An Affair in the Relationship

An Affair in the Relationship

When working with couples, one of the most common occurrences for seeking counseling is that an affair has happened. Counseling can offer the couple a way to recover from this event and seeking support from a neutral party can help both people feel understood and supported.

Repairing the relationship after an affair can take a bit of time. Although there is no set time limit, many couples can take a year or two to work through all the issues in the relationship. The length of time depends on you and your partner’s willingness to work, connect and restructure certain aspects of your lives. There is a lot of trauma associated with affairs and this also takes play in the length of time in counseling. It is important to know that the length of time does not indicate whether the relationship will succeed or not.

It is typically not the affair that will end the relationship but the factors that led to the affair. Communication, deception, connection, friendship, kindness, resentment and attachment to name a few items in a relationship that are usually brought up.

There are a number of affairs that can happen in a relationship. I am going to touch on the two major ones that I see in my office.

  1. Physical Affair. This is where one person meets with someone other than his or her partner and has physical contact. This can include hugging, snuggling, kissing, and intercourse.
  1. Emotional Affair. With the use of technology on the rise, emotional affairs are ever increasing. These affairs can take place without ever meeting face to face with the other person. Emotional affairs are done through intimate communication, sharing thoughts and feelings that you may or may not have shared with your partner. This can be via phone, Internet, chat rooms, Facebook and even dating sites. Details become increasingly intimate and the person is turning less to his or her partner and more to the new person.


Seeking why the affair happened is critical in the healing process of the relationship. It may be difficult at first and seem like it’s just rehashing the past, however, for the relationship to recover, both parties need to identify what was missing and needed in the relationship. Once healing begins and the journey to a healthier way of being with each other starts, couples can find that the new relationship is stronger, and that they feel more connected, loved, heard, and understood.


If you are struggling with your relationship, give us a call or email us to set up an appointment with a qualified couples counselor at 303-353-9226 or






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