What you had before infidelity…
Kneeling alone in an empty pew, you wring your hands tightly, wondering about the future of your marriage. Earnestly immersing yourself in meditation and prayer, you await divine prompting on what to do next. Despite your patience, a stale and silent stupor persists.
As you look up, you see a stretch of brilliant stained glass that reaches up into a deep vaulted dome. Your gaze falls on familiar images of saints and dragons when almost suddenly, you notice the panes of glass beginning to shift back and forth – seemingly rearranging themselves.
You rub your eyes and wonder if some illusion has temporarily deceived you. But you find this is not the case as you squint and refocus your gaze. The glass continues to morph until its expansive surface becomes wholly transformed. Depicted in the glass is a beautiful multicolor landscape.
The mixture of light and shapes strikes you with a familiar feeling. Warmth and love swell from your chest and up into your throat. You ask yourself how such an image could strike you in this way? And then you see it – represented in this masterpiece is the meaning of your marriage in its most beautiful moments and memories.
Infidelity tears you to pieces.
Almost as suddenly as this divine revelation manifests itself, the ground begins to shake. You shudder as a violent crack shatters through the window. Shadowy darkness moves across the broken masterpiece.
You look at your feet as the ground begins to groan and grumble. Fear fills your chest, but shock follows quickly as you notice it crumbling below you. It opens and welcomes you downward. Images of your marriage flash through your mind as you continue to fall farther and farther into an abyss of darkness.
With a numbing sensation, you slam into a barrier. You don’t even notice a lapse in consciousness when you suddenly awake to the sensation of icy black water.
You scream internally to yourself, “Swim!” as you throw your arms downward in an attempt to guide your body back to the surface. But the effort ends as soon as it begins. Like soggy noodles, your fractured limbs and shattered bones flop back and forth uselessly.
All of life’s color and meaning ripple away, and for a moment, you wonder if this is it. Is this the end of the life you worked so hard to build?
Therapy can help you recover from infidelity.
You’ve lost trust and commitment for your once best friend. You’ve lost hope and love, and now, you feel hurt, angry, and scared.
The Gottman Method addresses infidelity and affairs with a three-phase approach.
The first phase is “Atonement.” I will help the hurt/betrayed partner ask all questions about the affair. I will help the unfaithful partner answer questions and listen to the hurt partner’s feelings in this phase. This is a very delicate process and should not be attempted without a therapist. It requires absolute transparency from the unfaithful partner.
The second phase is “Attunement.” I will help both partners uncover unmet needs within the relationship. This is a time where both partners get to be completely honest about what they want now that the affair has taken place.
The third phase is “Attachment.” I will help you establish a renewed connection on a timeline that is appropriate and sensitive to the trauma that the relationship has gone through.
Of course, through these phases, I will also help you both rebuild the seven systems required for a sustainable marriage moving forward.
And if you don’t step forward to get help now…
If you don’t get couples therapy, the broken pieces will remain shattered.
If you don’t heal this marriage, then you might lose the person most important to you.
If you want to keep your marriage, then you need help.
Let’s get started.