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Infidelity: A Blueprint for Recovery Part 1 – The Why

So what exactly is a blueprint for recovery when it comes to betrayal, infidelity, and cheating?

It might help to look at traditional marriage counseling and make a comparison. Traditional marriage counseling, when infidelity is not involved, means the therapist asks questions about strengths, weaknesses, recurring arguments, each individual’s perception of the problem, what does ‘better’ look like, etc.

In affair-recovery counseling the therapist asks the same questions, but he is mindful of one critical issue: no matter how the couple answers the questions, he cannot draw the conclusion that the non-betraying spouse caused the betrayal. How do we know this, you ask? Because human behavior is complex and we can never establish cause and effect relationships. I’ll give you my bank robber example.

Let’s say you line up five hungry people. Four of those people decide to apply for a job, go to work, get paid, and buy food. The fifth person robs a bank. Did hunger cause the fifth person to rob the bank? Of course not. Robbing the bank was a choice. A blueprint for recovery acknowledges there may be problems in the marriage, but problems can never cause a betraying spouse to act unfaithfully.

At Achievebalance and Ann’s Place we take a lot of time to train our Licensed Professionals and our Resident interns to work with couples trying to survive infidelity. Many times, therapists need to work through their own issues about cheating and betrayal so they don’t lay their faulty beliefs about the ‘why’ on the couple they are trying to help. If you are a betrayed partner and a friend, family member, or therapist is trying to tell you that something you did or did not do caused your partner to cheat, just walk away. Quickly.

When a spouse discovers his partner’s infidelity he experiences emotions like the grief one experiences when learning about the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. The shock is so intense research has compared it to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A blueprint for affair recovery accommodates those symptoms and describes step-by-step how the betraying partner can earn her partner’s trust again.

Next time:

Infidelity: A Blueprint for Recovery

Part 2: Grief, trauma, and triggers. Why does it take so long to heal?


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