What are some of the ways infidelity can impact a marriage? There are lots of ways that infidelity can impact a marriage. For one it usually means the spouse that's been cheated on turns into a kind of a detective that's always searching for more information or reasons why the infidelity happened in the first place. It's usually a coping mechanism to regain some kind of control over an uncontrollable situation. The spouse that's been cheated on needs to have their questions answered but in front of a therapist so the couple can process it together. The second part of it is the person who had the extra marital affair needs to be sorry for what they've done and be willing to work on it. They also need to promise to never to do it again and then both parties have to work on the relationship and putting themselves on each other first. The relationship has to be very different from their old relationship in order to survive and thrive.
What is one of the most effective methods for saving a marriage after infidelity?
A method I usually use save a marriage after an affair is called imago therapy. It's basically an effective way for a couple to communicate and that's called dialoguing. So what that looks like is that one person is a listener and one person is the speaker and the speaker talks about something for a couple minutes and the listeners job is to put themselves in the speaker's shoes and then in a repeat back what they've heard. They continue talking about the subject until they feel like they've been completely hurt and validated and then its the listeners turn to become the speaker. Dialogue makes sure that both people actually feel heard they get to express their emotions in a way that is safe and makes them feel more secure in the relationship. It begins to build a new foundation and encourages the couple to have more intimate conversations and not be scared that something bad is going to happen if they discuss their feelings. Dialoguing you allows couples to keep the conversation going until they finally communicated everything that they're feeling and thinking and so then they can kind of move on from a clean slate.
How can therapy help a couple move on after infidelity? I think a couple can move on after infidelity if both of them want to stay in the relationship or are willing to do the work. It definitely is going to take time and effort but ultimately it's up to the people involved in the relationship and the therapist is just there to facilitate healing and growth from the experience.