Betrayal. Trauma. Shame. Disbelief. You just found out your spouse has been cheating, and you're not sure what to do next.
You’ve just gone through one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. Really, I can’t imagine anything more devastating in a relationship than perhaps losing a child. Discovering that the one person who is supposed to love you the most has been with someone else – either physically, emotionally, or both – is devastating.
Now, you’re likely wondering what in the world you’re going to do next. Where do you turn? How do you find healing? How can you trust them?
How can anything ever be the same?
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, bad things happen to good people. In this situation, something really bad has happened. You’ve been betrayed, and it’s killing you inside. As you’re reading this, tears may be streaming down your face. Or, maybe you’ve reached the point that you’re so angry you could run away and never talk to your spouse again – and that’d be just fine with you.
Maybe this happened because your spouse got into this situation before they even realized what was happening. Or, maybe they knew exactly what they were doing and did it anyway. Maybe they blamed you for the affair. Or maybe they’re so ashamed and guilty they aren’t sure where to turn or what to do, and they’re on their knees begging for forgiveness.
One thing is for certain – you have some decisions to make.
Before you start Googling a bunch of self-help articles, or listen to people who are self-proclaimed “experts” on how you should handle your situation, there are a couple things you should know:
- Only you can decide what you’re going to do.
- You don’t have to have all the answers figured out right now.
If you’re here, chances are you’re looking for something that can help you make your decision and get your thoughts together. That’s completely understandable. Before you go any farther though, you should realize a few things about yourself:
- You are worthy of being loved.
- You have value.
- You were created with a specific purpose.
When your spouse has an affair, it’s hard to believe these three things. We feel cheated, damaged, and broken. Of course we don’t feel loved. We feel worthless. And we feel like nothing really matters anymore. And usually, all these feelings come crashing down on us all at once. So, if nobody else tells you through this whole situation – You are loved. You are valued. And you still have a purpose.
Right now it feels like your whole world is crashing down upon you – because it is.
By now, you’ve already felt that feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know, the one where your stomach is in knots and it feels like you’re going to throw up. You’ve probably also experienced the feeling that your heart is going to be literally ripped from your chest. You may be wondering – of all people – how did this happen to you?
Unfortunately, your experience is pretty common. The first step in this process should probably be to figure out where your spouse’s head is at. Are they sorry? Are they repentant for what they’ve done? Or, are they in a place where they act like they don’t care and they don’t seem like they want to move past the issue?
Knowing the answer to that question can help you determine what steps you need to take next. Regardless of their response, though, you still have a responsibility to yourself, and it’s important to get the support you need during this season.
Do you think you can get through this by yourself?
Maybe you can, but chances are you probably won’t. I don’t say that to be negative or because I doubt your strength. But, even when people have moved past infidelity in their relationship, they’re always some lingering bitterness, unforgiveness, jealous, anger and a lot of other emotions.
With these emotions present, you’re never really going to move forward. It’s always going to be there in the back of your mind and it’s going to effect every decision you make. Every. Single. Decision. Why chance it?
Finding happiness again is possible.
Together, we can find tools to help you work through this process, as well as learning to lean on God and strengthen your relationship with him. This process isn’t just about “getting over” what happened, but rather healing from it, and learning to rebuild trust in the process. You’ll have the chance to learn about your true identity and find strength that you maybe didn’t even know you had.
Your marriage can be stronger than it’s ever been.
People sometimes look at me like I’m crazy when I say this, but it’s true. Believe it or not, you can reach a point where your spouse’s betrayal is just a historical fact. You’ll reach a point where you can freely talk about it without feeling like you’re going to throw up.
Perhaps even more importantly, you can grow. I’ve seen countless couples not only heal from an affair, but also transform their marriage into one that others admire. Think about it this way – this is likely the worst thing that’s ever happened to you in your relationship. There’s literally no farther it can go down. So now, we have the opportunity to rebuild the relationship on a solid foundation, and discover new ways to help your relationship thrive, if you’re willing.
But, it may get worse before it gets better.
While you’re recovering, you and your spouse will be going through a lot of changes. Some moments might be tense, others might be sad, and some will be life-changing and life-giving. If you’re truly committed to the process, you’ll learn new ways to communicate with your spouse and you can become closer than you ever were. There’ll still be times when you may fight and argue, or you may start to wonder if you’ve made the right choice, but by the end of the process you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
What to expect.
Most people don’t joyfully search for a therapist. In fact, the idea of therapy may make you want to throw up. Finding someone you know and trust may feel daunting – if not impossible.
I can assure you, there are few things someone could tell me that would surprise me. You’re in a safe place to share your heart and talk about the trauma you’ve experienced.
If you’re ready, you can schedule an appointment right here.
It’s important to remember that counseling isn’t a dirty word. And Christian counseling is the perfect opportunity to combine your faith with your goals in life. If your goal is getting better, and finding peace in life, then you’re in the right place.
Getting to a counselor’s office is half the battle. That’s why I offer counseling services exclusively online. I’ve eliminated the nerves of getting in the car, finding the place, and trying to find a parking space while making it into the office on time for your appointment. If you have a webcam and can click a link, you can come to the session, no matter where you are.
How it works.
To get started, simply schedule an appointment online. After scheduling, I’ll send you an email with some information to complete before your appointment starts. At your first appointment, we’ll talk about the affair and where you and your spouse stand right now.
Next, we’ll talk about ways you can begin moving forward to find healing, hope and joy again.
Because everyone is different, I can’t guarantee how many sessions you’ll need to come for, but I start out meeting weekly with clients. Most clients come weekly until they start meeting their goals, and then we move to bi-weekly appointments, followed by monthly appointments, and then at the end we’ll schedule a three-month follow-up. Usually, I see people for 18-20 sessions between weekly, bi-weekly and monthly appointments.
My goal is to help you get to feeling better quickly, so therapy doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment.