How to Deal with Affairs, Help for Therapists and Clients

How to Deal with Affairs, Help for Therapists and Clients

Peggy Vaughan became an expert on how to deal with affairs after she learned that her husband had been unfaithful multiple times.  The two of them were able to deal honestly with the emotional impact of the affairs and they went on to have a stable and satisfying marriage.  Peggy spent years learning  a great deal about the impact of affairs and how to recover.  Before her death in 2012 she set up a website to give away her books and articles for free.  The website has been maintained by a friend of hers and it is a wonderful resource for anyone who is dealing with an affair.

Here is a link to the website:

Here is a link to a 55 minute interview with Peggy Vaughan:

One of the books on her website is titled: Help for Therapists and their Clients, Report of survey on Extramarital Affairs.

Here is a link for the book:

The book is based on survey results from 1,083 people who had to deal with the consequences of an affair.  Peggy asked these people how therapists could be more effective in dealing with affairs.  Here are the main points of advice for therapists:

  1. Deal directly with the affair, not just ordinary marriage counseling.
  2. Deal with the emotional impact of the affair.
  3. Don’t “blame” the affair on the hurt spouse.
  4. Be supportive of those couples who want to try to save the marriage.
  5. Don’t keep secrets or too quickly believe lies of the one who had an affair.
  6. See both parties together.
  7. Be aware of the impact of your gender/beliefs/experience on therapy.
  8. Don’t expect the hurt party to forget the affair or “set it aside and go on.”
  9. Help the clients connect with others who have “been there.”
  10. Be well-informed about affairs and provide good information.
  11. Encourage honest communication and answering all questions.

Are  you are working with a therapist now because of an affair?  If so, have a look at Peggy’s resources.  Perhaps Peggy’s book would be a resource that you could share with your therapist to help make sure that your therapy stays on track.  As I mentioned the rest of her website is also full of valuable insights and advice.

An affair can cause terrible heartache but it is possible, with time and the right kind of effort, to recover and move forward with your life – whether you stay together or decide to separate.  I wish the best for you and I hope that Peggy Vaughan’s website resources can be helpful for you.