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infidelity extramarital affairs dealing coping with surviving spouses
DRB Alternatives, Inc.
Individual, Marital & Family Counseling & Mediation

Surviving Infidelity


Stories of extramarital affairs abound in popular novels, movies, even modern-day history books. Yet partners hurt by infidelity often feel alone, isolated by cultural barriers that forbid them from discussing their experience openly. With no one to talk to, hurt partners can feel overwhelmed with embarrassment, pain and anger.

Partners striving to survive infidelity, especially those who decide to stay in the relationship, need to reveal their "secret" to promote the healing process. Their feelings are not unklike those experienced upon a death. Trust in what was likely the most important relationship of their lives has died. Grief and recovery takes a life of it's own. Time and tolerance for vacillating emotions must exist before acceptance and resolution can occur.

Several factors complicate decisions about whether to continue or terminate a relationship broken by infidelity. Alcoholism, emotional or physical abuse, sexual addiction, financial instability, parental strengths and weaknesses, love, and religious commitments can affect one's choice. Clearly, the "surviving partner" faces a tough decision, but both partners have emotional issues to work through. If, indeed, the choice is "to stay," the couple must work diligently to restore and strengthen the relationship.

To discuss infidelity concerns or get information about Survivors of Infidelity support/therapy groups, individual or marital counseling, contact Donna R Bellafiore, MSW, LCSW, (561-685-3933).

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According to the article "Old Unfaithful" that appeared in the Chicago Tribune's DuPage Spotlight section on July 12, 1998, Donna Bellafiore speaks about the myriad of struggles women face in the aftermath of marital betrayal. Although the article was devoted to women's healing, readers should know that infidelity's anguish extends to men as well. Infidelity support groups for men will be forming to help them work through their pain. Men and women recovering from infidelity go through similar recovery stages and share a common need for support and marital counseling if they wish to rebuild their relationship. The ideal support group is one that is open to anyone suffering from the pain of betrayal.


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(561) 685-3933 or send e-mail to: lcsw@mindspring.com


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