There are many questions that arise around affairs, but two of the most common are, “Why do affairs happen?” and, “Is recovering from an affair possible?”
Most of our therapists will agree with research from Harmony (one of the most popular websites for finding romance), which states that Christmas is the most likely time that an affair or indiscretion will take place.
At Christmas, our lives get busier than ever and our most intimate relationship can be neglected. It’s easy to be distracted, to feel unappreciated or ignored, or annoyed by the wants and needs of a partner when there is so much going on. Alcohol flowing freely at work Christmas parties and the like, loosens inhibitions and provides opportunities for dalliance. There is also a sense of time passing, as we tend to take stock as another New Year approaches.
But no matter what time of year it occurs, probably the two most common excuses given for infidelity are:
- “My wife/husband doesn’t understand me” – it’s a cliche, but feeling ignored, or taken for granted, can lead the neglected partner to find comfort elsewhere.
- “My partner treats me badly” – they say that familiarity breeds contempt and unfortunately this is an all-too-common scenario in some long term relationships. If you are being constantly treated as an annoyance, an imbecile, or worse, it’s not surprising to turn to somebody who thinks you are just wonderful!
Is Recovering from an Affair Possible?
It is never easy, but it is possible to rebuild your relationship after an affair – and couples counselling helps you tackle the rubbish and weeds that have infiltrated your relationship, lay a solid foundation, and put a framework in place to create a better relationship in the future.
Both partners need to want to work with their partner and the counsellor, and be open and honest, for couples counselling to be of benefit.
Couples counselling will likely involve discussing the issues each partner feels to be important – apart from the obvious one of the affair – whether it’s arguments over money or the in-laws, conflicting priorities, or losing that emotional connection.
The aims of couples counselling for those recovering from an affair might include:
- Trying to help each partner to look at the relationship in a more objective way.
- Helping the couple to identify – and modify – dysfunctional patterns in the way they relate to each other.
- Reconnecting emotionally.
- Improving communication between the partners – learning to listen more actively and empathically, and to speak in more supportive and understanding ways.
- Identifying and promoting the strengths which already exist in the relationship – when things go wrong, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things which each partner brings to the relationship, and which they have previously built together.
- And of course, working towards forgiveness and trust again.
If you and your partner are dedicated to recovering from an affair, with the help of couples counselling, together you can improve communication, revitalise your emotional connection, and re-negotiate your commitment.
Author: M1 Psychology
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