Usually, the first treatment goal is restoring the marriage or couple friendship in order to decrease the loneliness each of you feels in the relationship. Years of distance and isolation may make trust a challenge.
Where open hostility and anger is a major problem, learning to recognize and manage intense emotion is a priority treatment issue. You will learn how to calm yourself and your partner before your emotions hijack you and ruin any chance of a productive discussion between you and your partner.
You may be tempted to stop treatment as soon as things get a bit better. This is not wise because at this point the work of weaving a long lasting relationship begins. As you learn to manage the overwhelming emotions that are part of recognizing your marriage is in trouble, you will begin to have success negotiating your way through situations that used to end in anger or isolation.
If a recent affair is the presenting issue, the first sessions focus almost exclusively on containing the chaos each of you feels. We help you deal with feelings of betrayal, ambivalence, curiosity and anger about the affair partner, as well as the conflicting and rapidly changing emotions you have about yourself and your partner. Sometimes the chaos after the discovery of infidelity requires scheduling more than one session a week for a time. More information about how Couples In Step works with affairs is here.