Hi, I am looking for a counsellor. Specifically to work through infidelity in marriage.
What should I be looking for? I have read on here that Relate should be avoided. I have come across the terms Gottman method and Imago. Anyone have experience of either of these? Any recommendations on helpful methods (in your experience)?
Also do you think it's better to each have individual sessions first, or to go as a couple.
My OH was unfaithful, I discovered the incident by snooping 3 years ago but only got the full story nearly a year ago. He suggested counselling because I'm still struggling from time to time and feel that we have not dealt with it at all because we don't know how. I'm the one that's kind of researching it and putting it into action I guess.
What does 'struggling from time to time' look like? If you mean that you are depressed or you find it difficult to trust him then that would be consistent with having a) had to dig to find out about the affair in the first place and b) getting more of the story in dribs and drabs. Anyone who has successfully revived their relationship post-affair will tell you that full openness is essential and you don't seem to have had that. If you only get a bit more of the story every couple of years, what's to say there isn't more to reveal?
Was his suggestion of counselling made in a spirit of taking thing forward constructively together or was it more in the context of 'there's something wrong with you & you should be over this by now'...?
I suppose when I say I'm struggling I mean I still (obviously) feel very hurt, angry and betrayed. I'm not depressed. Most days I feel fine, but then sometimes I get all those emotions rushing back. Particularly anger.
No, the suggestion was to help move forward. There isn't really anything wrong with me, as I said I'm not depressed. We just thought it might help us deal with it better.
Do you (or anyone else out there) have experience of different methods and individual/paired counselling? What would you recommend?
Anger and rushes of emotion are quite normal in the face of betrayal and it takes a long time for those feelings to subside. I'm 20+ years on from a marriage that ended in an affair, rarely think about it, but am still capable of feeling incredibly annoyed that someone would treat me so shabbily.
Counselling can allow you to express your hurt and anger but it won't make you forget what happened.
No personal experience, but just to clarify that Relate is said to be avoided particularly when there is abuse in the relationship. People have reported that counsellors are not prepared to deal with it and don't recognise it.
In the case of infidelity, I'd think mixed counselling would be the best. You need to figure out for yourself what you want and figure out ways of dealing with what happened, but it may be useful to have a safe environment to talk about the infidelity as a couple. He may well benefit from individual counselling to figure out why he chose to cheat.
And actually, why did you only find out the full story two years after you found out about the incident? Did he lie to you for another 2 years? I don't think I'd get over that, actually. No wonder you are feeling angry.