Cheating and Divorce: Can You Save Your Marriage After Infidelity?
How common is cheating in marriages? Cheating in marriages will impact at least 2 out of every 10 marriages or more. Infidelity in marriage is also likely under-reported or sometimes goes undetected as the source for a divorce. Sometimes an affair by a cheating wife or husband can destroy a marriage completely. Other times, infidelity in marriages can be a catalyst for strengthening the marriage. This is most likely to occur when recovery from the relationship crisis is facilitated by an expert marriage counsellor specialising in recovery after an affair.
Watch this video about cheating, divorce and relationship rescue
In this helpful video, Couples Coach, Dee Tozer, explains that there is hope for your relationship after an affair.
- Sadly, too many couples throw in the towel after discovery of an affair
- This leads to destruction of family systems and social structures and places stress on everyone involved
- That’s not to say all relationships should – or can be – saved after infidelity
- However, cheating does not have to mean the end of long-term, loving relationship or marriage
Video Transcript about Relationship Rescue after Cheating vs Just Getting a Divorce:
Hi, it’s Dee Tozer. Welcome to another episode of Talking Couples from my car. I’m on the road again between clinics. That’s when I often get lots of ideas to share with you. Because I’ve just come from talking to people in all sorts of relationship difficulties and I’m going to the next lot of couples who are in trouble. It brings to mind many things.
I like to try and cover one thing, one small element, per episode, which is usually only two to three minutes. It won’t take long, and hopefully it makes an impact on you and helps you out.
Infidelity – How common is cheating in a divorce or marriage breakup?
Up to 60% of men and up to 40% of women admit cheating in a marriage.
The one I’m going to cover today, because I’ve had a big spate of couples coming in with this, is infidelity. Wow, what a buzz word that is, hey?
- Infidelity, unfaithfulness.
- The hurt, the rage, the distrust, the distress that comes with finding out one’s partner has been involved with someone else is almost beyond words.
- To watch couples go through dreadful, dreadful pain associated with finding out or being found out is not easy for me to witness.
How does a marriage counsellor help couples deal with infidelity?
After the affair: healing, recovering and repairing relationships after cheating in a marriage.
Now [cheating in a marriage] is one of the most difficult challenges to handle in a couple’s marriage counselling sessions. That’s because emotions are running very high on both sides.
The betrayed (‘hurt’) partner is attacking, and the affair partner is defending and/or justifying. In amongst all of that, we try to find some feeling, some caring..is there enough deep love still there that we can draw on to pull the couple through the relationship crisis to achieve healing, recovery and repair?
The way we do that is to take the heat out of the moment, to bring the couple, both partners, back to a degree of mindfulness, we call it, where they focus on something else besides their emotions at the moment. We do a few breathing techniques and we look at some gratitude, believe it or not. Sounds a bit of a paradox, doesn’t it? The opposite of what you think. But we look at what they are still grateful for in each other, particularly the partner that feels the most hurt and harmed by this betrayal. We dig deep to see what they were so grateful for before they found out, and what they might still be grateful for.
In the end it comes back to gratitude. It comes back down to the most simple things of what they’re grateful for.
Number of marriage counselling sessions needed to deal with an affair
- There is no set number of counselling sessions required for healing after an affair, because every couple is different.
- At least six (6) full months of expert relationship coaching is typically required for the healthy rescue, repair and recovery of a relationship damaged by cheating.
Once you find the simple things to be grateful for again, which may take two or three sessions before you find even two things to be grateful for when you’re hurting so much and feeling so betrayed, the gratitude can kick in. Then the warm feelings do start to come back. As infrequent as they might be and as unforgiving as they might seem at the time, those warm feelings start a connection again; as you form a different kind of closeness or friendship. It it NOT a quick fix. It takes a long time to recover from this, typically a minimum of six (6) months or longer, for most couples.
However, in the main, I’ve seen couples recover when they’ve had careful, thoughtful, mindful therapy at the time of the crisis.
Delaying couples therapy after an affair is not recommended because the resentment builds and builds and builds and builds and can become a total raging tirade of hurt, pain and blame.
Right at the beginning after discovering an affair, there are often raging tirades as well. However, if a couple can get to the core of the matter at the right time and in the right way, with a facilitator or highly experienced Couples Coach, we can typically settle things down enough to help heal and mend the trust that’s been breached. Once that bridge is built again, a different relationship is formed; but a very good, solid, loving and restorative relationship can be built again.
Hope after Discovering Cheating
There IS HOPE right now for couples caught in an infidelity-related nightmare. These are typically urgent relationship crisis situations so don’t put off booking your call for immediate/timely help.
Summary: There is hope for healing, recovery and relationship repair after you discover your partner’s cheating.
I hope you found this article useful and I look forward to guiding the repair of your relationship.
Dee Tozer, Couples Coach and Psychologist
International assistance through online sessions using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp or Zoom or in-person marriage counselling sessions in Australia (Melbourne based).
Page last updated on June 10, 2019.