People ask me all the time “what’s the affair recovery timeline? How long will this take?”
Of course, I know they mean a lot of different things:
how long will it hurt this bad?
can we just “go back” to before I knew?
how soon can we get him to shape up?
when will I know what’s happening with the relationship?
if we try to work it out, how long does THAT take?
Essentially, I’ve found people want (and need) three things:
1. relief from the pain (including what to do to manage the triggers)
2. clarity regarding what’s next or possible re: the relationship
3. skills for dealing with him (since no matter what, most people will have some kind of relationship and interaction)
The tricky, truthful thing is if you handle this the wrong way -and that’s the way most of us handle it even with the “help” of a counselor-
you can make this take sooooo much longer.
Because our natural tendencies actually work against us when we face trauma. And this IS a relational trauma.
Our natural tendencies are ingrained coping mechanisms we’ve been using with fairly good outcomes nearly ALL of our lives. We stick with them because they work!
In fact, this is probably the first time your natural tendencies are really biting you in the butt. And hard.
Look, those coping mechanisms are SKILLS that helped you get this far. Brava! You’ve done well. They were adaptive and highly intelligent skills. Good job.
And right now, they are probably not helping you truly deal with this. Maybe they are “coming in handy” because they help you feel “justified” or reasonable or you’re successfully distracted. Maybe those same coping skills helped you “get over” a previous betrayal or “move beyond” other questionable behavior.
But, in fact, those same adaptations are maladaptive now, meaning they don’t fit this current situation in a way that helps you.
And if we don’t address YOUR coping mechanisms, YOU won’t truly get your recovery. You WILL still be dealing with and feeling the hurt literally YEARS from now.
Here’s what conventional treatment does:
It treats the affair. Diagnoses what type of affair it is and sets a protocol for how he should behave.
Then they invite him to couples counseling but boot him out if:
1. he can’t decide what he wants (or you can’t decide)
2. he doesn’t agree to the highest order of transparency
3. the affair is still ongoing or there’s another “contact” or lie
Did you get that? Most counselors and Affair Recovery programs boot you out at the most painful time. When you actually need help the most!
It’s because the conventional approach was only designed to serve the most motivated (invested, committed) clients who “cooperate” with the protocol. Then, if he won’t “cooperate,” they get kicked out. Or she stays in therapy and works on how to get him back into therapy or how to “cope” with his refusal.
In fact, that thinking is so prevalent we all think it’s the RIGHT way to get through this. You find this everywhere on the internet!
Just get him to therapy and if he doesn’t cooperate, well, then, he had his chance.
Would you like a REAL statistic on how often that actually works? About 5% of the time. About 5% of the time, he wants to go to counseling, knows he wants to stay in the marriage and “work things out” or he’s willing to complete an online program, actually follows through with it, and he never has contact with the Affair Partner ever again. He keeps showing up, being responsible for his actions, and becomes a better person and husband without wrinkle or snag.
You have my official permission to keep hoping your guy is one of the five percent. Not great odds.
But even if he is, YOU still need complete healing and recovery. You know this or you wouldn’t be here reading right now. And I know you’re trying. You’re searching and researching. You’re hoping and praying, looking for an answer. And you’re wasting a lot of time and energy relying on those natural tendencies.
Here’s what actually works:
treating the people.
We take a look at how you are made, how you move through the world, and exactly how you are coping. Then I help you do what is actually helpful for you. We focus on what will get you through this as quickly as possible and with the least amount of pain.
And yes, we start with you. Believe it or not, what happens next in the relationship and your life actually depends on YOU, not him. The conventional approach will encourage you to believe otherwise. Nothing could be further from the truth.
That’s REALLY GOOD NEWS! You don’t have to wait for him to do the right thing. You don’t have to live in limbo wondering what’s going to happen in relationship. Your heart and your life don’t need to be in his hands… especially after he’s been so careless with it.
YES, you CAN step up and take charge of your own life without kicking him to the curb. That’s exactly what I help women like you do all the time. So that YOU can truly recover and heal after his betrayal.
If you’re ready for a solution that will actually serve you for the rest of your life, APPLY for a call. We’ll consult and see about getting you some REAL help.