Betrayal. Pain. Guilt. Shame. You've cheated. And now you need to repair your relationship with your spouse.
Both you and your spouse are probably experiencing a lot of different emotions right now. And there are likely a lot of questions that are unanswered. I suspect right now your biggest question is how do I get my spouse to trust me again?
Unfortunately, there’s no real easy answer to that question, but we can work together to find out. What are you doing right now to earn your spouse’s trust? First, cut off all communication with the person you’ve been cheating with. Delete their phone number. Heck, change your phone number if you have to. Delete them from Facebook. Completely cut the other person out of your life. If you work with the other person, do literally everything possible to distance yourself from that person. Some people have sought jobs elsewhere to avoid continued interactions and continued heartache in their relationship. If you’re truly looking to rebuild trust and assure your spouse, you’ll do whatever you have to do to get the other person out of your life.
The best way to rebuild trust is by being trustworthy.
Your spouse is going to have tons of questions and will need a lot of reassuring. They’ll need to know you’re doing everything you can to help them through this process. It might look like texting them every time you come and go from a place. They may want you to install some type of software on your phone so they can know your location at all times. They may ask for access to text messages, emails and phone records. During this initial phase of discovering you’ve had an affair, there really is no privacy in your relationship. It may seem unfair or unnecessary, or irrational, but when a betrayed spouse finds out about their partner’s affair, they’re likely going to want to do everything they can to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
The affair is your past, but it’s very much your spouse’s present.
Understand that you’re in different places right now than your spouse. While you’ve made the decision to come clean about your relationship with the other person, and you’ve decided that relationship is over, your spouse is just learning about it and is having to process all of their emotions. They’re experiencing betrayal trauma, and it’s a difficult emotion to navigate. The worst thing you can do right now is convince them that they need to “get over it” and move on. For some betrayed spouses, moving on takes months, if not years.
They’re going to need to talk about this with you, and may, at times, need constant reassurance that the relationship is over and that you’re not going to do it again. They’ll likely go through all of the stages of grief, and sometimes circle back around and experience those emotions all over again. There is no normal way to recover from an affair, and what the other person is feeling is far from normal right now.
You’ve got some work to do.
Next comes the process of allowing yourself to heal from the infidelity. I suspect right now you’re feeling a lot of shame, guilt, condemnation and worry about your future. You’re probably at the lowest of lows. Now, it’s time to determine what’s at the root of the infidelity. What caused it, and how can we safeguard ourselves to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?
You may find yourself grieving the loss of the relationship with the other person. Whether the affair was emotional or sexual (or both), you may experience feelings of missing them. Just as your spouse is grieving the brokenness of your relationship, you too may have to grieve the loss of the extramarital relationship. That feeling is normal. Together, we’ll work to determine ways you can completely – emotionally, spiritually, and physically – separate from the other person.
During this time, it’s important to remember a few things:
- You have made a major mistake, but that doesn’t mean you are a mistake.
- These feelings of guilt, shame and condemnation will subside, but only if you deal with what’s happened.
- Your spouse may very well consider the option of separation or even divorce during this time. Even though you don’t want that, you must honor their feelings around the situation and allow them to explore those emotions. Trying to “hold them down” in the relationship will likely only make things worse.
- You and your spouse are going to go through a lot of emotional challenges. Sex may be difficult, uncomfortable, or completely off the table for a while.
- You’ll experience a lot of ups and downs as you adjust to your new normal. These experiences are incredibly common.
What to expect.
I suspect sharing all of your deepest sins and regrets to a stranger is probably the last thing you’ll want to do. The thought of this process may put your stomach in knots. You may be worried about feeling judged and looked down upon. Those are normal reactions.
I can assure you, there’s nothing you can tell me that will make me think less of you. We’ve all messed up. We’ve all fallen short. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. No matter what you’ve done, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re safe to share your heart. If you’ve made it this far and you’re ready to get started, you can schedule an appointment right here.
t’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.
When we connect, you’ll find a judgement-free-zone. Some people have made mistakes, and some have been through really, REALLY bad crap in their life. That’s okay. It’s not my place to judge what’s happened to you or what you’ve done; it’s my job to help you get your life back.
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 effective ways you can begin building trust in your broken relationship right now. Then, we’ll begin looking at ways to help you heal from the situation and ensure that you and your spouse can make the best step moving forward.
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.