Healing after your partner has had an emotional affair may seem impossible. You are likely feeling betrayed and unsure if you can move forward in the relationship. Most likely you are truly hurt by this and are having trouble making sense of it all. You are unsure what to do with all the anger, frustration, and sadness you are feeling. You are thinking back through the emotional disconnect you are experiencing and feel sad.
Know that there IS help and you can heal if you choose to stay in the relationship. Learning self-care strategies and ways to manage emotions like anger and blame are necessary to move forward in your relationship and begin to live in a healthy way. Recovery after an emotional affair is possible and healing through it is the first step. Although the journey may seem hard at the moment, it is possible to find the happiness and the healing you are looking for.
Perhaps your partner’s emotional affair plays out like this:
You found out a few weeks ago that your partner was sending personal emails to their co-worker and texting after hours about non work-related things. The two of them even went out to drinks a few times and your partner hid it from you. Your partner assured you, it never got physical but admitted that there was an attraction and some feelings developed…but that’s it, it’s over now. As a result, you feel betrayed. You cry a lot of the time and feel incredibly confused. Things were off between the two of you but you wouldn’t have suspected this. You are wondering how long it would take until things got sexual between the two of them. Maybe you aren’t sure if to believe your partner on it not being sexual as of yet. It all feels a bit much.
Eventually you end up in a place where you are unbelievably angry at your partner or just blaming yourself. Maybe you think it’s your weight- and that you gained a few pounds after having kids…. or perhaps it could be that you work so much and that could’ve led your partner to stray.
Unfortunately, thoughts like this only continue to blame and shame yourself. It’s important to help yourself think in ways that are helpful rather than blaming and critical.
It’s true that finding out your partner had an emotional affair can be devastating. However, if you choose to remain in the relationship and you feel it’s worth fighting for and that you can heal… know that there is healing and forgiveness that can happen. Keep reading to find out how…
Not learning how to heal and recover from an emotional affair can leave you feeling bitter and resentful in your relationship. You may feel distant and overcome with emotions that you don’t understand and can’t seem to manage.
When you choose to heal and recover from an emotional affair, you can confront your feelings and express them to your partner. Then, you can begin to feel heard and validated and authentically heal and begin to recover, versus, pushing down your feelings and avoiding hard discussions.
Yes, it’s true you may be feeling lost, alone and confused, however, if you want to stay in your relationship after an emotional affair, recovery is possible. Always remember to practice self love throughout this process.
How To Heal After Your Partner Has an Emotional Affair
- Don’t get stuck in a self blame cycle
- Understand to Heal, You Must Feel
- Work with Your Anger and communicate with intention
- Invest in the Relationship while allowing it to take time.
- Surround Yourself with Friends
- Write About It
- Seek Help
How To- One: Don’t get stuck in a self blame cycle
One of the reasons you may be struggling is due to self-blame. What if I just do this? or what if I did that more? Maybe I should’ve listened more…. It doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, it takes two to make a connection (and disconnection) but this wasn’t primarily your fault. This is going to be a process but when you release the self-blame and you can learn to forgive your partner (and yourself). Know that there is a lot that is underlying an affair to uncover in a relationship. This will take some time but knowing that it is part of the process and not taking it on being a one person problem will help you through.
Here at Simi Psychological Group, our team of therapists and psychologists focus on issues like this. During couples therapy, we can work to help you empower yourself and also get to the root of where things may have gone wrong. We can help you and your partner connect to one another again and truly hear what is underneath one another’s frustrations. When you are able to work through the deeper things then everything else feels better.
How To- Two: Understand to Heal, You Must Feel
Sometimes after an affair, whether it’s physical or emotional, people think they can just move on like nothing happened. Doing this only exacerbates the problem. There is no way around this situation, it happened. There’s no way under or over, the only way is through the issue. We know how hard it is to look at the stuff that led to that situation in the first place. It means you have to sit with all the feelings and dig deep. And that’s painful! But there is nothing that feels better than digging deep and finding internal resolve for yourself and your relationship.
At our Simi Valley therapy practice, we work with couples’ post affair distress by helping them truly understand themselves, their partner, and their relationships. In therapy, I will help you identify the underlying stuff, and go about things differently. Together we work on understanding what doing things differently in your relationship looks like. In therapy, we will work on healing and feeling the hard stuff. Over time you will see you feel better and have let go of a lot of what has been holding you back.
How To- Three: Work with Your Anger and communicate with intention
During this time, there may be times of anger that you are unsure of how to handle. Understand that your anger is communicating something to you. What is it communicating? Maybe you are telling yourself that you didn’t deserve this. And you would be right! What feelings are under the anger? Asking yourself vital questions to help you better understand what you are feeling will help you communicate with intention rather than reaction. Communicating with intention means really asking yourself what it is that you want to get across. What are your goals? What is most important to you?
Here at Simi Psychological Group, we can address anger and how to manage and release it. Learning strategies to get to the root of your anger, such as being heard and communicating your fears, will result in feeling so much better and ready to work on even deeper issues. By asking yourself the hard questions you will be able to help yourself vision the better and more secure you. As a result this will allow you to feel your own growth and move your relationship in the right direction.
How To- Four: Invest in the Relationship while allowing it to take time.
Although this may be the last thing you want to do, you must prioritize the relationship and its progress. This means hearing your partner and what their needs and wants are. Also, this includes exploring the reason they strayed in the first place, and what they crave in the relationship. Now this doesn’t mean that how you feel will be ignored by any means!
When we learn to hear and understand our partner then this will open the door for them to hear and understand you. And yes, this will take time. No one heals after your partner has an emotional affair right off the bat. This will take time, deeper work, and a lot of self kindness and understanding. If this is foreign to you or something that is difficult for you then know that it’s a beautiful quality to possess. One that you will be able to engrain within you.
In couples therapy, we will explore small ways to express and accept kindness in the relationship and how the little things really matter. We will work on allowing you to invest while taking your time in the process. Since it is a process. By working on seeing the middle range rather than leading the relationship in either anger or denial. We know that leading on either side of the continuum will not help you heal after your partner has an emotional affair in the long run.
How To- Five: Surround Yourself with Friends
Sometimes getting an outside perspective is helpful. Whether you feel comfortable in sharing the issues with your friends or not, social connection is important during this time. Having a strong support system is necessary and vital to growth and healing.
Here at Simi Psychological Group, we not only focus on self-care for you and your partner but individual support. Together we will identify where friendships may be lacking and disconnected and work to remedy and bring you closer to those who you need most.
How To- Six: Write About It
Sometimes the things you are feeling from this emotional affair are things you don’t want to tell others; they may be very private or fueled with anger. Regardless, writing these feelings is very therapeutic and can help ease your mind when they arise. This will help you dissect your internal feelings and make sense of it all. When too many thoughts are swimming in our minds it becomes a pile of mush. And this pile tends to exacerbate all the negative feelings we have which can lead to more sadness and frustration. Writing it down secures a safe place for those feelings to lie so it doesn’t need to swim in your mind.
In marriage counseling, I will process your feelings in the room, however, I will encourage you to work on them outside of our session. Journaling is one way and an important tool in getting these feelings out of you… and onto paper, where you can reflect on them at a later time. It can help to see how far you have come, once you go back and read where you were once upon a time. Look at you!! Growing!!
How To- Seven: Seek Help
Sometimes, issues like an emotional or physical affair cannot be remedied alone. Post affair recovery takes some support. It may be helpful for another person, who is objective, professional and specializes in these things to be involved. Hearing your partner and being heard is vital to healing. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, this may not be happening, or the subject is changed, or issue avoided.
Couples therapy and marriage counseling at Simi Psychological Group is focused on truly helping you and your partner go about things differently. We have therapists who specialize in sex therapy, trauma and couples therapy, who are skilled and trained to deal with the hard stuff. We can work with you as a couple or individually to identify reasons this issue happened in the first place and steps to take for healing and resolve. As a result, you will understand the perspective of your partner much more and feel better about your relationship.
Achieving post affair recovery from infidelity through an emotional affair in your relationship can be extremely difficult, however there is room to heal and grow. Recovery and peace in your relationship is possible, with both parties willing to do the work and understand one another.
We Realize that sometimes extremely difficult situations happen in relationships and we here at Simi Psychological Group are here to help! Call us today and schedule a free consultation and let us help you heal yourself and your family!