An affair does not need to end in separation/divorce. In fact, affair recovery can and does work, if the correct steps are taken to remedy the type of affair that has occurred.
There are three types of affairs that can occur during a marriage: emotional, sexual, and the most difficult to recover from, emotional and sexual.
Emotional affairs often lead to sexual affairs, further down the line. This type of affair is characterized by emotional dependency on a non-spouse person, and also involves a level of secrecy on the part of the spouse having the affair.
The general assumption is that an affair is a symptom of a troubled marriage. However, affairs can occur during a “solid” marital period, and in these cases is indicative of an individual disorder, generally associated with an impulse control issue, identification with a parent who had serial affairs, abandonment issues, or a feeling that the affair spouse “does not deserve” the marital partner.
In order to repair trust, the affair partner must stop all contact with the person outside of marriage and make that lack of contact apparent to the marital spouse. The affair partner then needs to “non-defensively” hear out the marital spouse’s feelings on the betrayal (this is where professional mediation is most useful.) No screaming, yelling, name calling, or threats of divorce should be a part of this discussion.
Signs of affair recovery within the marriage include marital partners becoming the “go-to” shoulders when an individual issue occurs, couple becomes “couple-centered” rather than individual-centered, temptations for infidelity become open and talked about, and couple is more easily able to discuss trust with a mutual understanding and shared responsibility.
If you’re ready to look at affair recovery options, contact Family Coaching LLC. As a trained relationship counselor I am ready and able help you obtain a happier, healthier marriage.