Infidelity, Affairs and Cheating
If you're here it's likely that the worst has happened. Perhaps you or someone that you trust has cheated. If this is the case I am very sorry for the pain that you're going through. Infidelity and trauma go hand. Toxic emotions flood into the relationship, trust is demolished, hearts broken. Choices must be made. I am here to counsel and guide you as you navigate your way through the stormy waters of a broken heart. Can you get past it? Yes, you can. Can trust be repaired? Yes.
If you decide to get Counseling and work on saving your relationship or marriage after an infidelity then the effects of the broke trust must be healed. Although it is doable, it does take time and tremendous emotional strength to restore trust. The anger and pain are usually too turbulent to overcome on your own. Getting some Counseling with an experienced Couples Therapist can help you
Most people don't actually decide to leave the relationship or marriage due to an infidelity, even so the emotional fallout must still be dealt with so that you can move forward. If you are trying to figure out which path to take I can help you with some Counseling.
Getting past the anger
When you learn that you have been cheated on the first and most prominent feeling is shock, followed quickly by a deep debilitating rage. It's so intense that you can hardly contain it. This is a normal reaction to betrayal. If you are here you probably know what that's like. You want to lash out, but your options are limited. You have to be careful at this point not to take actions that you'll regret.
For a while your relationship will become a battleground of deep wounds, shouting, racing thoughts and a sinking sadness at where you find yourself. How, you ask, did we end up here? And why did they do it?
Emotional affairs are cheating
Physical indiscretions are easily identifiable as cheating but what about emotional affairs? How do you know if it is an emotional affair? You are in a committed. But then you meet someone, they are a "terrific person" and you feel a relieving lighness being around them. It's both comforting and stimulating.
You have a lot in common and start thinking about them when they aren't around. Something feels compelling about it. You can't wait to tell them when something happens, they become a sort of secret best friend and while there is no sex there is a high level of intimacy. You start to reach out them a lot. You feel great when they reach back. You share with them what you can't or don't share with your partner. You tell them about the empty spots in your relationship at home and they always understand. They start to become emotionally important to you. You don't want to lose them. You miss them. You sneak around to have some form of contact with them, not because it has become physically sexual but because you know your partner won't like it. When asked if you have feelings for this other person you lie or minimize.
There are several problems with this kind of emotional affair. They are a slippery slope. They also keep you from fixing your own relationship and making it better. You are actually robbing your partner.If your partner finds out it will be almost as bad as if you had sex.
If there is a chance to survive an affair you will need the tools, guidance and support that Counseling can give you
As a Therapist I have dealt with these kinds of relationship problem many times and I know that Counseling can sometimes make a positive difference. People often need to work through a lot of different issues when infidelity occurs. Like why did this happen? How did it happen? How long was this going on? How did it start? Is it the only time? Why did you pick that person over me? Should we break up over this? Can I ever trust you again?
If you decide to stay together know that it won't be easy; there is no quick recovery from the loss of trust. Also know that many couples do get past it, and some even thrive. If you find yourself in this situation I can help you figure out why it happened and whether it's possible, in your case, to get past it. Feel free to email me about this matter.
Nothing will magically make your pain your go away but counseling can help you process it and stay functional. Self care is important to healing and counseling is a form of self care for the relationship.
It's best to get counseling with your partner and if that is what you seek, I can help you. I specialize in helping Couples who are trying to make sense of an infidelity and find a way to recover from it. As your Couples Therapist I can help you with emotional management, support and communication during this stressful time.
What to expect
I have a reviews page on this site where clients share their experience. You can browse that to get an idea of what to expect from counseling with me.
Email is the best way to reach me
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dona Laressa Desmond PhD
CPC CA LMFT
Infidelity Help via Video Sessions
Affordable video therapy sessions
$30 discount on 60 min video session if needed during COVID