Are you currently in a marriage crisis? Marriage is difficult because it contains two imperfect people. If you are reaching out for help you have come to the right place.
One of the most painful revelations is that your spouse or significant other has been involved with another person in person or virtually. The experience of getting found out is traumatic for everyone involved. Once what has happened comes out in the open everything changes. Many report a reduction of stress no longer having to keep the secret. Unfortunately that stress is transferred directly to the betrayed spouse.
Recovering from an affair is fraught with a multiplicity of landmines. Just as any addiction, an affair is a clinical issue. In addiction, the betrayed spouse may be stricken with anxiety, depression or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It is really important to get professional help to work through these issues to keep from dragging it into all of your relationships throughout the rest of your life. Many couples make it through the affair but they live their lives shackled to the hurt and mistrust that arose from the affair throughout the rest of their marriage. An affair is an opportunity to address all of the issues individually and relationally that led to the affair in the first place. It is an opportunity for change.
If you want to save your marriage and have a better marriage, and be better people – schedule your initial assessment today.
How the Program Works
Most people are a little apprehensive about beginning therapy. Those who have had an affair or are engaged in sexual acting out behaviors find it particularly difficult to open up about what they have done. There is a lot of shame, embarrassment and pride standing in the way of admitting to others the wrongs committed. But most of my clients realize after their first session that therapy isn’t bad at all. They even come to a point of enjoying group – when they thought they never would.
The affair recovery process doesn’t come with a particular time frame. Couples and individuals are in the program as long as they need to be until they have reached their goals. Those who have diagnosed disorders and addictions may stay in therapy longer than others. The treatment program includes weekly individual, couple and group sessions. There is homework and assignments. You get out of this what you put in.
Couples are admitted in the program who have dealt with emotional and sexual affairs, pornography and sexting, or whenever there has been a serious erosion of trust as a result of infidelity. Substance abuse and other addictions are also addressed in this program. This program helps individuals restore their dignity and couples preserve their relationship. Sexual deviance is very difficult to overcome in marital relationships because just as difficult it is for the one acting out sexually to stop it is difficult for the hurt spouse to forgive and regain trust. Treatment is essential to navigate the difficult terrain of recovering together. Many couples survive sexual deviance but never restore their relationship. It is possible to have a vibrant and fulfilling marriage post affair with proper treatment.
Maintaining a healthy sexual relationship in marriage is no small task. Marriage requires the ability to negotiate and compromise. It requires personal growth. So many are unprepared for the rigors of marriage and find themselves seeking out others to meet their companionship and sexual needs. Simply learning the essentials of communication and conflict resolution would tremendously reduce the numbers of extramarital affairs and decrease relationship breakups.
The Types of Affairs
There are 11 different types of affairs. It is important to know which type of affair you are having to ensure you are treating it properly.
- The Conflict Avoidance Affair
- Intimacy Avoidance Affair
- Individual Stage Affair
- Sexual Addiction Affairs
- Accidental-Brief Affairs
- Philandering & Other Individual Tendencies
- Retribution Affairs
- Bad Marriage Affairs
- Exit Affairs
- Parallel Lives Affairs
- Online Affairs
Click here if you would like a full description of these types of affairs and how likely it is to survive them.
Phases of Affair Recovery
I’ve discovered 10 phases of affair recovery that couples move through to successfully recover.
Phase 1: Secrecy
Phase 2: Discovery & Disclosure
Phase 3: Reaction & Crisis
Phase 4: Understanding & Clarity
Phase 5: Apology & Grieving
Phase 6: Forgiving & Healing
Phase 7: Hoping
Phase 8: Cooperation & Reconnecting
Phase 9: Rebuilding (Addressing Unresolved Issues, Trust & Addiction Recovery)
Phase 10: Intimacy Established/Restored
Can Joe Help Us?
It is important to select a therapist you feel comfortable talking to who has experience helping couples work through affairs and other marital challenges. You will be able to find that comfort in me. I can work with couples with any type of affair. Learn more about me here.
Each couple and each affair is different. The Lifestyle Affair Recovery Program is not a one-size fits all program. Each couple works through these phases in their own time frame. The objective of the program is to assist the couple in developing new habits and avoid the pitfalls. The progress through these phases is not always in a straight line as many times couples drop back to revisit a previous phase. Without intervention, it is very unlikely a couple will successfully navigate through these phases alone without carrying forward unresolved stuff and limiting their future happiness together. This program helps couples avoid the crippling affect of an affair. Many couples get stuck in a particular phase for years prior to seeking help. Many times recovery requires restarting from Phase 2. When a previous affair from many years before is discovered, couples must still go through the recovery phases to effectively heal.
This program is right for you if you can answer these questions affirmatively.
- Both of you are committed to working on your marriage
- Both of you are open to traditional Christian values (You don’t have to be a Christian)
- The husband or wife has broken the other’s trust and is willing to enter addiction recovery therapy if indicated
- The betrayed spouse has issued an ultimatum to the betrayer to discontinue the destructive behaviors or end the marriage
- Both of you are open to at least a year in therapy (Affair recovery is a marathon not a sprint)
- Both are committed to the financial and time commitment required
My Approach to Affairs and Infidelity
I see affairs from the family systems perspective. The family systems perspective sees affairs as embedded in the dynamics of the couple along with the multiple relationships, experiences, individuality and history of each partner. Family systems studies the multiple factors contributing to the affair including the couple’s communication patterns, individual psycho-emotional development, moral and spiritual formation and cultural influences. The way a couple communicates is the most essential element to be understood and improved to recover from an affair and ultimately strengthen the marriage. Most frequently I use a combination of Solution Focused Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to discover the central purpose of the affair, assess the condition of the marital relationship prior to the affair and lead the couple to sort through their many and varied conflicting emotions and successfully reach their goals following the affair. I use the 12 Step model to address the addiction recovery issues.
How My Program Works
What do you usually hear when people explain why they got divorced? Isn’t it “He/she cheated on me.”?
But this is not the whole story. The truth is that cheating is most often the symptom of marital problems and not the cause. And marital problems are the symptom of personal problems. Too often couples focus on the cheating and not the other underlying issues. Successful treatment comes from understanding and resolving the underlying issues.
There are four parts to clinical intervention:
- Helping the couple cope with the immediate trauma
- Helping the couple understand the factors that made them vulnerable to the affair
- Helping the couple resolving the individual issues (unproductive patterns) interfering with relationship success
- Helping the couple rebuild the marital relationship
I employ four strategies to help couples recover from their affair:
- Affair Intervention Weekend
This intense 14 hour intervention will prepare you for your recovery journey. You will learn about the recovery process, understand why affairs occur, identify the recovery pitfalls and how to overcome them, form alliances with other couples seeking to save their marriage, and create a path forward for your relationship.
- Non-judgmental and Positive Therapy
Marriage therapy engages couples in a dialogue that leads to positive individual and relationship change. Individual therapy challenges the personal perspectives that seem to interfere with building a successful marriage. Therapy seeks to spark new life in couple communication while eradicating old destructive patterns and behaviors. In therapy you will learn how to communicate effectively and manage your emotions.
- Educational curriculum to enhance learning and facilitate change
Throughout treatment the couple works through the textbooks and online curriculum that provide additional instruction and reinforces what is being learned.
- Group therapy
The opportunity to develop new relationships and get positive feedback and encouragement from other couples is just another way to ensure new patterns are established and maintained in the relationship. In addition to group therapy couples get the opportunity to enjoy each other socially. The shared community enhances the possibility of positive change in each couple. Same gender group sessions are pivotal in gaining peer support and developing productive patterns of relating to others – especially your spouse.
Working through this program with other couples is not the ideal solution for all couples. The program is designed for couples who have decided to save their marriage after the affair. Couples who have not yet decided to stay in the marriage will need a few sessions before they are ready for the Affair Intervention Weekend. The Lifestyle Affair Recovery Program operates with a cohort of four couples at a time. To be included in the next cohort the couple must have achieved the first two milestones of recovery.
There are five critical milestones a couple must achieve to recover from an affair.
- The betrayer must take responsibility for the affair and for rebuilding the trust of the betrayed.
- The couple must commit to rebuilding their marriage.
- The betrayed must forgive the betrayer and grant them opportunity to regain their trust.
- The personal issues negatively impacting the marriage must be resolved.
- The couple must commit to participating in one another’s personal growth journey and building a strong marriage.
Newton’s third law of motion illustrates what it takes to effectively overcome an affair. Your affair will require an equal and opposite reaction to change the tide in your marriage. The affair or sexual addiction has pulled you apart. Restoration will require a concerted effort that is intense and persistent. Recovery requires a tremendous amount of positive energy to counteract the negative messages an affair or sexual addition establishes in the mind of the betrayed and the betrayer. This recovery program is designed to bring that positive energy to your relationship.
The Program requires two huge commitments. First there is a financial commitment and then there is a time commitment. Can you commit to focusing on rebuilding your marriage for the next 12 months? Are you prepared to make a financial investment in your marriage? It takes time to rebuild trust and establish the positive communication patterns you need to maintain your new habits. Working with a therapist who can coach you along this difficult road can be very helpful in overcoming the pitfalls to recovery.
The Program begins with an assessment session, the Affair Intervention Weekend and continues with individual therapy, couple therapy, course materials and group therapy.
The Seven Steps to Recovery
- Changing Course
- Sharing the Details
- Personal Healing
- Sexual Healing
- Rebuilding Intimacy
- Restoring Confidence
Your treatment cost will be discussed in your assessment session in which will be determined which treatment approach would be best for you. Most insurance plans are accepted for this session and all therapy services are billed under insurance. Insurance does not cover educational materials, retreats and social gatherings. During the initial sessions you will share your experience and goals and a treatment program will be developed for you.
READY TO GET STARTED?
You must complete the intake process which begins with an assessment session. You must schedule a two hour back to back initial session with me. One hour in each of your names. You will come together to his appointment. Both of you will need to complete the 1-2-3 intake process on the Patient Portal. Click below to begin.