Couples Therapy

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3 common responses to an affair.

After the affair is known..

Once an affair is revealed, the non-offending spouse is left questioning everything.  Most will readily admit that they were not perfect and they knew of issues that needed to be worked on, but will seldom justify in their mind their spouse going outside the marriage.  Hurt, betrayal, and broken trust are just a few common obstacles that require navigation in the days, weeks and months to come.  

After helping several couples struggle through an affair situation, I have found that there are usually three predominate responses.

  1. The first is that they both want to work through the infidelity and are willing to take the necessary steps to begin that process.
  2. The second response is that one or both are not sure if they want to continue investing in the relationship and are seriously contemplating divorce.  
  3. The third possible response is that the one in the affair does not want to remain in the marriage and the non-offending spouse wants to desperately save the marriage.  

Whichever the response may be, one fact remains the same, you must focus individually. Realizing that you cannot force change in anyone else is vital in this process.  

One thing I encourage all my clients who are coming out of an affair situation to do is to:

“Get to a point that you are able to stand in front of a mirror and truly say that they have done everything in their power to make this marriage work.”  

No matter the outcome, if you can make that statement your healing process will be much easier. After all, that is what the process is, a healing process. It will still be a difficult road, but you’ll find peace in knowing that you did all you could.  If you can’t make that statement then your healing process will be more difficult.  Such consequences may not show up right away, but will eventually surface usually in the next relationship.  

If you find yourself working through an affair or suspect your spouse to be in one, please seek guidance.  Being able to have a trusted confidant while you’re navigating uncharted territory can offer much needed support and encouragement.  

Cornerstone Christian Counseling Services is proud to serve in the capacity that we do. We have recently added to our staff to ensure that all who call on our office are able to be seen in a timely manner.  We are excited about bringing even more hope and healing to those hurting in our community, blending our Christian beliefs with our professionalism.

You are not alone. Contact our office today. 918-392-4008

You can also schedule with a counselor through email.


Infidelity Truths - Cornerstone Christian Counseling - Couples Therapy

The Infidelity Trap

Infidelity Truths

Infidelity is one of the most devastating blows a marriage can experience.  The current statistics surrounding infidelity are alarming at best and downright frightening when you find yourself in the odds.  Some estimations say 30-60% of marriages will experience infidelity, with a few studies reaching as high as 80%.  Most all researchers agree that it’s very difficult to accurately assess how wide spread this problem is due to its secretive nature. From all accounts the estimations are conservative figures.  One thing remains certain, infidelity is one of the most difficult challenges that any marriage can experience.  

Most infidelity can be blamed on opportunity.  There is no place that opportunity knocks louder than the workplace.  Most affairs start out very innocent.  No one wakes up one morning and says, “I think I’ll get involved with someone from work.”   Spending large amounts of time around the same individual is how most inappropriate relationships begin.  At first, the thoughts are truly pure in nature, “wow, that person is so nice, they are easy to talk to.”  We first identify the relationship as a good friendship, nothing more.  As time progresses, the friendship deepens, opening the door to disclosing personal information.  Before long, one’s thoughts often drift towards wondering what the other person is doing and looking forward to seeing them.  As the infidelity trap deepens, people begin to find reasons why they need to have interaction with the other person.  

The relationship progresses and physical touch soon becomes desired.  It begins with a simple touching of the hand or shoulder, completely innocent or that’s what one tells themselves, all along fulfilling a dangerous desire.  Before long, the physical connection grows into something that neither person had set out to achieve.  What makes infidelity so powerful is that people experience feelings that they don’t know how to process.  Intellectually, they’ll know what they are doing is wrong but struggle understanding if it’s so wrong, why does it feel so right.  Never before have they experienced such an intense connection with another person, and become consumed with the fixation.  

While the infidelity trap deepens, soon thoughts of justification begin to rationalize destructive behaviors.  In effort to ease their conscience, they usually turn to blaming others for their choices. The onslaught of blaming comes with such force that reasoning and all rational thought is thrown out the window.  Destruction continues as two individuals experience consequences of such behavior. The days ahead are met with disbelief from one spouse and anger from the other.  


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Five simple phrases that will save your marriage!

Save your marriage by practicing using these phrases.

The following are five simple phrases that could very well save your marriage. They may seem small at first, but each have the power to move mountains within your marriage.  As you read, see which ones you are currently using and find ways to use the ones you are not.

1.  I’m sorry.
The power of these two words continually goes unnoticed in marriage. Many individuals have grown up in families not hearing “I’m sorry”. The perception is that to express any remorse for one’s actions is a weakness.  This could not be further from the truth. Having the ability to take ownership creates stability and makes forgiveness a natural response.

The secret to being able to tap into this great healing agent, of “I’m sorry” lies in the ability to look at oneself. Many today are simply too insecure to be real. Instead of taking ownership of mistakes, they consistently push blame onto their spouse. The growing rate of adult children is astonishing. Remember, you’re not four; it is okay to admit you’re not perfect. Everybody else knows it, especially your spouse, it will be okay. Your spouse will love you more for stepping up and taking ownership.

2. I love you.
You would think this one would be obvious; however, it’s not commonplace among marriages today. For many, this one is very difficult. Many individuals never heard these words while growing up so for them to pass them on is a challenge, to say the least. I’ve often asked people how to give something that they have never received. Though that answer is multi-faceted, I do believe one way to heal past hurts is to model and display what you should have received. Your own emotions may not all be there at first, and that’s okay, but with time and consistency, they will catch up. 

Knowing that you’re loved is a very powerful thing. Many men have done some very crazy things because of that knowledge. Love is truly one of the most powerful emotions we have and most don’t tap into that emotion like they should. Make sure your spouse knows you love them. Be intentional and tell them. They’ll never get tired of hearing it.

3. I need….
Many struggle with effectively communicating what they need.  The alternative is to keep your needs to yourself and secretly build resentments. Remember, you are responsible for how you communicate your needs. They need to be shared with love and respect towards your spouse.  The first step in doing so is to understand that you’re worthy to not just share your needs but to have those needs. Giving yourself permission to share your needs can empower you within the marriage to have a voice. A true partnership takes two. If one does not feel safe or valued to share what they need, it’s not much of a marriage.

4. How can I help?
These four simple words can truly lift a thousand pounds from your spouse. The worst feeling to have within a relationship is the feeling that you’re doing all the work. This phrase can express your desire to shoulder the load with your spouse, creating a true partnership in the marriage.  Imagine what it’s like when your spouse asks you if you need them to do anything for you today. You automatically see your spouse more favorably and you’ll notice your own heart softening to meet their needs. The best marriages are those who are great friends, working and supporting each other. Marriage is not a competition, work through your own insecurities and offer a helping hand.   

This phrase also forces you to realize that it’s not all about you.  Selfishness seems to be permeating most every aspect of our society and marriages have certainly not escaped. Marriage is not all about you. Your spouse is not here to serve you or make you complete.  It’s a mutual relationship of two people committed to doing life together.  One is not greater than the other, but two halves making a complete whole. 

5. I want you.
The difference between “want” and “need” are ginormous when examining a marriage. “Need” tends to create an unhealthy dynamic between couples; one where you become so dependent on each other that it passes through healthiness and heads straight for co-dependence. If you think of the letter “A”, this style of marriage create total reliance on the other person for you own sense of stability. What happens if one falls?  The other is sure to follow.  The “need” dynamic fosters blame and unrealistic expectations that no one can bear.

The “want” relationship takes on the shape of the letter “H”.  This relationship consists of two strong independent people who choose to connect themselves with another.  They view their marriage as a joint partnership where both bring things to bless the whole. If one should fall, the other is there to help pick up. Expectations are realistic, built upon mutual trust and security to examine self rather than blaming your spouse. Tell your spouse that you “want” them. They will feel valued and wanted rather than feeling they 

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