Delaware Marriage Therapist: How Couples Recover from an Emotional Affair

September 5, 2013 by

Contrary to what some may believe, my job as a Delaware marriage therapist isn’t just to help couples repair their relationship after one or both has committed adultery by sleeping with someone outside of their marriage. In fact, one problem I’ve been seeing more and more lately is a couple trying to recover after a partner has had an emotional affair.

Many partners don’t even immediately realize they are having this type of affair because they believe that it’s not cheating if they’re not having sex. However, cheating isn’t just about sex, it’s about betraying your partner’s trust. If you’ve been carrying on a flirtation over email or Facebook, or have been secretly meeting someone you’re attracted to for lunch, you may be doing just as much emotional damage to your partner as if you had committed adultery.

So how can partners restore trust and resolve relationship issues after an emotional affair?

The Key to Recovery is Open Communication, Says Delaware Marriage Therapist

Every couple will go through the recovery process after an emotional affair differently, but the most important thing to remember is that you must rebuild trust, and the best way to rebuild trust is to communicate openly. Both partners need to be honest with each other about how they’re feeling. Holding on to negative emotions and pretending everything is alright is only going to create more damaging relationship issues in the long run.

The partner who has cheated also needs to be honest and take responsibility for the affair, rather than making excuses for why they did what they did. Admitting to themselves and their partner that their behavior constituted infidelity is a major step towards recovery.

Not only do both partners need to talk to each other and be honest, they need to take turns really listening to one another. Listening shows that you care about your partner and want to do everything in your power to meet his or her needs, and actively listening is how we develop compassion for another person. Don’t interrupt your partner when they are talking – let them get everything they need to say off their chest before you take your turn.

Delaware Marriage Therapist: It Takes Time

Recovering from an emotional affair will take time for both partners, and sometimes it’s just too much to do on your own. If you and your partner are currently struggling to move on after an emotional affair, talk to a Delaware marriage therapist.


Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
1301 North Harrison Street, Suite 101
Wilmington, DE 19806
302-429-0195 Ext 1