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Gottman Trust Revival Method for Dealing With Affairs

Why Did This Happen?

Affairs arise from emotional dismissiveness and emotional avoidance in relationships. These couples avoid expressing their true feelings to their partners in an attempt to avoid conflict. Over time these couples become very emotionally distant and feel very neglected in their relationship. It is this isolation and loneliness that primes them to make room for an attentive affair partner in their life . . . someone who will listen, give them compliments and laugh at their jokes.

There Are Many Types of Betrayals.

The word affair conjures up an image of a physical tryst, but that is not the only type of betrayal we are seeing these days. Emotional affairs, sexting, online or virtual romances can be equally, if not more, destructive to partnerships.

Is It Possible To Recover?

If your world has been shattered by the discovery that your partner is having an affair, you may be wondering if your relationship can survive this, or maybe even wondering if you should bother trying. The betrayed partner has a knife jammed in their heart, feeling the deep wounds of broken trust, blindsided by someone they thought they knew.

86% of Marriages are Saved!

The research states that 86% of marriages that go through an affair survive if the couple attends couples counseling, compared with only 56% if the couple gets no help. You do not have to go through this alone or without tools to repair the unfathomable damage. We gently support and guide both parties through this and help them understand the context of the affair.

We DO NOT minimize the damage, but we DO believe there is a way to navigate through it and rebuild trust and faithfulness again.

%

will marry their affair partner, and there is huge mistrust in the new marriage.

husbands and wives view "falling in love" as justification for having an affair

%

of women said they can't have sex without becoming emotionally involved

%

of marriages survive if they attend couples counseling after an affair

The discovery, or even the suspicion, that your partner is having an affair can feel like the end of the world. If you are in this position, you must be wondering if your relationship can survive this, or maybe even wondering if you should bother trying.

You do not have to go through this alone or without tools to repair the unfathomable damage.  As a Certified Gottman Therapist, I have been trained to gently support and guide both parties through this and help them understand the context of the affair.  We do not minimize the damage, but we do believe there is a way to navigate through it and rebuild trust and faithfulness again.

Is It Possible To Recover From An Affair?

The research states that 86% of marriages that go through an affair survive if they attend couples counseling, compared to only 56% that do not get any help.

The word affair conjures up an image of a physical tryst, but that is not the only type of betrayal we are seeing these days.  Emotional affairs, sexting, online or virtual romances can be equally, if not more, destructive to partnerships.

Most think that infidelity stems from availability . . . . an opportunity arises for a spouse on an overnight business trip, or for one who meets with a particularly flirtatious personal trainer.  But that is not generally how the path to a cheating heart is traveled.

Affairs arise from emotional dismissiveness and emotional avoidance in relationships.  These couples avoid expressing their true feelings to their partners in an attempt to avoid conflict. Over time these couples become very emotionally distant and feel very neglected in their relationship.  It is this isolation and loneliness that primes them to make room for an attentive affair partner in their life . . . someone who will listen, give them compliments and laugh at their jokes.  Eventually, this leads to making negative comparisons about their partner  – and then permission to stray.

Some Facts About Affairs:

  • In the majority of cases, the spouse does not know about the affair.
  • Only 10% will marry their affair partner and then there is huge mistrust when married. If you leave someone and expect to have a long-term relationship with the partner in the affair, the chances of that actually happening are 1-2%.

  • For women, it only takes one liaison and they are more likely to divorce. For men, it takes a serious relationship to divorce.

  • There is a higher chance of divorce if the affair is combined-type involvement which equals sex and emotional connection. Wives have more of this type of affair.

  • Women are more likely to have affairs with old flames, friends, or neighbors.

  • Most affairs are happening at work. From 1990 to present, 50% of wives had affairs at work; between 1980-90, 38% had work affairs.

  • Internet Chats are a real problem — partners are more accessible and it fills the need of emotional connection late at night when one of the partners has gone to sleep.

  • As many women are having affairs as men.

  • Men are more likely than women to separate sex and love.
  • When unfaithful wives were younger than 31 years old with no kids, they were more likely to divorce after an affair.

  • 26% of men said that they can become sexually involved with an affair partner without becoming emotionally involved; only 3% of women said the same.

  • Two-thirds of husbands and wives view falling in love as a valid reason to have an affair.

  • Couples need to learn to distinguish “falling in love” and “being in love.”  “Mature strong love” is a committed long-term relationship, that may not always be exciting.

  • No one can compete with the excitement an affair, because it is secret, dangerous, and passionate.

  • National Geographic reports that the affairs trigger the same chemical reactions in the brain that feel like love.

  • There is little reality to an affair because both partners are not in their normal environments.

  • The most predictive emotional clue of infidelity is when a spouse is not saying “I love you” to the partner anymore.

  • Disclosure of infidelity by wives more frequently leads to divorce than when a husband discloses that he’s been having an affair.

  • Men who had mothers with infidelity issues exhibit pathological jealously and women with dads that were philanderers tended to stay with unfaithful husbands.

In Gottman Method Couples Therapy we follow the Gottmans’ Trust Revival Method for dealing with affairs.

This three-phase approach involves:

The Atonement Phase:  This phase involves full confession, expression of remorse and apology, verification that the affair is over and dealing with the betrayed partner’s PTSD.  The couple begins to explore what went wrong in the relationship and why it culminated in an affair, but the cheating partner must take 100% responsibility for the breach of trust.  The most difficult phase of therapy, this stage will last as long as it needs to last, and the cheating partner must have infinite patience while their partner deals with his their emotions.

The Attunement Phase:   In this phase, the couple begins rebuilding their relationship.  They recognize that their previous relationship wasn’t meeting their needs – and that it cannot and should not be resurrected in the same manner.  They need to build skill in developing deeper emotional bonds, better communication, conflict management skills, friendship, and romance.

The Attachment Phase:  In the final stage we work on forgiveness having real meaning, deepening their commitment, building a shared meaning for the future and re-establishing a strong foundation.

You don’t have to go through this alone.  The Gottman Institute’s research shows that 86% of marriages that go though an affair survive if they attend couples counseling compared to only 56% that do not get any help.

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