One of the most challenging issues we come across in our coaching sessions is infidelity. When cheating creeps into a relationship, it creates such a rift between the two partners that oftentimes, it can feel like it is going to be impossible to overcome.
I know that if an affair has trickled into your relationship, then you must be feeling a wide array of negative emotions. I also know how hard this is, because it is one of the most common challenges that we deal with every single day.
If you are familiar with our philosophy, then you know that we have dedicated our lives to giving you all the tips and tools you need to coach yourself through any hardship that your relationship faces. When you are facing infidelity, whether it is currently happening or you are trying to put the pieces together after you found out about it, there are many more solutions available to you than you might realize.
In today’s article, I am going to go over what to do when you learn that your person is developing an inappropriate relationship with someone else at work, and how to repair your relationship if cheating has occurred (whether it was emotional cheating or physical). Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Affairs at work signs: What to do when you see them
When it comes to affairs, there are two different types: emotional affairs and physical affairs. Contrary to popular belief, they can be equally devastating. I have spoken to so many people who felt that the pain they felt after experiencing a physical affair is so much more intense than what a person feels when they are the victim of an emotional affair, but the truth is that you cannot compare the two.
A physical betrayal is very hard for obvious reasons, but an emotional betrayal carries a different type of weight with it. When a person physically cheats on you, it is a very clear and concrete boundary that was crossed, but when a person emotionally cheats on you, it means that they are or were developing a much deeper connection with someone that isn’t you.
Physical infidelity, in some cases, can be chalked up to pure carnal desires whereas an emotional affair means that a person is sharing the deepest parts of themselves of their heart and soul with another. When this happens, putting the pieces back together can actually prove to be considerably harder. But NOT impossible!
I had a client not too long ago who reached out to me to ask about what to do in this situation. He had learned that his girlfriend of 4 years had become way too close with one of her colleagues, and he found their conversations on her phone. He was confiding in this other man about sexual things, but also about deeply personal matters. Personal matters that she didn’t really even talk about with her boyfriend, my client. So he was lost and had no idea what to do.
So I told my client what I am going to tell you, as well. When this happens, the first thing you need to do is to take a step back and analyze the situation. What is it specifically that made your partner feel the need to connect to someone else outside of your relationship? Where is this need to connect emotionally with someone else coming from?
In many cases, there is a sense of neglect that creeps in on either one or both sides of the relationship. In other words, were you or your partner starting to inadvertently neglect each other’s emotional and physical needs? And I’m not just talking about sex. In my experience as a love and relationship coach, many people stray outside of their relationships because they don’t feel heard, understood, or cherished.
My reason for telling you this is not to make you feel guilty; it’s to give you all the elements to take into consideration so that we can pinpoint the ideal solutions.
In the case of my client, we dove deep into the dynamic of their relationship to pinpoint where the disconnect was coming from. In the majority of cases when cheating happens, it is the symptom of a deeper problem. In this case, my client came to the realization that he had become so busy with his new job that there wasn’t much time left for their relationship at all. His girlfriend had tried to come to him to talk about how certain aspects of their relationship weren’t working, but he always brushed it off and never felt like talking about it with her.
Unfortunately, she turned to someone else and became very close to him. When this happened, it resulted in a full blown work affair and my client was devastated.
Another common reason that a person is cheated on is because they lose themselves in other things going on in their lives. As we saw with my client above, it is very common for a person to get so caught up with work that their partner barely recognizes them anymore. In other cases, there are so many things happening in a person’s life that they just don’t even think to connect with their partner, and every single person needs to feel cherished. If they don’t feel special to their partner, it becomes dangerously easy to slip into the temptation of seeking connection elsewhere.
Of course, we also have cases in which the person who cheats has a history of doing this and is actually just a narcissist. If you know in your heart of hearts that your partner has a tendency to cheat, then I honest encourage you to turn the page. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s important to keep your eyes open and be honest with yourself if you know that this is a recurring “mistake” that your partner makes.
Work affairs: how to repair the damage in your relationship
When you find out about your significant other having a work affair, or any time of affair really, I know that it feels like your world is shattered. Trust is something that takes a long time to develop, and it is something that can be broken in a blink of an eye. When you find out that the person you love has been cheating on you, it feels like you’ll never be able to trust them again. I know, I get it, but after successfully coaching tens of thousands of couples who have gone through the same exact thing, I can confidently tell you that it IS possible to heal your relationship.
In fact, one of the wildest things about an affair is that it can be an incredible blessing in disguise.
I know, you may have laughed at loud when you read that sentence, but trust me, it’s true. You see, sometimes a couple needs an awful electroshock in order for them to wake up and get things back on track in a new way. in my coaching sessions, the most successful cases are when the two people in the relationship use a shock like this to shine a huge flashlight on what wasn’t working in their relationship. It also serves as a wakeup call when two people realize that they’re about to lose each other if things don’t change.
If you’re reading this article on how to make your relationship survive a work affair, it shows me that you’re not willing to give up, and that’s the key to success here.
So, how do you bounce back after cheating occurred in your relationship?
First things first, it will be crucial that your partner stops engaging with the person they had an affair with. When it so happens that that person is a colleague, this can be tricky, but in this case, all interaction must be kept purely professional. No talking outside of the workplace, so seeing each other outside of the workplace…
Communication with the other person really, truly does need to be cut. This is imperative. It is also something that will show you, as at the victim of the work affair, to start rebuilding your trust in your significant other again. When this begins to happen, the two of you can start to operate as a team to find solutions to the problems that your relationship was facing. One of the things I tell my clients in these types of situations is that it’s not you versus the other person. It’s the two of you versus the problem!
Each relationship is unique, so I highly recommend reaching out to me or a member of my team for one on one guidance. That way, we can ask you specific questions about your relationship that will help us to properly analyze what went wrong and what solutions would be the best for you. I also encourage you to read this in depth article on how to fix your relationship after cheating because it is a goldmine of useful information.
Repairing the damage after a work affair
At the end of the day, it all boils down to taking a good look at your relationship and what specifically lead to the affair. If you can zero in on what was missing, then you know exactly what you need to start working on right away. And again, the two of you need to work as a team. One person alone is not going to be able to heal the entire relationship.
This is going to require time, patience, perseverance and motivation… from both of you!
Make sure that you’re able to talk to each other candidly about your needs. If you don’t, it will make this process much harder than it already is. As always we are here to guide you from A to Z so please don’t hesitate to reach out. To work with us, just click here.
As this article comes to an end, remember what I said about this being a blessing in disguise. A painful, challenging, and surprising blessing in disguise, but a blessing nonetheless! Use this as an opportunity to set out on a new path with some valuable lessons that will help to set you up for long term success in this relationship.
I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love.
Your coach when you are dealing with work affairs