After an Affair, Give Couples Therapy A Try

It’s hard to admit, but both partners are at fault in an affair.

(This article was picked up and published on Huffington Post on October 7th, 2013

“Why should I go to couples therapy? You’re the one who had the affair; you should go to $%&@ therapy!”

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Image courtesy of Toa55 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you see yourself saying something like that if your cheating partner suggests you go to couples therapy to see if the relationship could be saved? After all, why should you go? You didn’t cheat.

Truth be known, when a monogamous relationship suffers an epic failure like an affair, both partners are at least somewhat at fault. You may not be the one who stooped low enough to cheat, but there were definitely warning signs that something was wrong with the intimacy and connection in the relationship — long before the affair happened. Either you chose to ignore the warning signs, or didn’t acknowledge or know what you were missing in a healthy relationship.
To clarify, there are some people out there who engage in affairs regardless of their partner’s attempts to reconcile.. (continue)

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This article was originally published on YourTango.com. I’ve excerpted it here for my readers. As a writer for YourTango.com I’m frequently asked to write about when and why to consider a therapist and an affair is a very good reason to consult with a relationship expert. This article was not written specifically for the gay community but it still applies.

Gay men frequently suffer from infidelity in their relationships and affairs are common place. As gay men we struggle to be valued and frequently try to make up for it by getting a lot of attention from other men. As a single person playing the field flirting and having sex with a lot of different men may be fine (providing your having safe sex), but in a committed relationship it has the potential for disaster.

If every time you feel lonely, unhappy or invisible you go out and have sex with someone your partner is not likely to put up with that very long. We don’t always like to hear this but as an adult, gay straight or otherwise, we have to be able to love our self before we can fully love someone else. So instead of acting out our loneliness and disconnection with another man, we have to learn to connect to our deeper selves in a healthy and loving way. Only then can the loving intimate relationship with another person be possible.

Larry Cappel is a trained relationship coach specializing in same-sex relationships and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He can be reached through his website if you’d like to talk about any aspect of your relationship.

Do you have any experience with being cheated on or cheating? If so, share your experience below. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

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