Why You're Really Stuck And Unable To Heal After The Affair

Why You're Really Stuck And Unable To Heal After The Affair

Right now, if you’re reading this, you are looking for something, anything, to heal yourself…and maybe your marriage…from broken trust.  For most of you the trust was violated because of infidelity.  

You’ve tried what feels like everything.  Your inbox is likely flooded with tons of advice e-mails and sifting through that alone can feel like a stressful event all by itself.  

But this is all you need.  Right here.  You don’t need to look any further.  We take everything helpful that’s ever been published or thought of and we’ve condensed it to make it manageable and easy to follow.

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The Hidden Desires That Lead To Unfaithfulness In Marriage

The Hidden Desires That Lead To Unfaithfulness In Marriage

There are many different factors that cause someone to become unfaithful in their marriage.  We’ve been helping couples in our private practice Marriage Solutions approaching 10 years at this point and have helped thousands of couples.  


We don’t just study what makes a healthy marriage and family…we’re in the trenches every day actively working it out with each couple one at a time.  


In this article we explore the deep hidden desires that cause someone to fall into infidelity.  The goal here is to help you heal, prevent this, or keep it from reoccurring again in your relationship.  

We dive really deep into healing couples in our marriage counseling practice.  But we don’t always have the time to explain what we can here on our blog in session because…well…we only have so much time.  

So in this post we’ll talk about…

  • The hidden desires that lead to an affair

  • The real lack of trust that leads to infidelity

  • How islands become unfaithful spouses

  • What’s the root of it all

  • Giving the best away

  • Giving what we don’t have

  • So what seeds are planted early on that leads someone to infidelity?

  • Why do Pursuers pick Islands?

  • Why do Islands pick Pursuers?

  • What is the solution?

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Were You Raised To Be Unfaithful?

Were You Raised To Be Unfaithful?

It’s not hard to believe that how we are raised greatly impacts our adult relationships.  But could our upbringing actually lead us to become unfaithful spouses?  

Research says yes it can.  How we are raised can cause us to be more likely to be unfaithful in our marriage.

If you ever wondered why your dad was so much harder on some boyfriends more than others…well this could be the reason!  Your upbringing says a lot about what kind of spouse you’ll be and if your marriage will be at risk for later betrayal.


Before we dive into these marriage counseling secrets….DISCLAIMER: please understand no person’s bad childhood is justification for extremely hurtful behaviors, like infidelity.  A person’s childhood doesn’t explain EVERY choice they make as an adult. 

We will unpack who is most likely to cheat, based on our decades of marriage counseling discoveries, and we discuss what you can do about it.  You’ll want to know if you or your spouse is at risk of being an unfaithful partner.


Spoiler Alert

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The Pain of the Betrayed After an Affair

The Pain of the Betrayed After an Affair

What Past Clients Have Told Me

An affair can the most devastating person experience the betrayed spouse experiences in their lifetime. I’ve had people tell me they would rather go back to Iraq and be shot at than to experience their spouse’s betrayal again. I’ve had a woman say that her husbands affair was worse than her child passing away. Just because an affair is so devastating doesn’t mean a marriage can not be rebuilt. An affair can be put behind you if the trauma is properly dealt with.  

If the Involved spouse doesn’t really know how traumatic their actions have been for their injured spouse, that can serve as a severe hinderance to recovery. The involved spouse just won’t “get it” and fail to be a resource of support and compassion....

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Healing Shame

Healing Shame

A common roadblock to rebuilding after an affair is the relentless emotion of shame in the betrayer. Most people are aware of how painful an affair is to the betrayed spouse, but few are aware of what it does to the spouse who had an affair. I’ll try to give a nice concise summary. Commonly the betrayer starts with guilt and a harsh critical voice of self-hatred. Many times betrayers refuse to think or discuss the affair because doing so brings up such strong feelings of disgust that is directed at themselves. They are in pain when discussing it because they do not want to see their injured spouse struggle with the devastation they caused and they don’t want to think of themselves as someone who could do something so inhuman. Once guilt has crossed the line into shame, spouses who had the affair commonly feel repairing the marriage is hopeless....

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Why Emotional Affairs Kill Marriages

Why Emotional Affairs Kill Marriages

Although some would not consider an emotional entanglement an affair, this type of relationship can be just as devastating and destructive as a sexual affair. Emotional affairs are not commonly discussed, and frequently, their lack of sexual involvement is used as a rationalization as to why it’s not an affair. But technicalities in no way absolve the reality of the situation....

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Affairs With Shared Interest...Just Friends, Really?

Affairs With Shared Interest...Just Friends, Really?

In this situation, the betrayer is involved with the affair partner, but at the same time, the betrayer does not want to leave the marriage. The betrayer considers the affair partner a soul mate. 

These affairs frequently spring from a relationship in which the two individuals share something in common such as music, art, movies, video games or another interest. Typically, this interest is something they don't share in common with the spouse, so they turn to the affair partner for understanding, companionship, and support....

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Revenge Affairs...Do They Work?

Revenge Affairs...Do They Work?

This affair occurs after an injured spouse feels like they are not healing and they want to make their betraying spouse understand the pain they are in. Typically this occurs after several months of trying to recover from the affair and they feel like are not getting answers as to why it occurred. The betrayer may have an affair in this scenario for several different reasons i.e. to boaster their self-esteem, feel desired, or they rationalize, "I'm a person too you can't keep treating me this way.".....

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When Marriage Burn Out Leads To Infidelity

When Marriage Burn Out Leads To Infidelity

Most affairs have characteristics of this type of affair, but this also can be its own separate category. 

This is an affair that occurs because the spouse doesn’t care about the future of the marriage. They have reached a place where they simply don’t care about being with their spouse. The betrayer feels beat up by the negative cycle the couple has experienced and as a result they start to feel resentment, alone, sad and simply start caring less about the marriage.....

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Sexual Abuse "Affair"?

Sexual Abuse "Affair"?

This type of affair occurs when somebody has been raped or forced into sex by another individual, but the spouse doesn't believe that he or she has been taken advantage, as a result the spouse was sexually coerced is in a horrible position because they've been sexually assaulted and their spouse believes they were an active participant in an affair.  Characteristics include...

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When It's Normal To Cheat

When It's Normal To Cheat

The Philanderer’s Affair occurs because the betrayer believes that having an affair is “normal.” These betrayers are different from sex addicts and those who have one night stands. They believe that cheating is a way of life. They were probably taught cheating is okay by a parent, coworker, or friend. They live by the motto, “As long as no one gets hurt, it’s okay.” Often times couples who have clearly defined “roles” as a husband and wife, (such as the man is the provider and the wife is a stay at home mom), can easily fall into this trap. As distinctions between roles diminish and spouses share roles affairs of this type will be less likely. This type of an affair feeds off of their being an unequal share of power in the relationship.....

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Affairs With Sex Addicts

Affairs With Sex Addicts

These affairs are committed by individuals who have an ongoing pattern of sexual betrayal, such as frequenting topless bars or adult bookstores, viewing pornography, compulsive masturbation, prostitution, repetitive encounters with sexual partners, and other behaviors that are destructive to both the individual and to the marital relationship. 

These individuals, though in a committed relationship, have never been able to find complete fulfillment from their relationship. Rather, they are enslaved by....

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The One Night Stand Affair

The One Night Stand Affair

Characteristics: 

  • Commonly a one-night stand occurs when a spouse is away from home
  • Alcohol and anonymity maybe involved. 
  • The betrayer gets caught up in the heat of the moment, and gives in to temptation. 
  • It is important to note that a one-night stand is doesn’t happen necessarily because of a lack of emotional connection in the marriage 
  • This doesn’t necessarily happen because the betrayer is dissatisfied with his or her mate, (even sexually). 
  • With this type of affair one of the distinguishing points is the desire of the betrayer to stay in his or her marriage. Their fear and desire to keep it a secret are indicators that they don’t want to lose the marriage. 
  • The core of this betrayal is based on.....
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Communicating After Betrayal

Jack was betrayed by his wife Molly. She had an affair with his best friend, who was his boss at work. As they try to work through the affair Jack feels feels unsafe with Molly. He believes he has no security and feels like he is having to guess what is on her mind. Having to guess only creates more uncertainty and fear for Jack. Jack responds to this uncertainty by questioning, lecturing, blowing up with anger, and experiencing deep levels of anxiety. Jack and Molly are caught in a nasty cycle of criticize/withdrawal.... 

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Why Is Affair Recovery So Hard?

Why Is Affair Recovery So Hard?

This entry is part 3 in the series of blog post on how what each spouse is experiencing in recovering from an affair can easily turn negative. This entry covers what betrayers typically experience when recovering from an affair. In part 2 I described what injured spouses typically experience when recovering from an affair. Part 1 in this series discussed the 6 components of a negative cycle. 

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12 Things You Must Consider When Rebuilding After Infidelity

Limerence or romantic love grows in stages. First the betrayer is content to see the affair partner now and then. But as the addiction escalates, they need more and more of their “drug.” As the addiction grows, they feel the need to be with their affair partner more and more until it develops into a craving and eventually they feel like they can’t not live without their affair partner.  

If the betrayer is uncertain if they want to give the marriage a second chance or be with the affair partner, they need to follow the advice given below.  As limerence, this addictive romantic feeling grows the betrayer is more likely to want to leave the marriage and have a much greater potential for having a “relapse” much like a drug addict would. So how does a betrayer end their feelings of limerence?

These things I’ve written below are not suggestions, if you are serious about rebuilding the marriage you need to follow what I am laying out. Remember this addiction can be ended, it just takes determination and time. 

  1. Remove all evidence of the affair partner, throw out cards, letters and delete them off of all social networking websites i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. 
  2. Don’t call or write under any circumstance. If you see them at work or on the street you need to depart immediately. I’ve worked with couples where the briefest contact with the affair partner can fire up the brain chemicals associated with romantic love and you’ll be very close to having a relapse. 
  3. You need to have a note card that you carry with you that has written down the negative traits of the affair partner. When you find yourself thinking of that person pull out the note card with their negative traits, this will help you overcome the romantic attraction and feelings you have of that person. 
  4. Next you need to spend regular time fantasizing about walking arm in arm with your spouse. 
  5. Stay busy. Keep your mind on other things. Reinvest yourself back into the marriage. Stay busy rebuilding the marriage. 
  6. Distract yourself from the affair partner. Call friends, go back to church, get involved in hobbies, etc. But don’t ignore your spouse while rebuilding the marriage. 
  7. Start exercising. Any kind of physical exercise will make you feel better. Physically strenuous exercise is known to drive up levels of serotonin, endorphin and dopamine in the brain giving you a feelings of euphoria and calmness. 
  8. Have a proper diet. Avoid foods that you know will harm your body, especially avoid sweets. 
  9. Stay out of the places you and the affair partner went. Go to new and different places. Don’t listen to the same songs. In a word, avoid the people, places and things that can trigger a desire to be with the affair partner. 
  10. If for whatever reason you are very tempted to contact the affair partner you need to think it through. What will happen if you contact this person? What will happen to your family? What impact will this have on your spouse as you two are rebuilding the marriage?
  11. Antidepressants. Commonly people who are have recently ended an affair have difficulty remembering events or duties, obsessive thinking about their problems and their pain. Their mood is altered, struggling with despair, anxiety, fear, anger and maybe other disabling mood states. Also, problems in the body can arise, and depressed people can have trouble eating, sleeping, or engaging in sex. Many contemplate suicide. What people find themselves experiencing on antidepressants is they are able to sleep through the night, eat, and go about life in a more timely and effective manner. Eventually you become less impulsively drawn to contact the affair partner. Medications do have side effects and they are not a magic bullet, but remember what they promise is better than going back to the affair partner or contemplating suicide. 
  12. Nothing beats your the romantic feelings you had with your affair partner like creating that kind of romantic love with your spouse. 

 

Top 3 Questions Asked by the Betrayed...And What You Should Be Asking

Top 3 Questions Asked by the Betrayed...And What You Should Be Asking

Let's talk about what you want to ask after the affair is discovered and when you should dive into these questions and why.

If you've experienced betrayal in your relationship you likely have a lot of questions.  So many questions seem to course through our brains and it can be overwhelming.  Here are the top 3 questions the betrayed partners typically ask:

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Escape the Pitfalls and Potholes; Ride the Better Road to Recovery

There are all kinds of feelings, worries, and obsessive thoughts that course through your mind if you are the injured spouse. So it really isn’t surprising when we say there will be arguments about the affair. But if all that you do is fight and blame each other you will find yourselves going around and around in this negative cycle of yelling and condemning that will get you nowhere...

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