No therapist can fix anything in one visit, but it’s possible for marriage counseling in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, to help after infidelity. It will take some time to understand the broader scope of the relationship problems, but healing is possible. One study found specific benefits to couples who survived affairs, including closer marital relationships, increased assertiveness, better self-care, placing a higher value on family, and prioritizing marital communication.
The Benefits of Marriage Counseling After an Affair
Affairs can create a rift in our version of reality. It can completely unmoor a person to experience this kind of betrayal. That said, there are benefits to attending marriage counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, together after an affair, including better understanding, renewed trust and intimacy, better communication, and reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
After an affair, marriage counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can help couples:
1. Understand How the Affair Came to Happen
Couples therapy in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can help the betrayed partner (as well as the perpetrator) better understand how the affair came to happen so it no longer seems like a random, unpredictable event. The more that a person can feel that their life is predictable, the better prepared they will be to start the recovery process.
2. Identify Pre-Existing Problems In the Relationship
After an affair, couples therapy can help identify any pre-existing problems, patterns, or red flags that may have existed leading up to the infidelity. In exploring these red flags, the couple can practice better methods of interaction and communication.
Here are examples of pre-existing relationship problems:
The couple has stopped sleeping in the same bed
They stopped having regular sex
They stopped sharing their fears and concerns with each other
One partner felt perpetually judged or shamed by the other
3. Reignite Intimacy
By listening to a couple talk about their patterns, a sharp therapist in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can hear that they are not utilizing oxytocin to keep their bond feeling deep and close. Then the therapist can coach them in ways to reinstate certain touch-sessions, for example holding hands while they watch Netflix or throwing a leg over your partner while reading in bed together.
4. Address Childhood Wounds
Good couples therapists in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can also look for childhood wounds that might have contributed to the affair, including specific attachment issues. When a spouse or partner doesn’t know about these childhood wounds and instead trod on them constantly, it can lead to avoidance, which is fertile ground for an affair to develop.
5. Reflect on Both Partners’ Involvement
A couples therapist in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, is going to look at how each partner failed to protect the marriage, consciously or unconsciously. We can fail to protect our marriage from interlopers by ignoring our partner’s needs, being preoccupied with our own issues, or over-investing in our kids or jobs such that our partner always feels less than or unimportant. We all need to feel needed.
6. Get In Touch With Your Own Goals & Values
Marriage counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can help you learn more about yourself and help your partner learn about themselves. We grow and change over time, and working with a marriage counselor in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can be a good way to learn if your goals and values have changed over time or if they are still in sync with your partner’s goals as well. It can be hard to know off hand, so digging deep to understand what may have changed is the first step towards healing.
7. Rebuild Trust
Marriage counseling at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can help to rebuild trust in a relationship by giving safe space for the couple to experience and to express the full spectrum of their emotions. Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and when that trust is broken it can feel impossible to rebuild that foundation. Marriage counseling in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can help to rebuild those pieces and equip the couple with tools to be able to carry forward if any future issues with trust arise.
8. Prioritize Communication
Marriage counseling at Star Point Counseling in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, helps to highlight the importance of communication. We need to be able to understand the reasons why our partners think and behave the ways they do, and be able to reciprocate in order for the relationship to grow. It can be hard to know how to do that, and learning healthy ways of communicating is part of what marriage counseling can help with.
9. Reduce Symptoms of Psychological Trauma
PTSD after infidelity is common, so if one partner was cheated on they may respond to changes in schedule or a partner being on their phone a lot with suspicion. PTSD is important to understand in the context of a marriage or relationship. It is important to honor the experience of that partner and find ways to manage it as a couple and be sensitive to it when it is still very raw. This helps the individual with the PTSD symptoms feel more at ease, heard, seen, and valued.
10. Consider the Role of Substances
A couples therapist in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, may inquire about substance use. If one partner is over-using substances when the other is not, they may feel disconnected. This can lead to them feeling lonely and enjoying the attention of others outside of the marriage. Again, a couples therapist at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, can educate the couple on the destructiveness of the problem at hand and help them build more solid and healthy patterns.