Staying together after an affair

Patricia O'Laughlin, Marriage & Family Therapist, shares advice for parents following an affair on how to best move past it and help your kids with the transition
Parenting And Marriage | Staying Together After An Affair
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Staying together after an affair

If you decide to stay with your partner after an affair, it's very important to think about how you're going to communicate this with your children. Research shows that affairs are increasing, so more and more couples stay together after an affair. Affairs that happen one time are very different than a pattern of affairs. If your partner has engaged in a pattern of affairs, it's important that they seek help. A pattern of affairs can be a symptom of a larger problem. There are a few things you can do to ensure that the person who cheated is brought back gently into the family and to help your children with this transition. The first thing is that you and your partner have to have a conversation and be on the same page about how you're going to discuss this with your child. How are you each going to explain this to the child? Make sure you have your story straight. Secondly, when discussing an affair with your child, it's important that you don't get into details. Don't talk about how angry you are with the partner. If you have agreed to stay with your partner, that means you're willing to work through your anger and willing to come back together with them again in a healthy relationship. The third thing is, and the most important, that your child doesn't need details about what happened. They need the reassurance that you and your partner are together again, that you've worked it through, and that you're not going to separate. That you're both going to be there for them, caring for them, and love them.

Patricia O'Laughlin, Marriage & Family Therapist, shares advice for parents following an affair on how to best move past it and help your kids with the transition


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Patricia O'Laughlin, MFT

Psychotherapist & Art Therapist

Patricia O’Laughlin, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist, has a private practice in Los Angeles where she specializes in the “psychology of parenting”. Patricia believes that there are specific psychological issues surrounding parenting, and created the phrase “psychology of parenting” to capture these unique experiences. Patricia supports adults from the stages of deciding whether to become a parent through the empty nest. She believes that mindful parenting and conscious parenting are essential components to break intergenerational traumas and patterns. Combining traditional “talk” therapy with art therapy, Patricia facilitates a deeper exploration of the self, helping people uncover unconscious motivations and helping them be “who they are”, rather than whom they think they “should be”. Patricia received her master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. She is trained to treat Perinatal Mood Disorders from Postpartum Support International and utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for physical, sexual, neglectful, and relational traumas. Patricia provides individual and couples counseling to adults, teens, and children. She believes wholeheartedly that the world becomes a more peaceful place when individuals feel more balanced inside. As a therapist she wants to help both women and men find their inner balance, so they can be true to themselves and the people they love.Patricia has been interviewed for Baby Center, The Today Show, Parent City USA, She Knows,, and Pregnancy Magazine. She writes for numerous websites and parenting blogs, such as The Good Men Project and She was filmed as a “Teen Expert” for Patricia is a speaker at conferences, schools, and businesses. She is currently a part-time faculty member and teaches art therapy at Otis College of Art and Design.  

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