Couples often have a hard time meeting one another’s attachment needs. When communication breaks down, and attachment needs go unmet, one or both partners can look outside the relationship for what they are longing for. In time, this can lead to infidelity, which is one of the most traumatic experiences for couples.
At Deep Connections Counseling, we take a non-judgmental approach towards the underlying causes of infidelity. We help couples create a more secure bond by teaching them emotional responsiveness, which is turning towards one another in moments of need instead of disconnecting and seeking comfort outside the relationship.
We help couples understand the emotional and physical reasons for disconnection and we introduce them to the strategies for creating safe and secure attachments. It is important to know that we will not shame the unfaithful spouse nor blame the betrayed spouse. This is a safe place for both of you to heal.
What is infidelity therapy?
Navigating the waters of couple infidelity after one or both partners have been unfaithful can be a challenging situation. When an affair occurs, one partner is often left feeling betrayed, devastated, angry, resentful, and alone. They often take their frustration out on the unfaithful partner, especially in the case of multiple cheating episodes.
Festering grudges, unresolved offenses, and poisonous self-loathing are all the needed ingredients to fracture a relationship to the point of no return. Affairs often happen when a person feels unheard, unappreciated, or filled with discontent.
When one person is absent from the relationship or not making enough effort, the other is bound to feel a void. To fill that void and that emptiness, the person may resort to finding love, affection, or even appreciation somewhere else, hence the infidelity.
Other times, it’s not a lack of attention that leads to an affair, but rather the opposite. The person may feel too restricted, too guarded, to the point of suffocating. So much so that the only plausible escape and chance of freedom consists of going outside the current relationship.
Whether a person needs more space or whether they need their space filled, for a relationship to be successful, it necessitates a deep level of commitment from both parties. More specifically, both partners need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable in the relationship they fostered.
The building blocks of any fulfilling and mutual bond are a high level of trust, utter respect, emotional intimacy, love, and companionship. This is why when one or both partners act in a way that is damaging to that sacred bond, the aftermath is often tumultuous.
With that said, recovering from infidelity is not impossible. This is where professional counseling and therapy come in. Rebuilding trust after an affair or betrayal may seem outlandish, but many couples who have put in the hard work and commitment to overcome the hardships of cheating find that rebuilding their relationship after the trauma makes for a much stronger, healthier, and closely connected bond.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
Human emotions and feelings are a complex entity, often fragile and when wounded, quite difficult to heal and restore. Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) helps couples re-establish and rebuild loving emotional bonds between two partners through overcoming their negative cycles of rebuttal.
This therapy is based on the foundation that all human beings crave emotional connections with others. They crave the joy and comfort of attachment, they’re excited to share the ups and downs of life with their other half, and they seek to walk in union.
When infidelity happens, it’s often the product of emotional disconnection. As a result, one or both partners begin to yield numerous cycles of negative comment as a shield, to protect themselves from additional emotional pain. In this regard, the hollow void and seclusion they feel is masked by feelings of resentment, anger, and frustration.
So through EFT, when one half of the couple feels sad or neglected by something their partner did, they can open communication channels to truthfully iterate their inner feelings. Sometimes, it’s easy for a discussion to escalate into a big argument leading to the couple reacting defensively or out of self-preservation.
In order for the couple to successfully re-build their impaired emotional connection, they need to be open to communication. They also need to show courage and trust when discussing their hurt emotions. Moreover, partners must be able to engage in constructive conversations without lashing out or clinging to their defenses and the walls they’ve built around them.
EFT addresses the root cause of this emotional disconnection to prepare the partners on their journey of learning how to be genuine, vulnerable, and open with one another. This is what will get them to the final point of therapy, which is to love one another both exclusively and unconditionally.
Why you need affair recovery counseling
If you are struggling with overcoming betrayal and infidelity, if you have suffered the fracturing reality of cheating, you may be reluctant to trust your partner or let them in on the emotional disconnection you’re feeling.
Taking the first step towards rebuilding your relationship and being willing to hear your partner without hiding behind your defensive fortress can be incredibly daunting. But the truth is, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t go through this harrowing experience alone.
At Deep Connections Counseling, our trained therapists will lend you a supportive, sympathetic, and judgment-free hand to guide you through these rocky shoals. Infidelity doesn’t have to be the last step of your relationship, it can be a stepping stone to set you off to new beginnings, a deeper and unbreakable emotional bond with your significant other.
It’s not the end unless you allow it to be. Through continuous dialogue and commitment to the process, the hurt partner can regain trust in a gradual motion, while the unfaithful partner can learn to clearly voice their feelings and needs in therapy.
While counseling can be painful and difficult at first, it is worth the investment for both parties as they begin to open up and show their vulnerabilities to one another. If you are suffering the damages of infidelity and are unsure how to approach such a stormy and tumultuous situation, take that scary first step and schedule a consultation. It may well be the most rewarding experience of your life!