IN CUMMING, GA
Have you discovered, or disclosed yourself, a betrayal in your relationship? You never thought this would or could happen to you, but it’s here. You’re overwhelmed, in shock, maybe feeling deep shame or embarrassment. Yet you also know you’re committed to your marriage. You’re willing to fight for the relationship through the hurt and disillusionment you’re feeling. Affair recovery counseling can help.
For the person traumatized by the affair
You’re in shock, angry, overwhelmed, reeling.
It’s hard to sleep, eat, focus on your work. It really is a trauma. Yet you’re resolved to work and heal. There is too much good you both have built together to give it up now.
For the person who had the affair
You know you didn’t set out to have this betrayal happen in your marriage, but it’s happened.
You know you were in love with and do love your partner, but you find yourself here. You’re feeling guilty for the pain you’ve caused. And you’re committed to doing all in your power to save your marriage.
Help on your affair recovery journey
Recovering from infidelity is difficult to do on your own. It is a crisis often full of rage and raw hurt. Sometimes the betrayal draws up deeper bonding and communication issues. Often these have never been addressed.
I help committed couples navigate through the pain of a relationship betrayal, including infidelity and affairs. I provide practical help in communicating so that people can share their hurt without shaming and state their needs without blaming. I help both people begin to rediscover the safety they once had with each other. With help, together you can rebuild a stronger relationship moving forward.
Without help, communicating after infidelity can be incredibly difficult. Conversations without help can lead to even more harm to the relationship. Counseling helps slow things down. It helps diffuse the emotional intensity so that healing and recovery can happen.
Can a marriage recover from an affair?
I have helped many couples recover from affairs and other betrayals. I know it’s possible.
I only work with couples where both people are committed to the relationship. When both people are willing to take the emotional risks with each other and heal together, I’ve seen marriages transformed. The length of time required for affair recovery counseling depends on the nature of the betrayal and the state of the marriage bond before the infidelity occurred. If one partner is resistant to therapy, I can also provide individual therapy to help that partner heal and recover.
What are the stages in recovering from an affair?
Every situation of infidelity is different. Successful affair recovery generally involves the following stages*. These are not linear stages, but they do provide structure for the recovery process:
In this stage, the offending partner ends the affair and the couple sets ground rules on communication and boundaries. Since infidelity often happens at work, this stage is especially important if a current job requires contact with the other person.
For the person just learning about the affair, this stage involves coping with the trauma of infidelity. Betrayed partners, before they can begin any repair work, often need many questions answered about the extent of the affair.
The second stage, attunement, involves the person hurt by the affair sharing and expressing the pain of the betrayal. This is one of the most difficult phases in affair recovery and why it’s so important to get help. A skilled therapist can help the person share their hurt without lashing out or withdrawing. Through this process they’re able to forgive.
The therapist also helps the other partner listen without defensiveness or shame. In this stage, the therapy also begins to explore the communication patterns in the relationship.
The third stage, attachment, is characterized by re-attachment and reconciliation. The person who had the affair is often eager (understandably) to move to this stage. But it’s vital that the person betrayed by the infidelity feels heard by their partner and validated in their pain. If this doesn’t happen, true reconciliation and reconstruction of the relationship aren’t possible.
Authentic forgiveness happens only when there is full acknowledgment of the hurt and wounds. Forgiveness is an individual process that is separate from reconciliation. Only when a person feels free NOT to forgive is authentic forgiveness possible.
*Adapted from the Gottman Trust Revival Method.
How I’ve helped other couples recover from an affair
In successful affair recovery, people stay married and report fulfillment in their relationship. Through counseling (and some hard work), couples I’ve helped have achieved the following:
- The person who committed the affair is willing to fully own the mistakes he or she made. They seek to understand the hurt they’ve caused their partner and the blind spots that made them susceptible. They also practice transparency by regularly sharing what they’re doing to establish and maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries. This is a process.
The person betrayed by the affair is able to share their anger and hurt with their partner without chronically lashing out at them or withdrawing. Through this process they’re able to forgive.
Both people are willing to examine the role their childhoods played in their communication patterns and seek to learn more direct ways of sharing their feelings and asserting their needs in the relationship.
- Both people develop new habits of investing in the relationship and taking healthy emotional risks with their partner to foster ongoing healing.
Both people are getting individual support. This can be through concurrent individual therapy, a support group, or another healing community.
Why I am an Affair Recovery Therapist in Cumming, GA
I am passionate about my work as an affair recovery therapist because I find deep joy in seeing people rediscover the love and connection they had for their partner when they first fell in love.
I also feel satisfaction in helping couples communicate better so they can feel the goodness of a true life partner in facing the challenges and opportunities of life together.
Growing up I saw my own parents struggle in their marriage and eventually get divorced. I knew I wanted something different and work hard to live out in my own relationship the values that guide my work. I feel connected to my wife and know in my heart a fulfilling, strong and joyful relationship is possible for you, even after the betrayal of an affair.
— Brent Sweitzer, LPC RPT
Counseling helps couples in Cumming, Alpharetta and Johns Creek recover from infidelity
If you’re committed to your partner and ready to lean courageously back into that bond, I believe authentic forgiveness and reconciliation after an affair is possible. I specialize in providing high-quality couples counseling at my Cumming counseling office. I can help you and your partner recover and heal.
To start your couples counseling journey, follow these simple steps:
Once you decide to begin counseling, you'll fill out the initial paperwork securely using the client portal. We will meet and begin the therapeutic counseling journey together.
Through your counseling sessions, you will start working on your healing -- experiencing shifts, progress, and relief as you go.
Other Counseling Services at Sweitzer Counseling