I'd like to start by saying that I am very sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. Second, I have to be clear that as experts at JustAnswer.com we are not permitted to provide counseling or any type of formal assessment. What I can do is share some of my insight from having worked with many emotionally distressed couples and what I've learned about, studying evidence based marital therapy and the best relationship science:
1) First off, the basic needs to come first with our partner and feel emotionally safe and deeply connected are some of the most healthy and normal of relationship needs. A strong and emotionally healthy marriage is most often based on both partners having these needs heard and met reciprocally.
2) When there’s been emotional and or sexual infidelity, those basic relationship needs (“attachment needs”) to be loved, to feel deep trust and connection, can be damaged. According to the best available marital therapy research, these “emotional injuries” can be repaired. Even the most deeply distressed or conflicted couples can build or re-build a loving connection that was even stronger than before, even though many partner’s believe that it’s not possible.
In fact there is an evidence-based (science-proven) form of marital therapy called EFT or emotionally focused therapy for couples, that gets lasting results through teaching couples to communicate emotionally in a way that enables deep, precision emotional repair. In EFT one of the most important factors is creating a trusting and comfortable relationship between the therapist and both partners. EFT therapy prioritizes this positive trusting therapeutic relationship before moving into the emotional communication and repair process.
Sometimes when one or both partners have their attachment or love-needs frustrated, they can experience reactive fear, anger and/or sadness. EFT focuses couples to identify and express the emotional needs underneath the frustration or anger.
3) I am not an EFT therapist but I have referred several clients from my private practice, with only the best results. I would suggest that you and your partner explore and consider EFT therapy.
The founder of EFT Dr. Sue Johnston wrote a marital self-help book called “Hold me Tight” back in 2008. It’s easy to read and has questions for couples to ask themselves and talk about at the end of each chapter.
I recommend that both you and your partner read this book either together through a week’s worth of specially planned date nights with no distractions (an hour or so each) (or) Alternatively, you could take turns reading the book separately, as a way of getting on the same page in terms of this new way of effective couples communication. Like many couples, you may decide to follow up with attending EFT therapy in your area. If safety is an issue, you may want to read the book separately and/or wait to work with a trained therapist.
Here’s a find a therapist page and a brief outline of how EFT works and the EFT therapy research. If you do decide to attend EFT and you can’t find a therapist in your area. I would contact the head office in Ottawa Canada by phone or e-mail as there are many therapists being trained each year around the world and sometimes they don’t get listed on the find a therapist page :
What is EFT?: http://www.iceeft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47:what-is-eft&catid=34&Itemid=79
Therapy Research Summary:
Find a Therapist:
I sure hope you find my answer helpful. Please let me know what you think.