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Affairs: Points to Ponder

By:  Lisa Lauer, MA, LMHC, NCC

What do you do when you find out your spouse has been having an affair? Shock, anger, confusion, sadness and all sorts of emotions start to flood in. Infidelity can be painful and toxic, but it also can open the door to a more fulfilling and satisfying marriage. Affairs do not occur in a vacuum. By this I mean that there are underlying issues – both individually and within the marriage itself – that fuel the cheating. Therapy is a beneficial process that helps couples examine the causes of their behavior and ways in which they can start to heal from such a breach of trust.

Sometimes, the cheating partner thinks that admitting to the affair and expressing remorse are enough to “move forward.” He or she wonders, “What else do I have to do? I keep saying I’m sorry.” Recognition and remorse are necessary, but they are just the beginning. We can’t fast forward to repair and recovery until we also discover the communication styles and personal patterns that have stood in the way of effectively resolving relationship problems.

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