2. GETTING THE STORY
 

FTD PREPARATION

For the unfaithful partner, preparing a Formal Therapeutic Disclosure (FTD) can feel both tremendously challenging and healing. You will:

 

  • have an opportunity to take a broader perspective on your behaviors and your life,
     

  • overcome defensiveness, shame, embarrassment and a host of other feelings,
     

  • come face-to-face with all that you have done, and
     

  • learn how to share it in a way that make sense.

We strongly recommend that you do not try to do this in isolation. It is just too hard without support and a kind but challenging person to help.

You generally have two choices;

 

  • get your own individual therapist (we can provide one), or
     

  • schedule extra sessions with your couples therapist from the Affair Recovery Therapy Center.

BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUAL THERAPIST

The benefits of using a separate individual therapist for FTD preparation are:
 

  • The unfaithful partner can be completely honest with the individual therapist about everything, even details the betrayed partner may not need to know. The unfaithful party does not have to worry about the information leaking back to the betrayed partner through the couples therapist. The individual therapist can guide the partner on what is truly important to include in the disclosure.
     

  • The unfaithful partner can feel fully supported by the individual therapist whereas the couples therapist is often splitting support between both partners. For example, when the couples therapist validates the anger of the betrayed partner, the unfaithful partner can feel like the betrayed partner and couples therapist are ganging up on him/her.

 

  • Extra-time must be spent with just the unfaithful partner to develop the FTD. If this is done by the couples therapist, it can unbalance the couples work. If done by the individual therapist, the couples work remains balanced.
     

  • When the FTD is presented to the betrayed partner, it is easier for the couples therapist to remain neutral as he/she has not been involved in the FTD development.
     

BENEFITS OF COUPLES THERAPIST

The benefits of using your couples therapist to develop the FTD are:
 

  • The couples therapist gets a deeper understanding of the background of the betrayed partner. This may help in the couples work.
     

  • This approach can save money, at least in the short term, as there is one less person to get up to speed on the background.

OUR RECOMMENDATION

Our general recommendation is for the unfaithful partner to select a qualified individual therapist to help you prepare the FTD and then present the FTD to the betrayed partner in the presence of the couples therapist. Yet, the couple should weigh the factors above and agree on which course is best for you. It is always best if you decide.

 

Lastly, in some cases even though the couple may ask for the couples therapist to do the prep work, your couples therapist reserves the right to decline doing individual FTD prep work if he or she strongly believe it would be disruptive to the couples process.