When you discover that you are not “the only one” to your partner, you may experience your world collapsing. Although the common characteristics are high distress with strong emotional feelings such as anger, rage, hurt, sadness, helplessness etc but not everyone responds the same way. Deep inside, you may feel betrayed, abandoned and that a breach of trust has occurred in the relationship. You may also have real doubts about your partner and may ask questions like: “How can I ever trust you again?", "Can I ever count on you in the future?", "Am I still matter to you?”.
An Attachment Injury is defined as a violation of trust resulting from a betrayal or from abandonment at a moment of intense need or vulnerability. It is a wound that violates the basic assumptions of attachment relationships. Infidelity Counselling provides healing to the attachment injuries.
If you were the offending partner, it doesn’t mean you are having a good time when you see the pain of your spouse. It hurts you as well. While dealing with your own guilt and shame, you may feel helpless.
Infidelity certainly crushes marriages and relationships. Yet it is not a death sentence. I have counselled many couples who have recovered and been healed from different types of infidelity, and now they have a better relationship than before with the same partner.
Of course, the process of recovery is never easy. After the trust has been broken, the recovery you need is more than just determination, willingness, commitment, and patience but more importantly, you need a therapist who is trained and experienced in providing Infidelity Counselling and is able to provide you with the safety, support, neutrality and someone who is non-judgemental.
Imagine you and your spouse have together put in much effort to build your own dream house, a place that is supposed to be safe and protected. One day, while you were in a part of the house, it caught fire. You were burnt and suffered painful injuries. For a long period of time, you avoided that part of the house because it reminded you of the pain of the injuries. Sometimes, you still see images of that horrible and destructive fire burning your lovely house. You can't control the images which keep flashing back in your mind.
1. Demolish it completely - Divorce
2. Stay but make no effort to repair the house - Status Quo
3. REPAIR the burnt part and REBUILD the whole house (the best option)
There are TWO important different aspects to consider here:
1. Someone in the house is injured and suffering!
The most important task here is to take care of the injured person. The one who caused the fire needs to take care of the injured person.
2. Repairing and Rebuilding the house!
The house is no longer the same - the fire left behind scars and damages. The couple would need to rebuild their dream home together - find out what things led to the fire starting. And start to repair and redesign what they want the new house to look like.
Healing from Attachment Injuries
The in-depth processing of the injury itself, the structuring of specific responsive dialogues where the pain is shared, an emotionally engaged and apology, and reparative comfort are offered acts as an antidote to the original injury.
Source: Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43(2), 213-226 (April 2017)
My wife and I have been seeing each other for about 10 years and we decided to tie the knot 5 years ago. Unfortunately, I got into an extramarital affair with an office colleague and started to stray from my marriage, until my wife eventually found out about it.
Hoping to salvage the marriage, we approached Winny for marriage counselling and have since attended over 10 sessions with her. Winny was patient and understanding to hearing both sides of our story and took an unbiased stance towards breaking down the problems in our relationship.
Through the coaching and assignments, we were able to understand our other half better and identified the root cause to the problem in our relationship – that is we are a conflict avoidant couple and that resulted in a build-up frustration over the years.
Towards the end of the counselling, Winny gave some valuable advice on how to rebuild the trust in our relationship. Thanks to Winny, my wife and I are now more vocal and could engage with each other on a much more intimate level. We also learned that marriage is fragile and never to take each other for granted. We will not hesitate to recommend Winny to any other couple in need of help!
(By JT and SC)
Our marriage hit rock bottom struggling with infidelity, gambling debts and suicides. Just as I was about to give up in this marriage, I approached Winny. I had wanted to seek counselling for myself. Little did I expect that Winny ask to see my spouse too.
She put us on individual counselling sessions for a period of time. When situations were stable and we were more ready, she brought us together into couple counselling sessions.
Winny has journeyed with us through these most difficult times of our lives. She even met up our eldest boy, who was quite affected by us, to counsel him. She has the heart to want to help and make things better for the whole family.
Sometimes there were things in my head that I could not seem to rationalize. She can always help me to straighten my thoughts. It’s very easy to talk to her as I find that she grasps the situations fast and right.
Through the couple counselling sessions, Winny helped us to see the wrong dynamics we had in our marriage in the past. Our marriage took a turn for the better.
We are in a new marriage with the same partner.
We can communicate with each other better and
our children are happy.
We are very thankful to Winny, for believing in us and helping us to find healing and restoration when our marriage seems shattered beyond repair.
My life went into the dark when I was engaged in an extramarital affair. I subjected myself in lies, heavy gambling, neglecting work and even suicide threats. Most importantly I put my wife and family through an enduring and devastating time.
My marriage was on the brink of an end,
until Winny helped us to think rationally and understand the roots of our issues.
I had never been an open-minded or vocal person,
often unwilling to share. In the sessions of individual counselling, Winny provided a safe environment for me to share and express my feelings. It helped me understood how important my wife and family are to me.
In the couple sessions, Winny provided us a safe platform to express and understand more about each other’s true feelings and intent behind our words and actions.
It helped to bring us to know we truly want our marriage to be. Winny had also been professional and patience with me throughout the course of the counselling, not giving it up, even as I had repeatedly lied and failed.
She has kept and persisted with us throughout this counselling journey. My wife and I now had found the right dynamics in our marriage now, thanks to Winny. We are grateful to Winny in helping us heal, restore, open up and build our marriage.