Recovering from Infidelity is tough and it takes time.
So how do you cope in the uncertain period between discovery and trusting again? That’s why I have been asked many times to run an Infidelity Support Group.
Back in 2014, ten people helped launched the Infidelity Support Group London at The Welsey Hotel near Euston – the maximum size was going to be twelve, so participants didn’t feel intimidated by too many…
Some of the themes covered on the first session included:
- How to stop crying everyday
- Dealing with denial
- What to do about a partner who was too depressed, guilty or shameful to cope with rebuilding the marriage
Responding to the frustrations, I reflected that everybody was dealing with three sets of issues: how they felt (and the material that infidelity had thrown up for them) their partner’s personal issues (sometimes from his childhood) and couple issues.
I summed up the session.
Ultimately, you’re only responsible for your stuff and half of the relationship material. You can’t fix your partner because he’s got to sort out his own stuff. Of course, you can support but its up to him (or her) to do his (or her) work. Think of it like three boxes – mine, yours, ours. Where does each issue belong? If you’re stuck in a bad patch or you’re feeling overwhelmed, it could be your box is overstuffed.
I’d also like to pass on a wise saying from one of my participants, that she in turn got from Arianna Huffington:
Don’t push the river, let the river flow.
In the context of trying to ‘fix’ your partner, if you’re to solve his (or her) problems, he (or she) doesn’t need to get involved – and it’s easy to criticise your efforts from the bank. So try stepping back and letting the river flow. Here’s more advice from Arianna and ten other wise people.
What happened to the group?
The group met each week for almost a year but there were problems…
- It was difficult for members to attend every week.
- Lots of people wanted to join but getting to London on a regular basis was impossible.
- People loved the support but often felt alone during the rest of the week.
- There was no archive, so members couldn’t look back and recap ideas from a particularly helpful session.
- I couldn’t be there every week so other members of the team took the group but members wanted more continuity.
In the end, there were not enough people who came regularly enough to cover the costs. So I put the idea on the back burner.
Welcome to the new incarnation
The need for the group didn’t go away, if anything it has got stronger. The explosion of smart phones, more hook up sites and the ubiquity of social media has not only made it easier to cheat but also harder to give up contact with the affair partner – because there are so many ways of keeping in touch.
However, new technology also makes it easier to put together a support group online. Living near London is no longer a problem. You can live anywhere in the UK and still join. In fact, you don’t have to be in the UK at all. (Although live events happen in UK time, they are all recorded and stay online forever.)
You never miss anything and if you can’t sleep, there is a high chance that someone else in the world might be up and willing to chat to you online in the group.
Launching October 2018, the main aspects of the group are:
- Moderated discussions to the group is supportive
- Live events with Andrew each week (beyond when he goes on retreat normally around four weeks a year)
- Infidelity Survival Training Videos
- Carefully chosen articles from other infidelity experts around the world
- Opportunities to suggest topics to be discussed in live events or articles
Sounds like something that would interest you?