Post Infidelity Traumatic Stress Disorder

The revelation that her husband has been having  an extramarital affair for past three years with one of his office colleagues came as a big traumatic shock to Shalini (name changed) and her two children.

She had been devastated, traumatized stressed and depressed .She felt as if someone had hit her with a big stone on her head. She felt dizzy as she could foresee a tough time ahead for her and her two children .Her heart sank. She could see her marriage of twenty years, falling apart at that instant.

Shalini and Amit (name changed ) have been married for twenty years .They have a son 11years and a daughter who had just completed her 18th birthday last week .So far they have had an acceptable level of understanding within the family, like any other middle class educated family. There have been occasional arguments and some fighting incidents between husband -wife or mother in -law and daughter in law, but none could have expected that one of them could be going astray in an age when it is often felt that marriage has withered all storms and it will be all smooth sailing from here. The kind of traumatic stress that had befallen all members of family after the revelation of extramarital affairs of the head of the family needs to be understood in the larger context here.

It has often been assumed that such an unfortunate situation affects the couple and it may not have much impact on other members of the family. But that is only a myth; in fact it leaves very deep scars on all members of the affected family.

The traumatic shock of such revelation of infidelity by (either spouse), brings about profound stress levels to all members of the family. The impact of such revelation of the infidelity perpetrated by the spouse can be as potentially and severely traumatic as the trauma brought about by a natural disaster uprooting entire family, mentally, socially, emotionally and financially. The post infidelity traumatic stress disorder unlike the other PTSD needs to be assessed on entire family as a whole and on each individual family member individually .

PITSD mentioned in the above case can be seen as it affected all members of the family, in the following manner.

The wife has lost total confidence in her and has ever since been suffering from low self esteem. She has not been able to find reasons for the infidelity brought about by her husband, around whom she had built her world of twenty years.

She often complains of somatic pains and sleeplessness. At times her memory gets affected .She forgets attending to smaller details about herself. Frequent visits to her psychiatrist /psychologist do help .Yet the gnawing pains and the thought “why” come back repeatedly. Seems she will take a long time to recover from the PITSD.

The young ones too suffer from PITSD .A sense of impending breakup of the parents’ marriage hurts them all the time. Their  son not being  in a position to side with any parent ,has gone into silence .He speaks in low tones and uses very few words to ask for anything needed by him This has resulted into his neglected of studies and self care. It has however brought both siblings closer to each other.

Daughter of the family doesn’t like such a situation .She believes that this could have been avoided if she had paid more attention to the family environment over the years. She has been in the process of self remorse .Any discussion in the family on the subject matter triggers her severe depression and she would start crying in no time .She believes her father has been her infallible hero and should have been more careful with his conduct. She ends up fighting with both her parents a few times a day. She refuses to listen to any reason by her father. She suffers from eating disorder and her physician has diagnosed her for IBS

Post Infidelity Traumatic Stress Disorder as such doesn’t happen to one individual .It virtually affects the complete family system. As a family therapist we have been focusing on the couple #both the spouses as a single system but in such cases it becomes obvious that the systems within the system too need as much attention and intervention/therapy as we give to the main couple.

The impact of such revelation/disclosure/finding is no less traumatic to the spouse who has been wayward and promiscuously adventurous .He feels miserable now thinking that his children know everything about him. He faces the wrath of his partner always feeling guilty. A defiance attitude was fine so long as he had been dealing with the spouse. But the reaction of both, the daughter (who’s an adult) and the adolescent son has been a little stronger to be taken lightly .Resultantly business suffers, nightmares occur and visit to family therapist occur frequently now.

Is your uncontrolled anger damaging your relationship with your spouse ?

Nothing else can be as fatal for the marital relationship as your anger. An uncontrolled anger is like a slow poison to the strong threads of relations between husband and wife .The uncontrolled anger virtually eats into the very roots of love,trust and respectability of both the partners .

I have observed while counseling estranged or opposing spouses that couples would often express their anger and resentment towards each other and after a while they tend to cool down when educated about their misplacement of their emotions or expectations from each other.

However heavens may help in situations where one of the spouses happen to have an uncontrolable anger . Such expression of constant complaints and anger often leads to physical abuse ,emotional accusations against each other and ultimate separation.

Anger is not so bad if used momentarily and allowed to subside and defused once it has been expressed. The message that the angry person has been upset over certain issues or acts of either spouse can be conveyed and thereafter both would do better to come to the levels of finding ways to negotiate peace and make amends .

There comes a stage when the partners need to involve a professional family therapist who can help them look at their differences or different perceptions in new light to sort out the disputes .Such intervention is arranged with a view to evolve newer and better emotional understanding amongst the couple ,even though the previous hurt still remains at the background. But the seething anger has been overcome as the partners give each other opportunities to grow their new closeness and understanding.

But many a times the harmed partner particularly wife finds it difficult to let go of the past and forgive her husband. Her anger seethes like a wild fire that knows no direction ,hovering over the relationship and destroying everything that comes in its path .Such situation finds no retrieval and the couple sooner or later ends up parting ways through legal separation,or finding it difficult to stay together peacefully.

A partner with such an uncontrolled anger often brings to the fore the mistakes of the other partner,by shaming him or her at every available opportunities,refuses to listen to any explanation by the partner and believes no compromise can be big enough to solve the problems which have arisen in their relationship.

An understanding partner can help coverup many shortcomings ,mistakes and at times blunders of the erring partner unless it happens to be a complete erosion of trust and faith.But in the event of such a situation too,the partners need to sit together by letting the anger go and understand how to proceed with their relationship further or even give it a break by inflicting the minimum damage to the family and partners themselves.

It is important that both husband and wife should pay attention to their anger control and if they find that their relationship is getting affected by such frequent bursts of anger. They should consult a counseling psychologist and family therapist .A trained professional counselor and family therapist would help them with relevant anger management therapies including perceptive breathing exercises .

While there are enough advisors in every social circle to guide and help the estranged or fighting couples but such unprofessional approach unknowingly out of their ignorance can ignite more anger or mistrust towards each other often leading to frequent accusations. As far as possible couples should avoid such agony aunts for their own betterment .Repeated complaints, frequent bickerings and trying to put down the partner or staging a show down for your partner just because you are angry with him or her can on the contrary take the love out of relations,resulting into the damaged partner finding solace elsewhere .No partner in the right mind who values relationship would like to be in such an embarrassing situation .Anytime you feel angry with or at your partner ,give yourself sometime to think over if the confrontation can be through anger or matters can also be discussed without losing control and being firm in your tone and body language.

,If you have such  uncontrolled anger /domestic violence  situation You should come to us at Family Therapy India and we will help you resolve all issues of your marriage in more amicable manner .Find us @ http://www.familytherapyindia.com.

Email us @mansikpramarsh@gmail.com

Call: 09179383554,917314263087

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert .

How effective is the marriage counseling in saving my marriage?

2017_1image_11_54_079681812newly-married-couple.jp-ll“I have always had a very problematic marriage and all efforts to make things right have been of no use. I have been advised by my friends to seriously think of consulting a marriage and family therapist .But every time I think of reaching out to one, “the only thought that comes to my mind is, “What if this too does not help. Let, me ask you a simple question, “does marriage counseling really work?’.

Priti (name changed) had expressed apprehensions about the process of marriage counseling when she had, asked me this question.

Experts differ on the effectiveness of marital issues in marriage and family therapy. Some of them will simply say no to any external intervention in a marriage. They are of the opinion that “marriage is sacrosanct and privacy of the bed room should stay within your bedroom. Most of them however will speak in favor of getting a professionally trained family therapist’s help. Marriage is often an adjustment of two different personalities who come together to raise a new family in their wedlock. In this journey some distance can be smooth, some part of journey could be rough too, where an external help can smoothen the edges and provide the necessary cushioning.

advice-newlywed650x325Your life can be difficult and beautiful both at the same time. The life of the newly married couples is like a baby conceived in the womb of a mother, giving tough time to the mother all through nine months of its growth from the embryo to delivery but once the baby is born life becomes joyfully beautiful, yet bringing with it challenges everyday of raising a child. The joy of watching your baby grow always is greater than the challenges that come in the process of being a mother.

photo-1523975989600-f61068b1a4b3Marriage offers similar such journey of smooth ride and rough road of mutual problems .The partners to a marriage love each other and at times hate each other but they continue with the journey of matrimonial bliss. Sushant and Daisy (names changed) are in one such relationship. They have had fights; yet they have been living into their marriage despite all odds for ten years. “It had never occurred to me even once that I should walk out of this marriage. I am from a conservative Christian family and Sushant belongs to a kind of liberated Hindu family. Our marriage had not been accepted by our respective families for almost five years. There were issues of social norms, of cultural differences, of devotions and faith. My mother has been a devout Christian and it was difficult for her to conceive that her daughter will not follow a religion of the family”. “Both I and Sushant had made a pact that we would always refer our matters to a third unbiased arbitrator in case of any of the differences that might crop up into our marriage. We found one such unbiased opinion and advice in Family Therapist and Marriage counselor Dr Ramneek Kapoor and all our differences get resolved to our mutual interest”.

couple therapy“I have had many cases of family differences, husband wife disputes, cohabitation problems and other adjustment issues and working through their disputes and differences can really be worth it. Most such married couples come to us when they face communication issues, marital discords and even the personal ego matters, at the breaking point of their marriages, but they are benefitted by consulting a professional family therapist and marriage counselor who help them in dealing with those difficulties, look at their disputes from a much wider point of view and different perspective. The couples are encouraged to sort out the difference, take them on to find satisfactory resolution instead of being judgmental and giving up on the relationship. They are made to work hard to eventually come to an understanding of the beneficial fruits of making their marriage a success.

download“Much of the ideas people get about their marriage counseling at times can be wrong. It is not necessarily the bed room story that is talked about in the counseling. A marital life holds many other points of discord and differences of opinions. There can be personality issues, adjusting with other members of the extended family, household issues, individual career matters, spouse behavior concerns, children growth subjects, older parental care concerns and of course faith and trust fears . Only a third party intervention may not solve these issues but a detailed worked out therapeutic strategy and planning with the help of a qualified professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor can definitely go a long way in resolving all such matters.

“It sounds good. It makes sense to me” said Dinesh(name changed) when he had walked into our clinic for consulting us on his broken marriage of fifteen years. “The problem is my wife feels it usually doesn’t work. We had gone to a traditional matchmaker to help us reconcile a broken marriage. Their process is not very professional”.

counseling-clipart-marriage-family-therapist-16You really have to be careful when dealing with a delicate matter of marital compatibility and communication breakdown. It cannot be resolved merely by advice of do’s and don’ts. All matters need to be handled in a manner that the counseling given has to achieve the outcome, the couple and the family looks forward to. An untrained and non professional marriage counselor has no idea what he or she is faced with and how this needs to be analyzed and resolved.

In a complex family therapy situation counseling an estranged couple may be the hardest thing to do .It takes longer to resolve their differences and the couples are advised to be patient and cooperate with the therapist ,whose basic aim is to help the client come to agreement and understanding within them.

Surveys indicate that many of the match makers, social activists and soothe Sayers undertake family therapy and couples therapy. They do not possess the professional qualification and they never got their training into marital counseling and family therapy.

We need to understand that couples coming for family therapy and marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples. Often one or the other party will have thought of either divorce or separation. Traditional matchmakers or even normal psychologists will not prove effective in dealing such marriage counseling as they do not know the professional way to deal with those problems.

Much of the advice couples get from family advisors or traditional matchmakers sounds good to the ears but it doesn’t work in real life. When it comes to marriage counseling, one solution cannot be applied to all situations. Each marital discord will have its own unique dynamics and a professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor takes into account the uniqueness of each dynamic while dealing with a husband and wife disconnect.

Couples can at times become disconnected emotionally for various reasons. Their passion and excitement can wear out faster than expected out of their marriage if their fights and day to day quarrels continue. Their novelty can finish sooner as monotony creeps in into their partnership. It happened to Nidhi (name changed) who admitted in a session

images (12)“I decided to call our marriage off because I felt like I have been living with a rival roommate not a husband, after we got married his attitude and tone changed towards me. His true nature comes to the fore as he sheds the facade of pretended love.”

What can married couples do if they’re having some difficulties?

I would advice, “one person in the marriage doesn’t have to wait for the other to start working on the reconciliation .Either of the spouse could begin with positive changes in the marriage. Don’t wait for your partner to agree, you can initiate the process of contacting a trained professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor.Do Not say to yourself that things will improve with passage of time. That’s the wrong ideation. The key to succeeding in your marriage is to sort out the differences at your earliest. What better time to begin doing this than now. Now is the time to find the right therapist; who will help you to connect with the person you married .You do not have to wait to be lucky in love .You make it your choice to be happy in your marriage, the love will flow thereafter. Get in touch with us today, and take control of your marital bliss. Let’s make it happen.

One last advice though, as far as possible stop discussing with your friends about your marital problems. You must not break the unwritten code of privacy of your marriage. Many a times it’s fatal to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It’s a mockery marriage’s privacy and it’s not the done thing.

You should come to us at Family Therapy India and we will help you resolve all issues of your marriage in more amicable manner .Find us @ http://www.familytherapyindia.com.

Email us @mansikpramarsh@gmail.com

Call: 09179383554,917324263087

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapy1e7cbe_3cd7dd541b844c689118f6e71c7c62d8

Energising your Relationships

img-20190313-wa0000-444810066.jpgI love to go to a garden nearby to look at the plants growing and to savor their fragrant breeze full of oxygen and greens. And let me tell you I do love to speak to the plants in the morning as they open up their lovely flowers to the rising Sun and rebuild their energy which they gather from the sunlight .At home we do not have a lawn where we could grow these plants (we live in an apartment) . But on the top of the building where we have managed to rent a terrace we do have a few pots with plants. These plants have very tenderly been reared by my daughter with great care and love. I have seen the fresh flowers of white, red and yellow colors bloom to the plants virtually growing from little buds to the full blown beautiful flowers. Whenever I go the terrace I water them, talk to them and make sure they feel loved and taken care of by me and feel happy about this. I feel my conversing with my plants exactly is the reason these plants have grown from tiny saplings to the full grown plants adorning their smile into these flowers.
Similar to these little saplings and plants all kinds of relationships need constant communication, love, tender care, nurturing and sunshine of trust and admiration. If any of the same is missing our relationships tend to get withered away just as all those seedlings died which had not been attended to by me.
We would often take our relationships for granted once we have formed them. We allow the novelty and the freshness of each other’s company wear of, thinking, “now that we have each other where the hell can the person go”. It is easy to do that as you get busy with the daily grinds of life. But like the delicate plants that were given extra care by me to grow, each relationship too needs to be handled with full involvement and care.
In a relationship or in a friendship, we need to regularly spread the showers of mutual understanding, of admiration the nurture and love. Not all relationships may require you to go out of your way to attend to them. A periodic touch of getting to know about each person as to how he or she is living life ensures we do not feel cut off and likewise the other person too feels in touch. In the current age of internet and social media though people are always available online, yet the lack of personal touch and physical presence of good listeners is felt by one and all. People living under the same roof and sleeping in the common bedroom become strangers as they remain occupied in their own virtual world of WhatsApp.Facebook,instagram,twitter and other online social media apps.
I have many a times met such husbands and wives who do not have either time or an empathetic ear for each other to give at least a hearing to the partners when they need to talk. Being there with an empathetic attitude and listening with patience to the other’s point of view can go a long way in solving many compatibility issues the couples face in their marital life.
I am currently meeting and counseling quite a few numbers of families, where all family members have agreed to spend at least two evenings in a week on working days and every alternate weekend in a month together on family outing or family dinner and they have shown wonderful results in their understanding of each other. The faces of the family members more especially the younger members beam smiles as big as the rose in the picture above after they find their parents spending a quality time with them in such a positive manner.

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Just as we need to take care of the plants, saplings and flowers an protect them from all kinds of weeds, strong winds, too much of sunshine, the same way we need to tend to the relationship by giving our empathetic, loving , and understanding physical presence and listening ears  to all family members.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance

What should you do if your marriage partner is having an affair ?

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Every marital relationship is based on mutual trust and understanding. If ever such a question as mentioned in the headline above arises, your immediate response obviously would be, “I would definitely divorce him/her”, and that being an overstatement, you might get agitated and say, “I shall confront him/her and then ask him either to leave the person or leave me”. It is obvious we cannot tolerate cheating of any kind in our life more so if it comes from a marital partner. Hence the response from many without second thought would be, “I will kick him/her out “.

But what will be your reaction, if I ask you to reconcile with your partner in spite of all the betrayal inflicted.

Some of you will say,”He is talking out of his hat,” but trust me there are many others who would want to reconcile despite being betrayed. They’re willing to forgive and believe they can mend the marriage and bring around their partner to see the reason and come back to the marital fold.

It is true that most of us just cannot accept the idea of forgiving a cheating spouse, but you never know how you’ll react to that situation until it happens to you,

pensive woman

It becomes an altogether a different story when you’re faced with the decision of ending a marital relationship and the consequences thereafter you have actually ended many years long held marriage . You have spent a good part of your life setting up the marital home and then all of a sudden the fairy tale dream turns into a nightmare. It can really be shattering for both partners involved and more so I’d say if you have had kids in this marriage.

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Some of the things that could affect the decision making to either hold on to marriage or move out of the relationship could be —living life without a father for the kids, living life without the kids, living life with lesser money, moving into parental home or moving into a smaller house, a different or lower standard of living, the possibility of looking for a new marriage partner again, and the prospects of your accepting the new life/new partner in your life. In totality it involves tearing up your years of brick by brick built home. Yes cheating is definitely unacceptable as it has undermined your value as a marriage partner and more so as a self respecting individual. But for many people it can be worth it to try to reconcile and rebuild from there. The decision to divorce is a punishment at both ends. It punishes the perpetrator and the victim both ie., The partner who has cheated gets that nightmare too.

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If you have already made up your mind and you are in the process of divorce proceedings, we will advise you to at least give it a good second thought and pay attention to the possibility of reconciliation through the family counseling. If you decide to save your marriage and reconcile your marital relationship, you may want to follow some of the following important steps: advice:

-Do not just spy on your spouse: just expression of doubts can trigger distrust in marriage and if you have asked someone to follow your partner this spells into total betrayal. You have to learn to be a leader of your marriage and not a follower. Your integrity is the key word to your being the leader in your marriage.

-Just hang on to your marriage. The affair your spouse has been indulging into could be a passing fad and may end soon. It had been observed that most of post marriage affairs end up in 9 to 12 months time. Though you do not want to live this torture for so long but it could be worth it to save your marriage for your children.

-Your kindness can become the key factor. You do not have to treat your spouse with disdain, hatred or anger. You can be more accepting, more accessing, more sympathetic and more tolerant towards your spouse during this period. The kind attitude shown by you will bring about a feeling of guilt, repentance sooner than later and act on the conscious of your spouse.

-Use your seductive charms to your advantages.Do Not just grieve over what has happened and neglect yourself. On the contrary now is the time to use your seductive powers and your sexualities to charm the person like the proverbial music played by a snake charmer. Do not withdraw yourself into a shell; rather be more outgoing and more inviting to your spouse.

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Soon you will notice the competition dying down and the vagrant partner returning back to marital fold. Even if it doesn’t happen soon do not give up, extend the rope a little more by your killing charms and soon the effect will take place.

Once the victory is yours, do not celebrate with a war cry. Maintain your dignity self respect and do not have a showdown with your spouse.You don’t want a spouse back with a dented confidence.Act natural and let the spouse gradually become so over a period of time.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance.