Introduction to series on Infidelity
Infidelity is a tough topic, and easily one of the most devastating things a person may ever go through. So why am I jumping into the deep weeds as I launch my first blog/social media series on my new website? Three reasons.
Why This Series?
First, because I want to help hurting people and nothing hurts worse than this.
Second, because I happened to be reading a fantastic book on the topic at the time I was thinking about a series to do. I will be frequently referring to and drawing on this book throughout the six weeks of this series. I know some of you following along with the series are therapists, students, supervisees, and others who are not directly affected by infidelity. But I highly recommend the book for all who have been or are directly affected, or who want to expand your understanding of how to support and help couples through this trauma.
It is called Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity, by Shirley Glass.You will find it permanently linked on the Mental Health Links page of this site. There are many books on this topic, but this one seems to be the most revered in the field. Dr. Glass was a researcher and therapist and, interestingly, the mother of Ira Glass, host of NPR’s award-winning program This American Life.
Third and most important, I want to encourage couples who are on the difficult journey of trying to put their relationships back together in the wake of an affair. But first let’s do some housekeeping.
Privacy and Conduct
Follow along with the posts on my social media feeds, but please do not post intimate details/information/questions. I want this series to be helpful, but it’s important for me to be mindful of your privacy, and the overall tone on social media. Keep this in mind also if you choose to comment on any of the posts on social media. As I said above, people will be following this series for many different reasons, so no one should presume to know what is happening in the relationships of other people, but it’s also important for you to protect your own boundaries and privacy.
No insulting anyone (including current/former cheating partners or other participants), inappropriate joking, trolling (obviously), or arguing. That’s right, no arguing! This is not a forum for the posting of dozens of alternative views about affair recovery, it is for me to give you my own point of view as clearly as possible. I will be monitoring my channels throughout this series but if something inappropriate is posted about you, please email me at [email protected] to request I take it down.
Encouragement for Hurting Couples
If you are working through the aftermath of an affair, I want you to know that although partners always wonder if they will ever get through the devastation and have a “normal” relationship again, affairs actually don’t usually lead to divorce or “predict” it.
Here are six things that pretty reliably do — notice relationships both where there has and has not been an affair can contain any combination of these six things. Whether or not there has been a betrayal in your relationship, those are the things you’ll want to attend to in order to make both affairs and divorce less likely in the future.
If you’re seeing a therapist right now for affair recovery, and they have told you you probably can’t save your relationship, find another therapist immediately, because that is false. It can definitely be done but it’s hard and you have to have a therapist who knows this and believes in you. Also, if they have blamed the betrayed partner, or told you the affair was definitely a sign the marriage was broken to begin with, find another therapist. I’ll address myths about affairs in my next post, and unfortunately even a lot of therapists believe some of these myths.
What An Affair Means
Although an affair doesn’t mean you will have to divorce, it does mean your relationship as you have known it is over. You will never be able to go back to what was before. That particular relationship is, and must be, over. Fortunately, doing the difficult work of affair recovery builds a relationship that is deeper, more authentic, and more connected than whatever you may have had (or thought you had) before the affair.
Will it be hard? Yes. Very. But you can do it, and most partners in marriages where there has been betrayal in fact do go on to save their marriages.
How long will it take? That depends on a lot of things. I’ll talk more about that in my next post.
Getting the Most Out of This Series
In the meantime, I hope you are following me on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, and/or Instagram because every single day for the next six weeks, I will post something affair-related, mostly links to other posts and articles that will educate, encourage, inspire, and guide you. I’ll post on the blog a couple times a week. I have tried to vet all links as thoroughly as possible and as of a couple weeks ago when I compiled them, links were working properly.
My posts to social media will not follow any particular order. Affair recovery is different for every couple, so my hope is you will simply be watching the feeds and that you will find a lot of stuff in the next six weeks that can be anywhere from interesting to life-changing.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask directly, feel free to email me at dave at davidflowerstherapy dot com. I’ll respond to you at my earliest convenience and will also do one blog post toward the end of the series with all questions that were asked and all the answers I provided.
I look forward to this time of focused learning and growth.