Witnessing a partner’s pain and anger is uncomfortable and can induce shame. However painful it is though, being able to listen and validate your partner’s experience is crucial to helping her/him heal. Your injured partner needs to know that you won’t abandon him or her again. She needs you to know that this isn’t something that she can just “get over”.
Seeking support from a professional counselor can help you successfully navigating your partner’s grief (an your own) following the discovery of an infidelity. Working with a counselor can help you stay present with your partner as he or she heals. Rebuilding trust and developing an understanding of what your partner has experienced are the cornerstones of repairing relationships in the wake of the injury. In addition, counseling can help you explore the meaning of the infidelity. Not as a way to develop excuses for one’s actions, but as a way to understand what leads us to seek intimacy outside of our relationships rather than working with our partners to develop that intimacy within the relationship.