Couples Counseling with a Cheater- Yes or No?
anonymous Asks ...
My husband cheated on me. He is trying to patch things up and he wants me to agree to go to couples counseling with him. I feel like if I agree to do this with him it means I have agreed to forgive him and it is all about how we will get to reconciliation together. The thing is I am not sure if I want to or am able to forgive him. Should I go to this therapy before I even know what I want?
Cynthia Klatte Says ...
This must be a very difficult time for you. I can understand your hesitancy in making a commitment to counseling, when your husband has not kept his commitment to fidelity to the marriage. First of all, a commitment to counseling is not necessarily a commitment to staying in the marriage. It is agreeing to the process of attending and participating in the sessions to sort out your feelings about the marriage and whether or not both parties can "work it out". If you're unsure what you want or need to do, then counseling can help you achieve that. I think the bigger question right now might be, would that be best achieved in couples or in individual counseling, or maybe a combination of both? I'd suggest scheduling an appointment with a therapist individually to start to sort out your feelings and then make a decision about whether or not couples counseling makes sense for you. If you have an employer, find out if your benefits include an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), as often that includes a few sessions at no cost. If not, then call your insurance company for a referral, or if uninsured, your local social service agency. I wish you well.
Cynthia Klatte, LCSW, ACSW