Infidelity often occurs as an acute emotional injury that arises suddenly and unexpectedly. Other times the betrayal is chronic in its nature, causing more and more pain and damage with the passage of time.
In either case, it is advisable not to let the wound go untreated, especially if your goal is to heal and preserve your relationship.
As I remind readers often here on Psych Central, infidelity need not be a relationship killer nor create a lifelong scar for either the partner who was betrayed or the one who strayed.
When it’s financially and logistically possible, couples who wish to find emotional relief, and speed the recovery from the intrusion of infidelity, are well-advised to seek the aid of a professional relationship therapist.
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), of which I’m a member, offers a free referral service at http://www.therapistlocator.net/imis15/tl. Psych Central also provides a general “Find a Therapist” service.
While advice offered here on Psych Central is no substitute for working with a qualified counselor, there are some questions that can be addressed remotely, if only to serve as a kind of fact-check to the avalanche of advice being peddled by less-professional, often unqualified “experts” on the radio, in schlock eBooks, and elsewhere in the media.
With that in mind, and in response to multiple requests that I’ve received, I invite readers of Surviving Infidelity to write me with their questions pertaining to preventing infidelity and responding properly in the aftermath of betrayal.
You can email your questions to me at [email protected]. (Note that the email address ends in “dot” info, not “dot” com.)
Please keep in mind that writing to me is the wrong step to take when it’s immediate help you require. If you’re distraught and on the edge, what you need is to get in immediate touch with a loved one, a good friend, a local therapist, or a hotline that can help you get past the crisis.
I can only address questions that can wait, but are queries that you feel will help you find a direction; confirm or rebut your own instincts; weigh in on advice you received elsewhere, or provide answers that are not time sensitive.
While I won’t be able to respond directly to you, nor answer every question submitted, in future columns I will address those questions that I believe are on the minds of others, like you, who are trying to survive infidelity – even as the specific circumstances will undoubtedly vary from couple to couple.
When writing to me, you do not have to include your name or other identifying information. I won’t reveal your identity, even if I learn it.
What would be helpful is to know your location (City and State), age, gender, relationship status (married or living together, and for how long), and the ages of any children in your household. Please also include any other details or background information that you believe is pertinent.
When it comes to rebounding from infidelity, it’s never too early or too late to begin. If I can help you on your path to recovery, it would be my honor.
[It’s not too late to take our Surviving Infidelity survey, asking the question: “What is the definition of infidelity?” Read my article and answer the questions here. Taking this short survey could prevent your partner from cheating on you.]