Once you have identified that you are in an emotional affair or you have been caught in an emotional affair, there is a specific reconstruction process to follow to heal your relationship. These are the first 5 things to do once the initial disclosure has come out:
1. Seek IMMEDIATE help from a profession. The longer you wait the harder the healing process is. Don't expect that you and your partner can navigate your own way through this. You are too emotionally involved to stay focused.
2. The person you had the emotional affair with needs to be gone. Completely cutoff contact.
3.Both of you must make a commitment to the long road of healing for it to work.
4.Full disclosure of things such as who it was with, what happened, when, how long, where, and that it ended are important. No new details can come up after this point. Otherwise you will start back from square one.
5. Look at the causes that lead up to the affair.
Once these first steps are taken then you can start the road to recovery. These steps all happen simultaneously, and must continue over a significant period of time to be effective.
1. Rebuild safety in the relationship
2. Rebuild trust
3.Begin the forgiveness process
4. Manage triggers as they arise
This is a difficult yet powerful process to go though. Remember relationships can heal after and affair- there is HOPE!
Written by: Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.