appointment with us.

Most people need help to get through something like an affair…we, at The Marriage Place, are trained and equipped to help you recover and rebuild!

Affairs are tough stuff.

Learn More

How To Tell Your Spouse You Cheated

how to tell your spouse you cheated

how to tell your spouse you cheated
If you used the ever popular Ashley Madison site you may soon be busted. Hackers have gained access to millions of names and they are threatening releasing these names to the public if the site isn’t shut down.  Ashley Madison makes millions of dollars a year.  They aren’t closing shop, so if there is a possibility your name is on the list, you need to know your spouse may soon be finding out.  If you want to save your marriage, there are steps you can take to increase your chances.

ashley madison hack

If your name could be on that list, you are probably tempted to wait and see if the news will go public.  Why tell the truth, risk your marriage and cause your spouse all this pain if there is even a remote possibility the names won’t be shared?

I can give you two reasons why you need to confess your infidelity:

  1. If you want any hope of saving your marriage, this is your next best move and
  2. You have a fairly good chance of being caught whether your name is leaked or not.  Secrets have a way of being found.

If your name is on that list…I’m sorry.  I’m sorry you are probably having to worry and stress that your spouse, family, friends and coworkers could find out about your actions. Of course, being found out is always a potential consequence to having an affair. But this kind of very public revelation is going to be painful for everyone involved.  I’m also sorry you chose an affair over confronting the issues that you made vulnerable in this way to begin with.

Having an affair doesn't have to be the end of your marriage. Click To Tweet

If you think your name could be on that list, you need to prepare your spouse and yourself for the fallout.  I’ve outlined some steps to help you navigate this process.

Contact Us

If you’ve used Ashley Madison to have an affair, here’s how to tell your spouse you cheated, and what to do next:

Step 1:
Immediately close your Ashley Madison account and delete any emails, texts or pictures.  If you have a secret email address, close the account.  This isn’t to hide information from your spouse.  This is to keep your spouse from stumbling onto explicit information that can never be unread or unseen.  I’ve worked with many clients in this situation and it is much harder to get past an affair when this level of detail has been shared.

Step 2:
Get ready for questions. You need to be ready to answer the questions that will invariably come.  Your spouse is going to want to know who, how many, where and for how long (and many, many others). It is critical that you are honest and up front from the beginning BUT do not give any graphic details about any encounters with your affair partner.  Don’t be belligerent.

If your spouse asks these kinds of intimate questions, tell him/her you feel this information would only hurt them further.  If they persist. tell them you want to seek advice from a marriage counselor before saying anymore.

Above all, do not lie or deceive to try and minimize damage.  This will only come back to bite you.  I’ve seen it too many times.  Answer honestly and respectfully and if it is a question you aren’t sure whether to answer, be honest about that and why.  When your spouse asks you WHY you did it, do not say anything that remotely sounds like your spouse is to blame. No matter how nagging. mean, neglectful, sexless or thoughtless your spouse may be, you could have chosen anything else besides an affair. Take ownership for your choices.

Step 3:
Be prepared for a wide range of emotions from your spouse. Expect sadness. grief. confusion. anger, hurt and fear.  Your spouse will need time to process this news and what they need from you now is patience, honesty. compassion and remorse.  If your spouse lashes out at you with hurtful words and accusations, do not lash back.  Do not try and justify the affair in any way.  Expect questions to continue for weeks and months.  Your job is to stay patient and be honest.

Step 4:
Confess. Your spouse deserves to find out from you–not the internet.  If you wait for the perfect time to have this conversation, you will never have it.  This is obviously a delicate situation.  Tell your spouse you need to talk and find a quiet, private place where you will not be interrupted by kids or the phone.

Do not have this conversation in a public place and do not have it where the kids can even possibly hear you.  The best way to have this conversation is to simply state what happened.  Don’t backtrack or try set this up with long explanations.  Simply tell your spouse you have had an affair.  And tell them why you are telling them now.  Your spouse needs to know this news could be public knowledge.

Step 5:
Accountability.  Expect there to be at least 3-6 months of complete transparency.  Give your spouse all your passwords and access to your phone.  Tell your spouse where you are at all times before they ask you. You have lost your right to privacy for the time being but remember this is only temporary.

Step 6:
Seek help. I strongly advise you get professional help at this point.  See an experienced marriage counselor who can help you both navigate the difficult days ahead.  Make sure you choose a pro marriage or “marriage friendly” therapist who will help you strengthen and restore your relationship.  I also recommend Getting Past The Affair as a resource.

Seek Professional Help

You haven’t made the best choices in the past, but be strong and courageous now.  I sincerely wish you the very best as you fight for your marriage.  Our counselors and coaches are expertly trained to help you get through this.  We are here to help.  Just give us a call at 972-441-4432 or contact us by email.

how to tell your spouse you cheated

Learn More