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Friday, March 31, 2023

Marriage Counseling for Infidelity Recovery


div.jpg“Infidelity,” according to Wikipedia, is a breach of faith, and occurs
in a number of contexts. It does not depend on the presence of sexual
behavior. Even within a close relationship, people might have very
different ideas and perceptions of infidelity. Fidelity refers to the
accuracy and integrity of self-representation, honesty or candor in an
intimate, committed relationship.

What does “Infidelity” mean

usually means that you trust someone you love to care about you, be
true to you, to have integrity within your relationship, and to put the
couple relationship above all other relationships. When that trust is
broken you may feel betrayed, rejected, uncared about, and unloved.
Broken trust is extremely hard to heal.

Having relationship with
another person that takes your attention, time, energy, finances, or
caring away from your primary partner is then an affair.

To heal
broken trust it takes time. It takes both partners actively working on
whatever is needed. It take the partner who broke the trust looking at
the why and taking steps to make sure there is not another incident.
The partner who was “cheated” on may have for a while, what may seem,
extremely tight boundaries for the other partner.

There are many
aspects to personal recovering from a breach of trust. Our own personal
history is a basis for how well we will recover. If we were abused,
betrayed, abandoned, neglected, or had our trust betrayed in our
growing up years and have not dealt with or done healing around this
issue, it will be more difficult to recover from betrayal in an adult
relationship. Our own health, mental and emotional, will determine our
ability to move on. Our personality will color our recovery. No one can
give you a magic potion or quick answer to recovery. You personally
will have to take it step by step honoring your own needs and strengths
and weaknesses. If your partner wants to heal the relationship, you can
work together and communicate effectively to help you work through to
the other side.

Relationship recovery from infidelity can be
successful. Success will be improved by professional help and
suggestions. Counseling is important to, not only have a third
objective person, but to get tools for communication, resolution of
issues, exploring family patterns, exploring personal needs, and ways
to establish personal rights and boundaries. Committed relationships
are damaged when infidelity occurs. Sometimes this damage is
irreparable. Most of the time, if both partners want recovery, the
relationship can actually be stronger and more fulfilling after an
affair has happened.

An affair can be like a small heart attack.
When a person has a small heart attack, they go for professional help.
They usually then begin to pay attention, take care of themselves, and
use the tools give by the professional. They then become stronger and
healthier avoiding a massage and fatal heart attack. An affair can be
looked on in the same way. If both partners want the relationship to
continue they can actually make it stronger and better. It takes
communication, commitment, time, effort, energy, and attention.

the first step to recovery from infidelity if finding out there was an
affair. Honesty is imperative here. By that I mean admitting there was
a breach of trust, a broken promise, a lack of integrity. In this first
step the hurt and pain being felt by the partner who was cheated on
needs to be validated and heard. The errant partner needs to take the
lumps and say they are “sorry” if that is true. Time is needed here.
Only the hurt partner can determine how much. The partner who cheated
must take responsibility for the behavior and the decision to step out
of the agreed trust, even though they may feel there are “reasons” for
the betrayal.

Communication is the next step and will help both
partners communicate their feeling and needs. The hurt partner can
express themselves and tell the cheating partner how they are feeling
without harming the relationship further. The cheating partner can help
the hurt partner feel heard and validate the pain. I have submitted an
article at this site on Communication for Couples. It contains a
concise communication format from my Program for Relationship Healing
and Enhancement. You can use the format form the article to help you
with your communication when you are working on the healing from

Changing Behaviors

The way we express or do
not express out anger can interfere with our relationship health and
happiness. Anger is “just” an emotion. It feels bad, but it is not bad.
What we do with our anger is what either works for us or gets us in
trouble. We can be angry with someone and still love him or her. Again,
I have submitted an Article on the Website on Seven Steps to Anger
Expression. This is a short version of my anger management program. It
will help you with expressing the anger about your relationship
problems, the infidelity, and any other anger issues you need to

Personal Needs and Rights

Within a relationship
each partner has personal rights. A healthy relationship allows each
partner to be an individual. They are together because they want to be
together not because they need to be together. Each partner has their
own personal boundaries and the right to respect and privacy. In a
healthy relationship trust is automatic. Sometimes, what gets in the
way of our ability to trust and to be a part of a healthy relationship
is our pattern of distorted thinking, irrational ideas, or mistaken
assumptions. We may assume we do not have rights. We may think it is
selfish to put our needs first or our views should be respected. We may
think it bad to ever make a mistake. We may feel we must always be
flexible and consistent and logical. We may feel our emotions are not
as important as our partners. These are all mistaken assumptions.

belief -someone has to be right and someone wrong is a big fallacy. Two
people can disagree and both be right. Believing those who love you can
automatically know what you want or need is definitely a distorted
thinking form. Not many of us are mind readers. If you want your needs
met and your wishes fulfilled, you need to communicate clearly those
needs and wishes.


If you come from an abusive
family of origin, control may be very important to you. Sometimes being
abused means the victim is not in control of even their own body. As
these abused people become adults “control” may be primary. Reviewing
what we really have control over is one tool to help us feel more in
control of our lives. Ultimately the only thing we have true control of
is ourselves. Control over others is not really possible. We can know
the other persons triggers and buttons….but they are the ones to decide
if they feel a certain way or if they will act the way we want or not.
When we control what is in our world it is healthy. So, if we say in my
world infidelity does not happen. That is not “controlling” because the
partner has the right to refuse to be in your world if they need to
have other partners. They can choose to be in your world or not. You
are not controlling them only what happens in your world.

boundaries are sometimes hard to comprehend. Sometimes we have no idea
what boundaries we “should” have or what boundaries we want. Only you
can make this decision. Personal boundaries are your personal rules
about other people being with you or in your personal “world.” One
personal boundary might be – people in my world do not call others
names or my personal boundary is I don’t stay in a relationship that is
not nurturing for me.

A personality test tells you how your
choose to be in the world. Your personality profile will change over
time because you will change over time. A test I recommend is the
Kiersey Sorter.

Beginning Again;

Activities to increase emotional intimacy

exercises are to encourage each partner to increase his or her ability
to find, give, and enjoy pleasure. People today often have “scurvy of
the soul.” Our own soul is not nurtured and fulfilled. We may have a
tendency to do what society or culture tells us will bring us happiness
or joy. We often pay no attention to our own ability to enjoy pleasure
and don’t take the time to learn how to give pleasure. We may not even
know what pleasure” means for ourselves. If we ignore pleasure, we are
not fully developed emotionally. Pleasure is a wonderful ingredient in
a healthy relationship.

Sacred Space Talking Together

exercise will introduce the procedure of creating safe sacred space.
Both partners will decide on a space in your home that will be private
and uninterrupted for about an hour. Use scarves, or something like
scarves, and make a border or boundary around the area. It can be on
the living room floor with pillows to sit on, or in the bedroom, or on
a bed. You will be sitting facing each other. When the boundary has
been established and the ambiance is soft and quiet, with soft lights
and soft music. Both partners will then remove from the sacred space
the attributes you do not want in your communication space. This space
will be a space to enjoy compassion and caring with each other. Removal
suggestions; Negativity, judging, aggression, pessimism, criticism,
etc….all the negative attitudes you do not want in your sacred space.
Add in suggestions; Acceptance, love, caring, compassion, gentleness,
optimism, love…etc.

This is now your relationship/couples sacred
safe space. Sit facing each other with knees together, or with one
partner having their legs over the other’s legs. Take a few deep
breaths together and spend a few moments in quiet just BEING together.
Here are some suggestions on “talking” subjects.

Talking together suggestions.

1. What is your greatest wish for this relationship?

2. One thing you are willing to do to make your wish


3. Tell your partner how you would like them to help you

make your wish come true.

4. Something you are afraid to talk about-just the subject

if you are still not willing to actually talk” about it.

5. Make an appointment to revisit the subject in 4.

6. Tell your partner how you like to be touched.

7. Share a fantasy.

8. Share your sexual turn-ons and turn-offs.

9. Anything else you would like to share.

partner will take a turn. Decide who will be first and who second. Each
partner will take about five minutes talking about each subject. Take
more time if needed. No issues to be worked through here, only heart

While one partner is sharing the listening partner just
listens. When the speaker is through the listener can say something
like “thank you for sharing” or “I am honored to know that” make it
your words. That is IT, no other comment needed, only acknowledgment
that you heard your partner. This is emotional intimacy…this sharing is
from your heart. This may be hard to do if you are feeling untrusting,
or unworthy.

Breathe together

In this exercise partners
will lay together in the spoon position. Female in front. The Man is in
charge of creating a safe space for his partner and the Woman is in
charge of the pace. Woman will breathe loud enough for her partner to
hear. He will then coordinate his breathing with hers. Spend about
15-20 minutes with this exercise. This can be done just before you go
to sleep or can be used to connect and be on the same wavelength before
a sexual time. Again, this is not a timed event. Keep it about
breathing-not touching. Take as much time as you like. This exercise
increases emotional intimacy and is not meant to be physical intimacy
or sexual. It also nurtures trust in your relationship. This exercise
helps both partners to “trust” the other cares enough to just be
together. The partner cares about you enough to notice your breathing
or breathe with you. Just BE together-close out the world for a few
moments and sink into each other.

Heart Salute

In this
exercise you will sit as you were for the communication exercise.
Create a quiet space, perhaps your sacred safe space if you have time.
Sit face to face. In this space, put your right hands on each other’s
heart. Look deep into each other’s eyes. Spend a few minutes just being
together. Coordinating your breathing will increase the intimacy of
this exercise. Now spend about five minutes each saying the following;

-What I love about you ___________

-What I appreciate about you ___________

-What I admire about you _____________

-or any other comment you would like to add.

partner doing the listening-just listens. The listening partner checks
in with themselves-notice what you are feeling? Are you able to let
these messages into your heart? When partner one is finished, partner
two responds with “thank you” or something else appropriate. Again, no
fixing, Partner two now has a turn. Take your time. Add whatever you
would like. This is your appreciation admiration time. End with a
hug…..and take your This exercise should be done each day. Maybe before
bedtime or to get you started in the morning. What a wonderful way to
start the day by being appreciated and admired.

Hot Monogamy can
happen. I give my clients a “four hour Homework” assignment when they
are ready to really cement their relationship and increase emotional
and physical intimacy.

Communicate, Care, Be intimate, Spend time creating your

relationship, it doesn’t grow all alone, Enjoy, Pleasure, Be Joyful .

sometimes Infidelity can be like a small heart attack. You can heal and
make your relationship stronger better and full of joy.

About The Author
Yvonne Sinclair M.A.
Masters in Counseling Psychology
Director of Lincoln Counseling Center, Lincoln, CA
Webmaster; http://www.marriagecounseling4u.com

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