Kathy found me on line and called me from her home in Atlanta. The night before, her husband Jim, a corporate executive, had confessed that he had recently ended an eight-month affair with his administrative assistant.

Kathy was devastated, but she wanted to save her marriage. Now she was asking me, an affair recovery specialist, to help her.

Here are some insights and tips I shared with Kathy.

1. Insight: Couples can and do recover from extramarital affairs.

Your marriage can heal from your spouse’s infidelity. In fact, if the two of you work at it, you can become closer than you’ve ever been.

Tip: Keep hope alive.

At first Kathy feared that her marriage could never recover from Jim’s affair. However, with reassurances from me that healing was possible, she allowed herself to hope.

2. Insight: How anger is handled after an affair surfaces is critical.

Be careful not to say or do things that are likely to make matters worse.

Tip: Keep your anger in check.

Understandably, Kathy’s initial reaction to learning about Jim’s affair was anger. A part of her wanted to scream insults at him to make him hurt as much as she did.

I encouraged Kathy to talk with Jim about her anger in a controlled way. I also encouraged her to talk with Jim even more about her pain. Kathy noticed that when she disclosed her deep hurt to Jim, he responded with support.

3. Insight: Following the discovery of an affair, one should be careful about making major decisions.

If you make major decisions impulsively while in a state of heightened emotionality, you might later regret them.

Tip: Avoid making major decisions hastily.

Despite Kathy’s desire to save her marriage, during the first several weeks there also were times when she felt like giving up and filing for divorce.

I urged her to rule out that option for at least three months and in the meantime to pour all her energies into trying to save her marriage.

4. Insight: A person whose spouse is having an affair needs support.

No doubt, your spouse’s infidelity has traumatized you. To regain your equilibrium, you’ll need the support of another person. This could be a therapist or a close friend.

Tip: Choose your support person carefully.

Kathy wanted to enlist a friend, so I recommended that she choose one who was outside their social circle, who she could trust to maintain confidentiality, and who would support her in trying to save her marriage.

Kathy contacted her best girlfriend from college who lived in a different state. In the days and weeks to come, this friend provided invaluable support over the phone.

5. Insight: When an affair has occurred, a couple should seek professional help immediately.

If you and your spouse are to get past the affair, then the two of you must move through three stages of recovery: healing from the trauma, making sense of the affair, and restoring your marital bond. Getting through the entire process can take months.

The chances of successfully working your way through all three stages are much greater with professional help than without it. A good way to jump-start the recovery process is to begin by doing intensive marital therapy over several days.

Tip: Ask your spouse to join you on a private marital therapy weekend intensive.

Kathy felt strongly that it was in their best interest to make a strong start in the recovery process. She invited Jim to fly with her to Colorado to do a weekend intensive with me. Jim accepted her invitation and they arrived at their hotel on Friday evening.

On Saturday I did five hours of intensive marital therapy with Jim and Kathy and on Sunday I did five more.

By Sunday evening, Jim and Kathy had made good initial progress. I was willing to also work with them on Monday, but it was clear that they had gone as far as they could go in one weekend.

Before flying back to Atlanta, they spent several days vacationing together in our magnificent Colorado Rockies.

After returning home, Jim and Kathy did a few more sessions with me over the phone. They continued to move forward in the recovery process.

At one-year follow-up, they were doing well. Jim and Kathy both said that their weekend intensive with me probably saved their marriage.

So what should you do if an extramarital affair has rocked your marriage? Keep hope alive, keep your anger in check, choose a support person wisely, and consider asking your spouse to join you on a private marital therapy weekend intensive.

I specialize in helping couples recover from affairs. To find out more about how I do this, click here.

Couples fly in from all over the country to do weekend intensives with me. To get more information about these intensives, click here

For a confidential and complimentary phone consultation, call me now at: 303-545-9828 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              303-545-9828      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
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Author's Bio: 

Over the past 30-plus years, Dr. Jay Lindsay has assisted thousands of couples. His practice is the only one in the Boulder area devoted entirely to helping couples in distress. If you are experiencing distress in your relationship Dr. Lindsay can bring relief. Marital Therapy and Marriage Counseling are two ways he can help you.