Being the Best Client During Treatment
How you recover after infidelity depends almost entirely on being the right kind of client during treatment. I’ll explain what I mean.
This quote applies: “Your wound is probably not your fault; but your healing is your responsibility.”
Especially after infidelity, this concept can be a tough one to grasp. But it’s true for BOTH of you, no matter if you’re the offender or the betrayed partner. Recovery is going to require that you take responsibility for your own healing.
Do this to Recover after Infidelity
Taking responsibility for your own healing is the FIRST step toward growth.
It means you stop blaming other people or expecting them to change.
Take a minute right now and think of your own situation. In what ways have you been hoping, maybe for years, that your partner would change, do things differently, think differently, even treat you differently? What ways do you think they want YOU to change and do things differently or treat them differently?
It might sound strange coming from a therapist, but expecting change is a recipe for disaster in any relationship.
I know it especially sounds strange to say this is an unrealistic expectation when INFIDELITY has been revealed. It sounds counterintuitive, right? But changing the other person is the LAST thing you want to focus on right now.
Number One Reason to Focus on Yourself
If you’ve discovered a partner has betrayed you, focusing on them and waiting for them to “do the right thing” or to respond the “right way” is a waste of your time and energy for a number of reasons:
First, your idea of how they should respond is not the point. Expecting other people to be a certain way was never reasonable or healthy for your relationship. Expectations are different from having “standards.” Of course you ought to have personal standards for what you experience in relationship. And yes, infidelity probably doesn’t meet that standard at all. But having expectations is destructive to any relationship and it will disappoint you every time.
Secondly, it rarely (if ever) works to wait for the other person to do the “right thing”. No matter which side of the infidelity equation you’re on (offender or betrayed) actually getting another human to behave “correctly” (aka how you want them to behave) doesn’t ever work. You cannot control another human being. And if you’re hoping to influence, coerce, or manipulate them, that’s just a really unhealthy relationship tactic.
Besides, trying to get someone else to “do the right thing” takes a tremendous amount of energy. That’s energy you can focus toward something you can succeed at: doing your own healing.
But the number one reason to take complete responsibility for your self and your own healing is because it’s empowering to do so. There’s no reason on the planet you should be giving your power (your agency, your energy, your strength) to someone else. And especially you should not be giving it away when you’ve experienced a disorienting and painful heart wound like infidelity. You need that agency, energy, and strength to focus on actually healing.
If you’re going to Recover After Infidelity
Get specialized help that does NOT focus on answering why this happened and what’s wrong with the relationship. Truly helpful therapists will invite you to focus on taking responsibility for yourself. Especially in the context of couples counseling. They’ll provide effective methods- things you’ll practice in and between sessions and cognitive adjustments you can make during session and regular life- to help you weather your own pain, prevent further damage, stay focused on your actions, and allow your heart to heal.
Recovery after infidelity is not about skipping ahead and trying to make the relationship better.
So often, if that “college try” doesn’t pan out, people call it quits, invite an additional wave of upheaval and pain when they end the relationship, then feel quite justified that at least they “made an effort.”
In truth, if they’d gotten the right support to recover after infidelity, including the right approach to real healing, they’d have saved themselves a ton of suffering…and probably the relationship.
Moving on without real Recovery
Moving on is not real recovery. It doesn’t heal the wound. Yet, people do it all the time. They might even stay together.
But when there’s not real recovery and the wound is not actually healed, it affects people for the rest of their lives. A scar forms. Things change forever. After all, trust IS difficult to repair. The offender cannot make up for the transgression. The betrayed partner can’t seem to “get over” the transgression.
It either affects this current relationship for the rest of life or it affects the next one (when people are “brave” enough to try again.) Maybe, after spending time, energy, and money seeking counseling, people part ways and give up on committed relationship altogether, “content” to focus on platonic friendships for the rest of life.
No matter how you slice it, it’s still a mess.
Ready to Recover After Infidelity
Maybe you didn’t expect this enormous pain. You probably could not have imagined this would happen. Maybe you can’t believe you “did this” or “let it happen.”
Of course, ultimately the offender made a choice to go outside the relationship. No matter what, BOTH of you are in pain and the choice to truly heal lies with YOU alone, not your partner.
Remember “the wound is probably not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.”
The key is to be the best kind of client, ready to do your work.
Show up to couples counseling ready to be responsible for yourself. That’s the first, most important hurdle right now. Trust me, if you can do that, you are going to recover completely. And you will do it much more quickly than the usual timeline suggests.
And if it’s hard for your to do this, I can help with that too.
I invite clients to recover after infidelity in a way that serves them for the rest of life, no matter what happens to the relationship. We look at what it means for you to fully function as a whole human being. Taking responsibility for yourself- especially now- is the first step toward freedom.
Soon you’ll be able to show up in a healthy, happy state and engage in and enjoy loving relationship. It’s your birthright. I’ll show you how to get there.
Reach out below and let’s schedule a consultation call.CONNECT