Her Mentor Center: Confessing to Affair in Therapy
In Therapy, My Wife Confessed to an Affair; I Want Out. How Do I Get a Divorce?
Q: When we started marital therapy, I had hopes that we could work things out between us but when she dropped the bomb that she had been having an affair, for me it was over.Now what?
A: Wanting to bail is a natural first reaction after your ego has been damaged; most likely you are feeling isolated and betrayed. When discovering an affair, you might think that you don’t really know this person and that you can never trust her again. Perhaps you believe that there must be something wrong with you and you deserved what happened. In any case, your self-esteem plummets.Feelings of anger, blame or guilt are common and tempers flare. For now, try to put off judging yourself and your partner.
Hopefully, because you’re in conjoint therapy, you have a safe place to talk together with a third party who appreciates the particulars of your situation. You owe it to yourself and the marriage to spend some time discussing your feelings about the affair and its aftermath. It’s valuable to talk about and comprehend what was missing in the marriage before the affair. There’s a chance that you’ll gain information about each other that will make you want to get back to the drawing board.
Although you’re devastated now, you can both learn from this experience and gain insight about yourselves and your relationship. As you build communication skills, you’ll discover new ways of honestly expressing your feelings and relating directly to each other. While some conflict is an inevitable part of all relationships, knowing how to resolve complicated issues with your sense of self intact will become a new skill in your marital tool box.
If you have children together, you and your spouse will always be their parents and their well being is paramount. Cooperative co-parenting, with good communication and conflict resolution skills, is essential, for the sake of everyone. Set clear boundaries — although it may be difficult, try not to let your emotions and attitude about your spouse bleed into your interactions with your children.
Even if, in the end, you decide your marriage is over, this evaluative process will help you understand more about yourself. This knowledge will be beneficial in future relationships and in all other aspects of your life.