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Monday, November 26, 2012

What Would You Do if Your Spouse Had an Affair?

We often think we know exactly what we would do under certain pivotal circumstances in our lives.  For instance, we might have strong feelings about finding out that a spouse was having a year long secret affair. But in an article by Judy Wachs in yesterday's New York Times' Modern Love column, NY Times - November 25, 2012: Modern Love: After the Affair, Ms. Wachs illustrates how we can't always be so sure how we'd respond to infidelity.

What Would You Do If Your Spouse Had an Affair?
Most People Have Strong Feelings About Infidelity
When it comes to infidelity, most people have strong feelings about whether they would stay or go upon finding out about a spouse's secret affair.  But is it really so black and white?

Ms. Wachs makes a compelling argument for a more nuanced approach with reflection and compassion.  She sees the "grey," as opposed to black-and-white thinking, and she surprises herself in the process.

Many individuals and couples have come to me about infidelity in their relationships.  There are no easy answers when there has been this type of breach in a relationship.  Each situation is unique.  Before you face this situation, you might think you know how you would respond.  But often, when actually faced with infidelity in a relationship, many people surprise themselves with their responses to the actual situation.

What Would You Do If Your Spouse Had an Affair?

Before actually being faced with infidelity in a relationship, many people feel sure that they would leave their spouses or partners.  But these same people, when faced with the news of a secret affair that their spouses were involved in, often take a wider view of the situation and whether they want to give up the relationship, especially if it has been a longstanding relationship, and they work on trying to rebuild trust again.

When It Comes to Infidelity, No One Can Tell You What's Right For Your Relationship
Of course, when it's your relationship, no one can tell you what's right for you and your spouse, and many individuals and couples who find themselves at an impasse, when faced with infidelity, seek out professional help from a licensed mental health professional with related experience.

It can be very helpful during this crisis in your relationship to help you through this difficult process.  Even if you decide to end the relationship, rather than ending it in a way that dishonors what might have been good about the relationship, you can do it by both being your best selves.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with adult individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or send me an email:

photo credit: mod as hell via photopin cc

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