Saving Your Marriage from
Your Spouse’s Affair
by Dr. Jay Lindsay
Kathy found me on line and telephoned me from her home in Atlanta.
The night before, her husband Jim, a corporate executive, had confessed that he had recently ended an eight-month affair with his administrative assistant.
Kathy was devastated, but she wanted to save her marriage. Now she was asking me, an affair recovery specialist, to help her.
Here are some insights and tips I shared with Kathy.
1. Insight: Couples can and do recover from extramarital affairs.
Your marriage can heal from your spouse’s infidelity. In fact, if the two of you work at it, you can become closer than you’ve ever been.
Tip: Keep hope alive.
At first Kathy feared that her marriage could never recover from Jim’s affair. However, with reassurances from me that healing was possible, she allowed herself to hope.
2. Insight: How anger is handled after an affair surfaces is critical.
Be careful not to say or do things that are likely to make matters worse.
Tip: Keep your anger in check.
Understandably, Kathy’s initial reaction to learning about Jim’s affair was anger. A part of her wanted to scream insults at him to make him hurt as much as she did.
I encouraged Kathy to talk with Jim about her anger in a controlled way. I also encouraged her to talk with Jim even more about her pain. Kathy noticed that when she disclosed her deep hurt to Jim, he responded with support.
3. Insight: Following the discovery of an affair, one should be careful about making major decisions.
If you make major decisions impulsively while in a state of heightened emotionality, you might later regret them.
Tip: Avoid making major decisions hastily.
Despite Kathy’s desire to save her marriage, during the first several weeks there also were times when she felt like giving up and filing for divorce.
I urged her to rule out that option for at least three months and in the meantime to pour all her energies into trying to save her marriage.
4. Insight: A person whose spouse is having an affair needs support.
No doubt, your spouse’s infidelity has traumatized you. To regain your equilibrium, you’ll need the support of another person, preferably not a family member. This could be a therapist or a close friend.
Tip: Choose your support person carefully.
Kathy wanted to enlist a friend, so I recommended that she choose one who was outside their social circle, who she could trust to maintain confidentiality, and who would support her in trying to save her marriage.
Kathy contacted her best girlfriend from college who lived in a different state. In the days and weeks to come, this friend provided invaluable support over the phone.
5. Insight: When an affair has occurred, a couple should seek professional help immediately.
Your chances of healing from an affair are much greater with professional help than without it.
In my practice, I offer a highly effective Affair Recovery Program that I have developed over the past 30 years. It is based on seven stages I have discovered that a couple must move through if they are to heal from infidelity.
I offer my Affair Recovery Program privately in both a weekly format and a weekend intensive format. In the later, which is for couples who want quick results, I work with a couple for five or more hours per day for three days.
Tip: Ask your spouse to participate with you in my private Affair Recovery Program.
Kathy felt strongly that it was in their best interest to make substantial progress as quickly as possible. She invited Jim to fly with her to Colorado to participate in my Affair Recovery Program in the weekend intensive format.
Jim accepted her invitation and during their weekend I was able to help him and Kathy to heal from his affair. Before flying back to Atlanta, Jim and Kathy spent several days vacationing together in our magnificent Colorado Rockies.
One year later, they reported to me that they were doing quite well. Jim and Kathy insist that my Affair Recovery Program in the weekend intensive format probably saved their marriage.
So, what should you do if an extramarital affair has rocked your marriage? Keep hope alive, keep your anger in check, choose a support person carefully, and consider asking your spouse to participate with you in my private Affair Recovery Program.
For more information about my Affair Recovery Program, call me at 303-545-9828.
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Copyright © bouldermarriagecounseling.com | 2012
Master couples therapist and psychologist Dr. Jay Lindsay utilizes Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), one of the most researched and effective approaches to marital therapy. Based in Louisville, Colorado, Dr. Lindsay is a marriage counselor who is sought after by couples from all across the country. He can be reached at 303-545-9828.