Affair Recovery 101

Affair Recovery 101.  You might not know this, but affair recovery isn’t just saying, “Honey, I swear I’ll never do it again.” Or “I’ll do whatever it takes to make this up to you.”  Then do nothing behaviorally afterward where you demonstrate an adjustment that backs up that statement.  As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, whether it be the male or female I hear those two statements each and every time a couple enters into the process.

 Affair Recovery 101

Affair Recovery 101. What Affair Recovery is not about for the Affair Partner, (the person who had the affair) is making excuses why they stepped out of their primary relationship.  Blaming the Hurt Partner because they lacked whatever the Affair Partner needed is not helpful in moving forward.  Nor is the Hurt Partner to place all the blame on the Affair Partner as each partner needs to take ownership of their part in this problem.  Affairs are typically symptoms of other problems in the relationship.  There are many reasons why people cheat and engage in affairs.  What is essential to Affair Recovery is both the Affair Partner and the Hurt Partner taking responsibility for their behavior in the demise of their relationship.  A collaborative approach by both partners is needed in ownership of the relationship.

Recovering from infidelity involves the willingness of unfaithful partners to demonstrate sincere regret and remorse.  Just talking about making changes while actually not following through implementing the acquired tools can’t get you there.  Talking to friends and relatives can be detrimental to the process and can even make things worse because if a reconciliation is to occur your circle of people has privy to information that may affect their objectivity with your newly developed relationship.

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, there are three types of outcomes a couple can receive through the Affair Recovery process.

1. They can relive their trauma and bitterness over and over again never recovering only to continue torturing each other.  Hoping to get better while never acquiring tools to do just that.

2. Revert to the status of life before the affair.  Where both are either lonely, angry, shutdown, disconnected, etc. and either continue to think about cheating, live a life of deprivation of emotional and physical connection, or secretly continuing to cheat.


3. Have the affair become a transformational experience and catalyst for renewal and change for moving forward and develop a new relationship where both can receive what is needed and wanted to feel happy and content.

The single best indicator of whether a relationship can survive infidelity is how much empathy the Affair Partner shows for the pain they have caused the Hurt Partner.  Affair recovery is possible with the gradual rebuilding of trust through actions, not promises, and allowing time to heal by being patient.  With acquiring the appropriate tools and implementing a learned process there is good prognosis for Affair Recovery

For additional information please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or go to my website:



Once A Cheater Always A Cheater

Once A Cheater Always A Cheater.  This statement isn’t always true.  Some women whose husbands are unfaithful tend to think so.  As a Marriage Counselor working with couples for over 25 years I believe some infidelities are isolated incidents.  Men cheat for a variety of reasons. Some are labeled as Philanderers.  These men chronically cheat on their wives and tend to have little guilt about their actions.  These types of men or women fall under the category also know as recreational (fun sport to win and not get caught), seasonal (summer is typically the time as the wife and kids tend to be away on vacation), and opportunistic (when an opportunity presents itself where he is assured he won’t get caught) cheaters.  If and when caught they show fake remorse and do what they have to do to make things better at home just so they can continue to cheat.

Mature Woman Looking At Man Talking Privately On Mobile Phone

Once A Cheater Always A Cheater

There’s the guy or gal who gets caught and claims he’ll never do it again.  But doesn’t think he needs counseling for Affair Recovery where he gains insight about his poor choices and learns new ways of behaving so he never repeats this betrayal to hurt his family again.

And then there’s the guy who was unfaithful due to whatever his issue was at the time and is remorseful and wants to do whatever it takes to repair the marriage.  The “whatever it takes” means more than just saying the words it means acquiring the tools to effectively communicate and implementing the process of Affair Recovery.  Easier said than done, right?  As a Marriage Counselor helping couples repair their marriages from the heartbreak of infidelity I hear statements like, “I will never cheat again,” “I know I will never do it again,” and “I have learned my lesson and will never cheat again.” Words are meaningless unless you observe true remorse through changed behavior.  If the Affair Partner (the betrayer) has the capability to articulate insight about why he did what he did and why there will be no likelihood of it happening again prognosis is good.   In addition, acquiring the necessary tools to demonstrate newfound insight through appropriate behavior will ensure trust is regained.

Upset young couple having problems with sex.

  • An unfaithful spouse does not blame their partner for driving them to cheat.
  • A cheater who feels little remorse for their actions isn’t likely to change.
  • A cheater who continues to defend his point of view/perspective is unlikely to move forward.
  • A cheater who continues to be defensive in general is protecting his feelings and not the feelings of the Hurt Partner (cheated on).
  • A cheater who gives little or no empathy cannot change.
  • A cheater who cannot articulate insight about why he believes he cheated and why it will never happen again is at high risk to cheat again.
  • A Hurt Partner who cannot successfully go through the process of Affair Recovery puts the relationship at high risk for similar circumstances.  The Hurt Partner has to be open-minded about the process.
  • Before a cheater can change they must work through their personal issues that drove them to stray.

As a Marriage Counselor working with Affair Recovery we can underestimate people’s ability to change. I have counseled many husbands who have cheated on their wives who are filled with guilt and shame who have realized they have made a grave mistake whether through a one night stand or a short or long term affair.  They are consumed with regrets wishing there was anything they could do to take back the hurt they’ve inflicted on their wives.  They have come to understand they are not so self-entitled in their judgment and come in looking for help in saving their marriages.

If you need help understanding why you have had an affair and need help repairing your relationship please call me at (858) 735-1139.




Facts About Infidelity

Facts About Infidelity.  As a Marriage Counselor I’ve been working with Couples for 25 years.  Some are married and some are not.  Some are happy others are not.  Just because you have a marriage certificate doesn’t mean your relationship is safe from the trials and tribulations of what it takes to make a relationship work.  According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, national surveys indicate that 15 percent of married women and 25 percent of married men have had extramarital affairs. The incidence is about 20 percent higher when emotional and sexual relationships without intercourse are included. There are many things that can negatively affect a relationship but none hits a person’s core as badly as Infidelity. Despite the devastation of infidelity and the faulty beliefs about extramarital affairs here are some interesting facts about cheating.

Illustration of white mens shirt with red kiss

Facts About Infidelity
  • Most couples don’t get divorce.
  • Infidelity is equal in gender, sexual orientation, social, economical class and culture and educational level.
  • Women are increasing within the statistics.
  • Infidelity (sexual) in women significantly increases the likelihood of spousal abuse and spousal homicide.
  • No relationship is immune from affairs.  Needs constant and ongoing honest communication and commitment to sexual exclusivity.
  • Most couples survive the crisis come out  of it stronger and more committed to their relationship.
  • Society says they support Monogamy but actually supports infidelity through  media, news, the movies and some role models.
  • Jealousy is biologically wired.

  • People who have affairs are unable to go beyond the “honeymoon stage” of the falling in love phase.
  • Narcissists are prone to infidelity.
  • Even though some people are happy in their marriage research shows they still have affairs.
  • Even though people are getting enough sex at home research shows they still have affairs.
  • After having children increases the likelihood of marital affairs.
  • AIDS did not reduce infidelity, people cheating reported using condoms with their partners.
  • Infidelity can be a lifelong hurt.

In Marriage Counseling I facilitate Affair Recovery through three phases; the crisis phase, the insight phase, and the vision phase.  There are steps included in each phase where couples talk about what happened and what is needed for moving forward.  Divorce is not the only options.  Through Affair Recovery we talk about the different options couples can discuss for their specific circumstances as each couple is different.

If you or someone you know needs more information about how to manage the hurt of infidelity and want information about the process of Affair Recovery please give me a call at (858) 735-1139.

If Your Husband Is Cheating

If Your Husband Is Cheating.  Do you think your husband is cheating? Facing this reality can be scary. Finding out your husband is cheating is one of the toughest things to go through in a marriage. If you’re uncertain and suspect your spouse may be having an affair the following are guidelines to help initiate dialogue with him to get the clarity you need to confirm If Your Husband Is Cheating:

If Your Husband Is Cheating

1.  Share your thoughts and feelings. Identify what you feel. Talk about your concerns.  Assert yourself by communicating in a calm and effective manner. Tell him how his behavior affects you.  Your anger is justified but express it appropriately without acting out so you feel better about yourself and keep your self-esteem in tact.

2.  Ask for honesty. No doubt this will be a difficult conversation. Give him the opportunity to be honest and say what he needs to say.  Tell him not to caretake your needs and say the truth as lying or continuing to lie is defeating the purpose of care taking your needs.

3.  Tell him what you are observing. Working overtime, excessive phone conversations, text, internet use, unaccountable hours etc.

4.  Provide any physical evidence of any cheating behavior. Text messages or emails from the other woman or credit card statements showing payments for flowers, lingerie or jewelry that were not for you, show this to him.

5.  Observe his reaction and demeanor. Expect him to be defensive and deny any of the allegations.

6.  Take appropriate measures for your personal self-care and well being. Set appropriate physical and emotional boundaries to keep yourself safe.  If there was any sexual interaction with another person getting tested for an STD is recommended as soon as possible.

7.  Talk to a Marriage Counselor or Couples Counselor.   A professional who specializes in Affair Recovery.  If you are both committed to do whatever is necessary to heal the wounds and create a happier, healthier union, it is possible to save a marriage after an affair.

No progress will be made if you and your husband don’t talk about what has happened.  Having a dialogue with your husband about his affair is an extremely difficult first step, but it is absolutely necessary to do this if he hasn’t come clean on his own.

You will have to consider the possibility that your husband may not want to end the affair. He may tell you that he is confused and doesn’t know who he wants to be with, or that he is leaving you for the other woman. If he can’t assure you that the affair is over, that he is sorry for the betrayal and committed to rebuilding the marriage and earning your trust back, you need to accept that the relationship is over. Begging him to stay with you may be your initial reaction out of fear and insecurity, but it is not a healthy place from which to repair your broken marriage.

Give yourself some time and space to process what has happened and what your husband has told you about the affair. If you have children and don’t want to disrupt their lives until it is absolutely necessary, ask your husband to sleep in another room. If you don’t have kids to consider, or you just can’t bear to be under the same roof with him, ask him to leave. He’s the guilty one, so he should be the one to go  and give you the space you need to work out whether you want to try to save the marriage. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to make a quick decision about the future of your relationship. What you choose to do will affect the rest of your life, happiness, and emotional and mental health.

Don’t blame yourself if your husband is cheating. Even if you may have contributed in some way to the deterioration of your relationship, you are not to blame for his act of betrayal. Decide whether you can move on from the betrayal. Consider what is right for your children, but put your own happiness and Sense of Self first.

Affair Recovery enables the person who had the affair to demonstrate more appropriate behavior toward the Hurt Partner and share insight as to why he made a bad decision.  The statement, “I’m sorry” isn’t Affair Recovery.  Behavioral  changes enables the Hurt Partner determine whether or not they want to stay with that partner long term.  

Divorce doesn’t necessarily have to be the result of an affair. The best indicator of an affair ever happening again is with transparency and the willingness of the Affair Partner to implement newfound behavior.

To schedule an appointment to repair your marriage/relationship contact me at (858) 735-1139.

What To Do After An Affair Is Discovered

What To Do After An Affair Is Discovered. You’ve just discovered your husband or wife is having an affair. You’re flush with a range of emotions and are feeling very vulnerable. You’re overwhelmed because you think your relationship – and life as you know it – is over. Couples can survive infidelity. The single best indicator for success is if the affair partner (cheater) is able to provide empathy to the hurt partner where they obtain insight into why this happened and articulate why it won’t happen again. At the same time, the hurt partner needs to manage the range of emotions appropriately as this process takes much time for healing.

As a Marriage Counselor specializing in Affair Recovery, I would urge you to slow down, breathe deeply, and not do anything impulsive. Acknowledge your feelings but don’t act on them.  Try to exercise appropriate behavior as you begin the recovery process.

girl holding a shirt with the imprint of lipstick.

What To Do After An Affair Is Discovered

As a Couples Counselor I provide these helpful steps to help you deal with the discovery of an affair:

    1. Normalize your emotions – You will be on an emotional roller coaster. Don’t ignore your feelings, don’t be in denial about the seriousness of the situation, and don’t exacerbate the situation by telling everyone that your husband (wife) is a lying, cheating, adulterer. Keep it private.
    2. Give each other space – Don’t get into each other’s face and start judging and criticizing. This will accomplish nothing and only produce more bad feelings. Give yourselves the gift of time away from each other to talk to a Couples Counselor; Affair Recovery Specialist, someone who can get you communicating productively and moving forward.
    3. Don’t rush into discussing explicit details – Wait until you get into Marriage Counseling before airing out the dirty laundry. A trained Marriage Counselor will guide you through this awkward and difficult process so that you can make emotionally intelligent decisions on the path for recovery.
    4. Tell only select and trusted people in your life –  Empathic support is vital to the healing process. Don’t isolate yourself. Good friends create and maintain the momentum needed to go through this difficult time.
    5. Seek professional help with a Marriage Counselor – Find a Marriage Counselor who specializes in Infidelity and Affair Recovery. They have the tools and the training you will need to survive and move forward.
    6. Your children see and hear more than you know. Remember, your children are under your protection. They suffer when you speak badly of the other parent, so don’t.
    7. Keep the faith – Your Marriage Counselor may be able to offer more choices than separation or divorce.

Dealing with infidelity can be excruciatingly painful. Focus on understanding where your best interests lie. As you consider your options, don’t wallow in self-pity; be compassionate toward yourself.

Some couples can overcome an affair by looking at the silver lining and make their relationship work, if not better, than ever before.

I specialize in Infidelity and Affair Recovery.  If you want more information about what to do when an affair is discovered, please call me at (858) 735-1139.