Infidelity can feel soul crushing in many ways. It is so layered, so complex. Often times, men and women come into my office after discovering a partner's infidelity feeling confused. Before it actually happened, you likely imagined that if you were ever betrayed, you would be out the door. Then it happens, and it's so much more complicated than you ever thought possible.
Everyone reacts to infidelity differently. However, for many it rocks both the foundation of their relationship and the foundation of their sense of self. It impacts confidence, self-esteem, safety, security. It is wide-reaching and painful and can spur or exacerbate issues of anxiety, depression and even previous trauma. Additionally, it can be difficult to talk about with friends or family because they may have judgements about your partner's behavior, and your partner's behavior may open the door to uncomfortable or unwanted gossip.
Whether to stay or leave is often a complicated question to answer, especially when there are children involved. Sometimes a relational betrayal can spur healing that deepens the intimacy within a relationship. It can be an opportunity for couples to come together and create an intimacy far deeper than they imagined possible. I enjoy working with couples in this capacity. However, I also appreciate being able to support a partner in individual work as they reevaluate their relationship and rebuild their sense of self.
The question of whether to stay or leave may feel most pressing, but it's secondary. The real question is how do you heal? How do you recover the confidence, self-esteem, safety and security that feels so out of reach? As a therapist, I support my clients as they heal and answer those questions.
Whether it's an incident of infidelity or you're the partner of a sex addict, the journey toward healing can be a challenging one. I want to help you get through it and find a stronger, deeper sense of self than you ever imagined possible. The rest of the answers will come along the way.