Archive for June 10th, 2020

June 10, 2020

Surviving an affair

by Rod Smith

How much information a couple should discuss after an affair has been disclosed if and when the couple decides to stay married and work things through?

I would rather respond with several broad post-affair principles:

Infidelity is often a lethal blow to any marriage.

The couple who remains married post-affair deserves all support possible and no “outside judgement.” The couple will experience fragility, nervousness, expressions of lack of mutual trust, and moments of regression even after claiming to have forgiven.

One may want to “move on” and the other will want to examine and understand the past. Sometimes they will shift positions. 

Recovery is a process, a long process, not an event. 

The man or woman who wants to “remain friends” with the “other party” is not ready for the affair to end. In the past I have suggested the betrayed spouse confront the “other party” but I have come to see that this is not always wise. It can unnecessarily exacerbate hurt and often serve no useful purpose. 

I advise betrayed men and women not ask questions if the truth will be unbearable. It takes remarkable resilience to ”live with” and to forgive if too much detail and information has been shared. Too much information can send the betrayed person on extended and unhelpful wild goose chases.

Is it possible to survive an affair?

Yes, I have seen it many, many times.

June 10, 2020

Things I love to see happening for clients…..

by Rod Smith

• The growing awareness that it is the client, and only the client, who can change his or her behavior and therefore his or her life, with the understanding that even power over oneself is limited.

• The realization that no one needs or deserves to be a victim or to be treated as one no matter what has transpired in the past.

• The joy that follows “small” successes that have occurred and which resulted from choices that may have caused severe pain and nervousness in the making.

• The development of deeper trust in the therapist and in the therapeutic process while also appreciating and recognizing the limitations of both.

• The reports from the client that he or she is learning to understand and use his or her voice and God-given power with others who may have, in the past, tended to disrespect or ignore both.

• The developing ability to reduce dependence and reliance on what others think and on the affirmation and positive feedback of others.

• The capacity to begin to see a brighter future that is more fulfilling than a past or the circumstances that drew him or her into therapy in the first place.