Although many people think that only divorce is leaving deep scars on their children, infidelity also has a long-lasting impact on their children. When one of the parents cheats another, the child feels cheated as well.
They often feel betrayed and that can be a trigger that causes the children to experience regressive behaviour. This means that the kids are probably going to take a step back in their intellectual, physical and emotional development. For example, after they become aware of infidelity they might regress and need to re-learn some skill they knew before, like tying shoelaces, riding a bike and others.
On the other side, the children may become aggressive and develop behavioural problems that can affect their relationship with their friends. It is also not unusual that their grades might take a dip, but there are long term negative effects that can occur as well. Because of that, it is very important to access this problem from the right angle, and one of the best ways to do so is visiting a therapist who can help parents and kids overcome the problems and regain healthy relationships within the family.
Which Approaches Are Used in Therapy After a Marriage Infidelity?
Since this problem affects the entire family, it is important to custom-tailor the counselling so it fits the needs of every member of that community, from children to husband and wife. The experienced therapist will use different approaches such as couples therapy, marital counselling, family therapy and others.
Thanks to the well-guided counselling, this problem will help husband and wife as well as their children to address a problem from a holistic perspective, rather than seeing infidelity as an individual problem. This means that the therapist will help families see the issue from different angles so they can strengthen the relationship as a whole instead of fixing parts of it.
This approach is focusing on couples and helps them improve their relationship. The main goal of couples therapy is to find the root of the problem and discuss what led to the affair. After that, the counsellor will help both partners realise how the infidelity affected each one of them.
Thanks to this, the couple will be able to realise when their relationship became dysfunctional and which role each partner had in the affair. After that, the therapist will work with the couple to help them rebuild the trust and respect in their relationship. The couple will also learn not only how to save their liaison, but also how to make it better.
In case that the therapist finds out, there were individual issues that are damaging the relationship he/she may suggest the individual counselling. The goal of this approach is to address and resolve the issues from the childhood or any other problems the person experienced in the past (painful divorce of the parents, child abuse, growing up in a dysfunctional family, etc.).
This will help the individual to work through all the troubling emotions linked to past traumas, so he or she can finally focus on resolving the issues related to their marriage. Since the partner or the child is alone with the therapist during the individual session, he/she will be able to speak freely about what makes them happy and what concerns them regarding the relationship within their family. Thanks to that, the therapist will be able to address how each partner and child feels and create appropriate strategies to get them back on track.
Marriage and Family Counselling
When the couple is married, the therapist may take the approach of a marriage and family therapist. If this is the case, the therapist will help both partners as well as their children to explain what happened before, during and after the affair.
Each one of them will have a chance to speak in a non-judgmental environment, knowing that there is no risk that another member of their family will interrupt them. The goal of this type of therapy is to help both partners and the children to be completely honest with each other, so the infidelity will not happen again.
If you have experienced how infidelity can affect children and the other members of your family, and you want to do something before everything falls apart, don’t hesitate to contact Ginny Lindsay the principal therapist at From 2 to 3.