The Scoop: One of the most common reasons relationships don’t recover after betrayal is the inability to overcome the emotional damage caused by infidelity. Relationship expert and therapist Idit Sharoni has seen so many clients struggling to keep their marriages together after infidelity that she decided to create an online course to lay out a roadmap back to love and trust. Often in the aftermath of betrayal, couples try to move on, but they skip the crucial steps necessary to heal and move forward with strength and trust intact. Idit’s program, “It’s Okay to Stay: Roadmap to Healing After an Infidelity,” is an online course guiding couples through the necessary steps of affair recovery. Additionally, she plans to turn the program into a workshop to teach other therapists how to help even more couples.
It’s the most common question that a partner will ask when he or she discovers that the other person in the relationship had an affair: Why did you do it?
Anyone who’s been on either side of that question knows there’s no simple answer. Yet, there may have been reasons that the infidelity made sense at the time.
Relationship expert and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Idit Sharoni said every couple exists inside a web of relationships. They have a relationship with each other and one with the rest of the world. She was trained to view issues through that complex, intricate lens.
To expand on her approach, Idit decided to create a new step-by-step program entitled “It’s Okay to Stay: Roadmap to Healing After an Infidelity” to help couples find a path to overcoming their pain before a marriage is irrevocably broken. The program is for couples who want more than a self-help book to guide them through the healing, and for those who want to complement their couples therapy process.
“I offer a free master class to teach people about these situations,” she said. “People can decide if the course is what they need to help them navigate the roadmap to their healing and trust building.”
Many couples need help working through the tough issues that inevitably surface in the aftermath of infidelity. Idit said the right therapist or online course can show couples how to regain trust and gain insight as to why the infidelity happened in their relationship. As a result, they can restart a new and improve relationship with the same person and move on together.
A New Online Course Provides a Path Back to Love
Idit said she created her new course after seeing common themes in the pain faced by so many couples who visited her for therapy. The complete course just launched online, and Idit offered us a preview of what it offers.
The first phase of the roadmap is called Rebalance. This is the stage where the couple attends to the crisis. They decide together how to end the affair. The betrayer could meet with the person, make a phone call, or even write a letter.
“They’re going to start regaining trust back. I say ‘start’ because regaining trust is more of a journey than a destination, and the betrayer must also express remorse at that stage,” Idit said. “It’s not just an ‘I’m sorry.’ We teach about remorse, what it means. I help them write a letter of remorse and show them all of the components that go into it.”
The next phase is known as Reattach, in which couples learn basic communication strategies to help them reconnect after a time of anger and hurting.
The final roadmap phase is Restart, in which each person vows to start fresh with healthy boundaries, rules, and a new understanding of the other person. Many couples try to fast-forward to this part of the process, but it takes time, Idit said.
At that point, some couples will want to regain intimacy, and Idit guides them through that process as well. The last thing she teaches in the program are strategies for avoiding relapse.
“Usually people call me and say ‘We’re in a terrible crisis because we had an infidelity and we tried to move on, but we can’t,’” Idit said. “When I ask why they couldn’t move on, it’s usually because they skipped two steps and just restarted. They tried to close the chapter and move on without doing the work.”
Working With People Around The World
Another reason why Idit was inspired to create the course is that many couples need therapy but find myriad reasons not to go. Whether it’s the cost, the shame of telling the other person about their infidelity, or because they can’t find the time, Idit’s program can help.
Even if a couple is undergoing therapy, the program is still a valuable supplement to their treatment.
“It’s a road map. Sometimes couples therapists don’t know how to guide people to an end goal of regaining trust. I’ve had many couples come to me and say that they’ve gone to therapy for six months, but nothing happened because those were just venting sessions,” Idit said. “They just talked about their pain, but it didn’t go anywhere. This is a great addition if they feel they need more guidance than their therapist can give them.”
“They’re going to start regaining trust back. I say ‘start’ because regaining trust is more of a journey than a destination. We teach about remorse, what it means.” — Idit Sharoni
In her private counseling practice, Idit only sees 10 couples at a time, which means her weekly sessions fill up fast. Last year, she said that most months were completely filled.
“As the years go by, I learn more about how to help couples reach their goals faster. That helps me a lot because I can help more people if couples reach their goals more quickly,” she said. “Most couples will reach their goals within 10 to 15 hours in my signature program and be ready to go. I hear about couples who have been in therapy for six months, and that drives me crazy. If nothing happens after the fourth session, it could be that something isn’t quite working here.”
Idit’s ultimate goal is to help each couple reach a place of understanding where her services are no longer required.
Idit Plans to Teach Fellow Therapists About Her Techniques
Through Idit’s practice and program, she helps couples dealing with infidelity answer questions like “Why did this happen in our relationship?” Now, she’s developing a workshop for therapists to share the system with more people who could benefit from her expertise.
Idit wants more therapists and couples to realize that venting sessions with no structure and no path forward aren’t likely going to result in resolution. Her step-by-step system will help therapists move couples in the aftermath of infidelity gently through the different healing phases necessary to move forward with the healing process. Her online video series comes with other printable resources, including worksheets, checklists, and planners, to guide couples through the process of understanding — and overcoming — their pain.
“Couples want to maintain where they got, so this doesn’t happen again in their relationship,” Idit said. “Hopefully, when they get there, they’ve regained enough trust to the point where they can continue forward with a healthier union.”