Counselling to get over an affair

My friend Jane (not her real name) has had numerous extra marital affairs. Jane is critical of her husband, John (not his real name) but I see that she needs him deeply. When she meets new partners she speaks well of them, telling me she loves them. She stays with them for a while until the fear that her behaviour might be found out and her marriage to John come to an end as he discovers her affair. It is at these times that she appears to love John as she imagines a time without him in her life. It is more of a prescient mourning than a reality based unhappiness. It is at these times that she needs counselling to get over an affair.

However, through the affair, Jane is cheerful, dashing, feels sexy and manages to paint a picture of John to her new partner that at once makes him seem oppressive without making her seem weak.

She builds up a picture of John as a dominating, aggressive, self-serving man.

She intimidates the person with whom she is having an affair (I am aware and so is she that she does not respect or even like these partners, viewing them as duplicitous and dishonest) with images of John on the war path.

She is preparing the way, creating the exit, exonerating herself from day one!

The affair ends with promises of their future once she has divorced John.

The used and abused partner backs away full of…confusion, relief, fear and maybe sadness.

What’s going on here?

Let us drop moral judgements about Jane’s behaviour as this will get in the way of authentic understanding.

Also, maybe it’s easy to judge when you, yourself, have not been discovered.

Jane grew up around inconsistency and poor adult mental health and anger in her early years.

Her mother, depressed from childhood, was herself dependant on others to give her life meaning, was abandoned by her father, Jane’s father, and in a real sense, this fragile mother fell apart when Jane’s father left.

She was unable to contribute in any meaningful sense to her Jane’s spiritual or emotional development before she divorced her father.

The helplessness, fear and rejection she felt after they divorced created a perfect storm of negativity inside her and she poisoned Jane forever with expectations of fear, bitterness, weakness and doom around relationships.

Maybe Jane’s father felt the same, maybe he was unhappy and alone and maybe he married Jane’s mother because when he first met her he felt that for the first time he had met a kindred spirit and that he could make her better and happy…..but he jumped ship because he realised as the years went by that he still felt alone because he could never make Jane’s mum happy.

With these eyes Jane sees relationships.

She has no time and no eyes with which to “see” her husband authentically as she is too busy defending herself and preparing for the end.

Too afraid to be on her own and too confused to enjoy marriage.

What a shame, I truly hope she will find resolution for herself at some time in her life. I hope one day she will find out that she was exposed to one version of marriage and that there are many other versions out there that do not involve isolation. I hope Jane and John find honesty and safety and I hope they try counselling to get over an affair.

If you have found this blog speaks about some of the things you are living with and you would like to try counselling to get over an affair you might consider contacting me, we can talk about counselling and the other therapeutic options you have available to you.

Relationships outside of your primary relationship can bring physical, spiritual and emotional harm and danger, counselling to get over an affair can offer you place you need to recover.

From the New Forest to Bournemouth and Poole I have enabled young people, couples and families and individuals to understand what is happening for them and together we have created a better life.

When I work this week in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset as a counsellor, couple counsellor, teenage and adolescent counsellor, family counsellor, family therapist…Offering Family counselling and marriage guidance, marriage counselling, teenage counselling and adolescent counselling to individuals and couples with differing forms of anxiety and depression feeling anxious and depressed…I may use CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Attachment Theory, Mindfulness, Psychodrama, Person Centred Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Solution Focused Therapy, Integrative Therapy or Family Therapy or Attachment Theory…I am mindful to that counselling offers us new opportunities and possibilities for us to develop our knowledge, commitment and understanding of ourselves and each other.