The Mighty Logo

My Partner Cheated On Me — Does Marriage Counseling Work?

So you found out your partner cheated on you and you’re devastated. You don’t know what to do, and you want to save your marriage. Maybe you’ve never been to therapy before but you’re desperate to fix what’s broken. Perhaps you’re afraid to confront what happened; you don’t know if you’re going to break down in a counseling session. It can be embarrassing to lose control, cry, get angry or shut down because you don’t know how to deal with the affair. That’s why a marriage counselor can help you work through those harsh feelings. But, maybe you’re not convinced, and wondering if marriage counseling works? Well, let’s find out.

Emotional affairs are still cheating

First, let’s be clear. Whether your partner is cheating on you by having intimate relations with somebody on the side or they have an emotional affair which doesn’t consist of physical infidelity, that is still cheating. Many people have online affairs through Facebook or other websites. They are unsatisfied with their marriage and seek emotional validation from outside sources. Let’s say that your wife cheated on you by having an intimate relationship with someone else, and you found out she was having an emotional affair. You have the right to be angry or sad. Your feelings are real and now it’s time to deal with them.

Your marriage was a lie

When your partner cheats on you, it’s heartbreaking. If they were unfaithful and you found yourself in a situation in which you were blindsided, that’s an awful thing to discover. Maybe you thought your relationship was stable. If you didn’t see it coming, that is one of the worst parts of this situation. There’s something awful about feeling like you thought your relationship was one way and yet it was an illusion. Your partner lied to you, and it’s understandable that you’re upset. You need to make a move. What do you do next?

Seek help

You might be tempted to sever the relationship once you find out that your partner cheated on you, but that isn’t necessarily the solution. If you want to save your relationship, marriage counseling can help. You might be reluctant to try it and think there’s no hope for your marriage, but you don’t know until you give it a shot. It is possible to forgive someone for cheating and for both of you to heal. You may have trust issues with your partner after they cheated on you, but it’s not necessarily out of the question to forgive her. The foundation of a relationship is trust. If your partner violates that trust, then it’s broken, but it may not be irreparable. You can work on building back that trust in marriage counseling.

Healthy separation

Sometimes even with counseling, marriages ends. People separate and eventually divorce. That doesn’t mean the counseling failed, it means that it worked to help you find the best solution for both of you. If anything it’s healthier to separate with the guidance of a licensed professional, rather than trying to do it on your own. When relationships are toxic, but the two people can’t seem to get away from each other, a mental health professional can help mediate that problem especially if there are children involved. You don’t have to do this by yourself. You can work through the trauma of infidelity with a marriage counselor.

Online or offline — marriage counseling works

Why stay in an unhappy marriage when you can help yourself and your partner move on peacefully? Whether you work with a mental health provider in your local area or find a marriage counselor online, you can either repair your relationship or find a healthy way to move forward. Sometimes people can work through their problems without a counselor, and sometimes you need to see someone to help you heal and move forward. There’s no shame in trying marriage counseling. You might be surprised at how much it can improve your life and potentially save your relationship.

Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home