So, you just found out they cheated. You’re probably asking yourself several questions, like “How could this happen?” and “What am I going to do about it?”
Why is this happening to me?
Unfortunately, sometimes as the old saying goes, bad things happen to good people. Maybe it’s because your husband or wife felt like there wasn’t a spark left in your relationship, or maybe it’s because they have a real problem. It’s easy to think, “But we’re Christians! How could this be happening to us?”. The sad reality is that statistics show the rate of extramarital affairs in Christian relationships are just as high as they are in relationships between non-believers.
What are my options here?
Before you start Googling a bunch of self-help articles, or listen to people who are self-proclaimed “experts” on how you should handle your situation, there are a couple things you should know: 1) Only youcan decide what you’re going to do. 2) You don’t have to have all the answers figured out right now. If you’re here, chances are you’re looking for something that can help you make your decision and get your thoughts together. That’s completely understandable. Before you go any farther though, you should realize a few things about yourself:
- You are worthy of being loved.
- You have value.
- You were created with a specific purpose.
When your spouse has an affair, it’s hard to believe these three things. We feel cheated, damaged, and broken. Of course we don’t feel loved. We feel worthless. And we feel like nothing really matters anymore. And usually, all these feelings come crashing down on us all at once. So, if nobody else tells you through this whole situation – You are loved. You are valued. And you still have a purpose.
Where do I start?
Since you’re already here, you probably know the answer. It’s time to get some help. We see a lot of people and couples who are going through exactly what you’re going through. Unfortunately, your experience is pretty common. The good thing is that since we’ve seen a lot of people coming to counseling for affairs, we know what you’re experiencing and where we need to go next. Your first step is figuring out where your spouse’s head is at. Is he or she sorry, and repentant for what’s happened? If so, great. Give us a call, and we’ll get you both in for an appointment pronto. We’ll figure out what went wrong, and more importantly what got you there. Recovering from something like this isn’t easy – but if you’re both willing to put in the work, you’ll discover a lot of amazing changes in your relationship thanks to counseling. If your husband or wife isn’t repentant and they don’t seem like they want to move past the issue, you still have a responsibility to yourself, and you should still seek some help to work through what you’re experiencing.
Maybe we can just get past this ourselves.
You’re right, maybe you can. But chances are you probably won’t. We don’t say that to be negative or because we doubt your strength, but even when couples have moved past infidelity in their relationship, there’s always some lingering bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, and a lot of other emotions. With those emotions present, you’re never really going to get past it. It’s always going to be there in the back of your mind and it’s going to affect every decision you make. Every. Single. Decision. Why chance it?
Will I be happy again?
That’s completely up to you. We’ll give you the tools to work through the process and you’ll have the opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. It’s not just about getting over what happened, but about learning to lean on Him even more. You’ll have the chance to learn about your true identity, how He created you to be, and what you can do with it.
What should I know about recovering from an affair?
While you’re recovering, you and your spouse will be going through a lot of changes. Some moments might be tense, others might be sad, and some will be life-changing and life-giving. If you’re truly committed to the process, you’ll learn new ways to communicate with your spouse and you can become closer than you ever were. There’ll still be times when you may fight and argue, or you may start to wonder if you’ve made the right choice, but by the end of the process you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
Clinicians who provide Counseling for Affairs:
Zakk Gammon, PhD, LCPC, BCMFT
270.926.6957 X 103
Dr. Zakk Gammon is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, Board Certified Marriage & Family Therapist and Advanced Certified Temperament Counselor serving clients in our Owensboro office.