From listening to TV news and shows, reading the newspaper and magazines, you know how damaging the disclosure of an affair can be. Affairs not only affect the primary partners involved, but children, extended family, friends and workplace as well. Similar to an earthquake the “aftershocks” can be even more devastating than the initial shock.
One TV news station recently questioned “whether affairs have become the new norm” in our society!”
In my counseling practice I often get a call from wounded partner. I sometimes get that call from the offending partner. But in either case the couple and family are in a crisis and often feel they do not know where to start.
An affair is discovered...
Helen found out about Wally’s affair when she found a dinner and hotel receipt in his coat pocket. Helen was devastated and confronted Wally that evening after he came home from work. Wally at first denied the extent of the affair, but later confessed to the entire affair. Wally moved in with a friend after Helen insisted he move out. Helen felt betrayed, hurt and angry. She felt herself becoming more anxious, depressed as her self esteem dropped daily. She refused to talk with Wally for several days as she decided what she was going to do. Wally was scared, made some attempts to contact Helen, but respected her request for distance and space right now. Wally and Helen have been married for eight years. Wally and Helen have two children, ages 5 and 3.
Air the dirt of an affair at a counseling session
The first session at the counselor’s office was very emotional. Helen’s emotional pain was expressed in crying and telling Wally how hurt and angry she was. Helen needed information about the affair, whether she knew the other woman, when it started, why it started and all the other details about how often they met and the extent of the affair. Wally did his best to reveal many of the intimate details about his very private and secret encounter that lasted for several months. Helen questioned whether he was actually telling the truth or editing details for her benefit as well as to protect himself.
Read on to find out how Helen and Wally get past the affair.