Rapid Healing Therapy for Cheating — Infidelity — Affairs
Cheating, Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Relationship Counseling
- What should I do?
- Have you seen lots of Texting, Sexting? Especially secret Texting? Sexting?
- Do you suspect infidelity?
- Worried about an affair?
- Can marriage counseling or relationship counseling really rebuild trust?
- Is my husband having an extra-marital affair?
- Is my wife having an extra-marital affair?
- I've had a secret affair, but I want it to end. What should I do?
- How can I be sure?
- How can I find and end affairs now?
- What exactly is cheating, and what is not cheating?
- Online affairs and infidelity
- Affair, or one-night stand?
- You’ve been caught cheating, or you know about cheating: What now?
- Can I ever trust my wife / my husband again?
- Should I get proof? Private detective? Phone bill? Credit card bill? Computer browsing history?
- Can couples / marriages survive after cheating?
- Should I accuse him / her? Ask if something is going on? Be silent until I’m sure?
- Is it possible to forgive and start fresh?
- Can we restore intimacy and trust?
- Do I want to stay together after an extra-marital affair?
- Could my husband be unfaithful?
- Could my wife be unfaithful?
- Is it possible for our relationship / marriage to survive this?
When infidelity happens or even when it is suspected, this will probably be the most painful challenge your relationship or marriage will ever face. In the midst of overpowering emotions, what should you do if you believe that you have an unfaithful partner — or if your own infidelity has been discovered?
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. If cheating always meant the end of the couple, we wouldn’t have bothered to include this page. About two-thirds of our clients are couples, and half of them appear because of known or suspected cheating.
Not too long ago, everyone knew what sex meant, and everyone knew what cheating meant. Everyone knew whether certain behaviors constituted cheating or not.
Today, things have gotten more complicated. One reason is that so many things can occur online, that people can sometimes be unsure whether a particular online behavior is — or is not — cheating. The second reason is that some people have different ideas about which physical acts are cheating, and which are not really cheating. Surveys reveal that many people do not regard oral sex as sex, for example, so it could not possibly be cheating. How about flirting with a person in a bar, while your partner believes you are at work or on a business trip? Is that cheating too?
Here’s the simple truth. A good therapist doesn’t make this decision for you. If you feel the need to wonder whether or not a certain behavior is cheating, then it is probably cheating, unless you are saddled with an excess of jealousy or insecurity. The only way to be sure — and being sure is so very important — is to see a couples counselor now. Seek couples therapy from an experienced and highly trained expert. This is equally true whether you are the one engaging in the behavior, or whether your partner is the one.
Cheating can range from texting to intercourse. Cheating is defined not by what people have done with their bodies; it is defined by what’s in their hearts. Clear enough? Experts like Dr. Ransen see this almost every day, and are well-trained to help you be sure whether something that bothers you is in fact cheating or just an excess of suspicion. Have you been betrayed, or have you betrayed your partner? Or is an innocent situation being blown out of proportion? Sometimes the line between these is fuzzy, and Dr. Ransen can quickly enable you to be certain. Only then can he and you determine — together — what your best response should be.
Affair — Infidelity — Cheating — Extra-Marital Relationship — whatever you call it, it can tear your heart out with grief, anger, jealousy, or other powerful negative feelings. We won’t kid you; an unfaithful partner sometimes means the end of a couple’s relationship or marriage because of a total loss of trust. Fortunately, that is an uncommon result in Dr. Ransen’s practice. Cheating need not be the end! Most of the time, he can help you create solutions that make betrayals a thing of the past. The problem will simply vanish. The only thing he cannot do for you is to forgive or to seek forgiveness. Trust will most often be rebuilt steadily in the coming months, well after your couples counseling has been completed. Time truly heals all wounds, but only if you allow it to.
Is Your Partner Cheating?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Most couples somehow survive an affair with a little help from Dr. Ransen, and go on to remain happily together. Much depends on how much trust existed before the cheating even happened. Even more important, much depends on how you both behave after the infidelity has been discovered. Also, the details are often important. Was it a one-night stand after too many drinks on a business trip? Or was it a longer, secret relationship, carefully hidden with deception? Is it over, or still going on? These and other facts matter a lot. There is a very big difference between a moment of foolishness and bad judgment, and a sneaky affair conducted behind someone’s back and lasting months or longer. They are both very painful, but the chances of recovery may be quite different.
If revenge is in your heart, then as soon as your brief feel-good moment is over, your relationship will be over too. Even more sadly, chances are that your future relationships will crash and burn too, destroyed by your obsession with catching cheaters. The lesson you haven’t yet learned is that people who aren’t able to trust actually attract cheating partners. That’s right — your suspicion actually attracts people into your life who are most likely to cheat on you. Pretty soon you become convinced that you can’t trust anyone. In the long run, your suspicion will destroy any chance you might have had to find a trusting and trustworthy partner, and to live happily. The greater your suspicion, the more unfaithful partners you will meet, which will “prove” that you were right to be suspicious. See anything circular about this? This vicious cycle always ends in misery and loneliness, and sometimes in prison. Your choice is a simple one: either learn how to be trusting and trustworthy, or doom yourself to one bad ending after another, and a life full of bitter disappointments.
If you suspect infidelity, you must resist the temptation to rifle through cell phones, computers, and phone bills in search of “proof.” Dr. Ransen often asks couples this very important question: “Which is more important to you: being right, or being happy?” Please give this question serious thought before you act rashly and burn all your bridges. Seek couples therapy right away, before you make a terrible mistake that you will regret for a very long time. Yes, you really can restore trust and intimacy, with the help of an experienced couples counselor. It’s never too late to recover from cheating. If you seek help from a skilled couples therapist, then it’s never too late to recover from infidelity.
Of one thing you can be sure. If you find yourself obsessively trying to catch your partner cheating, then things will always end badly, whether or not your suspicions turn out to be true.
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If this is your first question, then you will probably make things worse than they already are. Of course you’re angry. Naturally you feel betrayed, deceived, and violated. When people experience these powerful emotions, their natural instinct is to “confront” the perpetrator. Take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself what is likely to happen immediately after you have confronted your partner. Denials? Begging for your forgiveness? Blaming it on you? Minimizing the infidelity by saying it meant nothing; it was just sex? After you’ve thought of all the possible responses, you will quickly realize that every possible reaction would only make you more angry and cause you more pain than you already feel. All you will have done is make a bad situation worse.
Why? Because you have just forced your unfaithful wife or unfaithful husband into a corner that will feel very threatening and scary. “And why shouldn’t I?”, you may ask. After all, he/she deserves to suffer! And maybe you would be right. But what will happen after you savor the feeling of being right and watch all that squirming? The answer: total meltdown. There’s nowhere to go from there. This is an example of how acting on our ancient instincts, which evolved during a time when we had to “confront” attacking wolves, can let us down by making a bad situation even more awful.
No sensible person would dispute your right to bring up your suspicions with the suspected cheater. Of course you have that right. The more important question is whether aggressive confrontation is the most effective way. Is it the best way to serve your interests, or is it the express train to the ugly end of your relationship or marriage? And will it poison all your future relationships because you will have forgotten how to trust?
These are very tough questions. You may have never before faced these questions in your life. An experienced couples therapist must consider these questions almost every day. Now is the time to get help, without delay, before you say or do something you may regret for a very long time.
How Can Couples Counseling with Dr. Ransen Help?Most often, your relationship can not only be saved, but even renewed and reborn in a form that’s deeper and more trusting than it ever was before. That’s the honest truth. We see this happen very, very often. For one thing, we’ve seen all the dead ends, so we can help you avoid them. We’ve also seen the many roads to recovery, and we can almost certainly help you find those roads.
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What you do when you first discover infidelity is extremely important, and may change your life and your partner’s life forever. You absolutely must avoid an explosive reaction of rage. Please read these first-aid tips carefully:
- Instead of snooping, just ask your partner. That’s right, just ask for the truth. Chances are, you’ll know if the answer is truthful or not. This must be your first step, because everything else depends on your behavior after you learn whether or not you have been cheated on, and how.
- Even if you’re not sure, your suspicion should not be swept under the rug. Sure or not, find experienced couples counseling or marriage counseling immediately. Every day you put it off will only make things worse. What exactly does “experienced” mean? A good rule of thumb is that the counselor has been helping couples for at least half as long as you and your partner have been together. Dr. Ransen has 40 years’ experience and 12 years’ post-graduate training. Qualified couples counselors know how to help in these situations. They know what they’re doing. They’re not emotionally involved, they’re very well trained, and they never take sides. If you do get stuck with one who takes sides, then quit and find another. Like every profession, there are a few bad apples.
- If you are the one cheating, then the first thing you should know is that your partner will find out, sooner or later. Some cheaters believe they can keep their affair(s) going, if they are very careful. Here is a fact: Your partner will find out, sooner or later, no matter how careful you are. So you should ask yourself this question: “Do I tell my partner now, or keep things going in the hope that I can keep my behavior secret?” Ask yourself which will be worse — confess now, or allow your partner to find out independently? The answer should be obvious. If you tell the truth and seek professional help, then you have shown in good faith that you care enough to repair the damage. You can minimize the pain for everyone involved, and stop the bleeding. Otherwise, you are dooming yourself and everyone else involved to years of terrible heartbreak and misery. If there are kids involved, you will probably be punishing them for many years, no matter how much you love them. Kids suffer from this; please don’t underestimate them. Children see and feel more than you think, no matter how young they are, even if they don’t understand. Remember: the greatest gift you can ever give your child is to show him/her what a great relationship among parents looks like. If you forget this, then he or she will grow up and be unlikely to know how to form a healthy relationship as an adult. No punishment could be more cruel.
- Don’t panic. Don’t explode. Remain calm. Count to 10 before you speak. Everything you do and say now is likely to affect the rest of your life.
- Resist any urge you may have to become (or hire) a private detective. Snooping is a nasty game with no winners; it always makes things worse. Forget the cell phone bills, internet browsing histories, Facebook pages, and emails. Two wrongs do not make a right, remember? Don’t snoop. If your suspicion turns out to be mistaken, then you could easily destroy a wonderful relationship. Even if your suspicion is justified, you may kill any chance of surviving the crisis. You are responding to your partner’s sneaky behavior with some sneaky behavior of your own. Do you honestly think that snooping could possibly benefit anyone? An all-out war is more likely. Please, consider this very carefully.
- If you have already been snooping or spying in order to find evidence of cheating, please stop now. You must understand that anger and the desire for revenge are negative, destructive emotions, and no good can come of them. Everyone — including you — walks away unhappy and scarred. If you seek professional couples counseling or marriage counseling or relationship counseling now, you have an excellent chance to stop the bleeding and save the marriage or relationship. If a therapist asks or agrees to see one of you alone, take a pass and look for a trained couples therapist. It is essential that you and your partner see a couples counselor together — right from the start. The problem is neither in your head nor your partner’s, but in your relationship. Please know that when someone says, “I have personal issues,” or “You need to work on your personal issues,” they are usually mistaken. Find a couples counselor, rather than a professional who identifies relationship counseling among a long list of services. Therapists who have specialized training in couples therapy and family therapy are your best bet, because they understand the important difference between treating two people versus a couple.