When Trust Is Broken: The Path to Reconciliation After Infidelity 

Between 10% and 25% of married couples experience infidelity at some point in their marriage, with approximately 30% to 40% of unmarried couples also experiencing this kind of betrayal within their relationships.

The impact of infidelity can lead to a myriad of issues — but in my experience, the infidelity itself can sometimes be secondary to any lying, gaslighting, deception, or lack of remorse that might occur alongside the betrayal. 

Understanding Infidelity

But there is good news! With good intentions and the support of a compassionate couples therapist, many couples can navigate through infidelity into an even stronger relationship bond than they had before.

Keep reading to understand more about the root causes of infidelity, the available guidance and support for those who are currently dealing with infidelity in their relationship, along with how to facilitate healing on the road from betrayal to recovery.

Love is a powerful force.

When we love ourselves, we can accomplish incredible things. We can live lives of happiness and contentment.

But when we give our love to another, particularly in a romantic relationship, we set new expectations and open ourselves up to the potential disappointment and pain.

Love — strengthens us. It also leaves us feeling vulnerable. 

A common misconception is that love implies immunity pain. Unfortunately, in any intimate relationship, pain is bound to arise. It’s simply the natural flow of bringing two human beings together: we make mistakes, we grow, we evolve, and pain is a part of that equation. 

The real question is whether both partners are willing to look inward, repair the broken trust, and work toward a positive and fulfilling future through forgiveness, accountability, and understanding.

The Role of Deception

At Wellness Counseling Center, we understand that if a relationship is tight, a third party can’t get in. 

Because typically, where we find infidelity – we almost always find a crack in the foundation of the relationship that’s gone unattended for years, sometimes even decades.

This weakening of the foundation of a relationship, is how a third party is able to get in.

The pain of infidelity can be healed, partners can be forgiven. It’s also important to acknowledge that any deception about the infidelity is often just as damaging to a relationship as the infidelity itself.

But when a partner is truly remorseful — and is willing to address the issue openly — there’s usually a lot of room for grace and forgiveness.

Couples counseling after infidelity recognizes that truth is a healing force. By getting to the heart of the matter — how and why the infidelity happened together with the emotions and thoughts that surround it — we bring light to the issue and the healing process begins.

The most important part of this journey is the process of uncovering and understanding the pain, devastation, shame and remorse both partners are feeling.

Truth is a healing agent. Through it, we can almost always get to forgiveness. The key is to navigate the painful issue of infidelity through open communication, understanding, and love.

Gaslighting and Foundation Erosion

When a partner who has cheated continues to deny the affair or manipulates their partner into thinking they are “crazy” or “too sensitive,” that’s when foundational issues become even more difficult to heal.

When someone is being accused of having an affair, they’ll often resort to gaslighting to protect themselves. “You’re crazy. You’re imagining things.” This leads to a huge rift in trust and closes down communication. 

As frustrating as gaslighting can be, there is a way forward.

Properly addressing the underlying issues (Why did they cheat? What were they feeling that led up to the moment of the affair?) brings to light many of the problems that the couple may not have even known were festering under the surface. 

It may sound bizarre, but it’s not unusual that infidelity can be the catalyst for strengthening a relationship — as long as both partners are honest, open, and lead from a place of love. This is where marriage counseling can play a huge part in the healing process.

“We went to Wellness for an entire year and then some. We are proof that marriage can survive infidelity. We are now 8.5 years after (18 years total) and we are stronger than I ever imagined it would be. The guidance in our recovery was key to our marriage surviving.”

– Wellness Counseling Center Client

Prioritizing Foundation Repair

Couples Therapy is a wonderful tool, and when used properly, it can uncover and address a relationship’s core problems. 

How did that crack in the foundation develop?

Therapy identifies that. If it’s not repaired, bad things are likely to happen again.

Marriage counseling after infidelity addresses the issue directly without blame and finger-pointing. At Wellness we are able to identify foundational rifts that may have occurred even before the affair happened. These issues can almost always be addressed and healed.

The Importance of Authentic Apologies

When we’ve been hurt, a warm, heart-felt apology goes a long way and feels like a healing salve. We all know when we’ve experienced a half-hearted apology – the kind that doesn’t help; “Sorry you feel that way,” or “Sorry, I guess.” These types of apologies don’t facilitate healing. 

Emotional healing requires a genuine understanding of the other’s pain along with remorse at having caused it. A great apology makes all the difference and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) gives partners the space and guidance to get to that level of truthful-telling. Many people, especially those who have experienced emotional trauma, find it difficult to identify the exact words they want to use when expressing themselves. Fortunately, we know how to help because EFT provides a map that leads partners into exploration, forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation.

Healing After an Affair

Does marriage counseling work after infidelity? Despite what many people say, healing after an affair is not only possible but it is highly likely when approached from an honest, loving, and understanding way.

Marriage counseling for cheating is an excellent way to address any underlying issues, bring to light the problems that have been festering underneath the surface, and facilitate an even deeper and more genuine bond between a couple.

If you’re experiencing pain, trauma, or difficulty in your relationship, EFT couples counseling can be a wise next step for you. Wellness Counseling Center offers supportive couples retreats and intensives for couples who want to reignite their connection with love and understanding.

Reach out to our caring staff for guidance on how to move forward and experience true healing in your relationship.