What about a faith based marriage counseling?
We have not had any better reports from this than with other kinds. Indeed, most of our posters are Christian, and of those that went to counselling, most specifically sought out Christian counselling. Some went for counselling with their own pastor.
The problem is that counsellors do not have the goal, nor do they have a proven strategy, to build romantic love within a marriage. Christian counselling will certainly have the goal of supporting the marriage and avoiding divorce, but without a set of objectives that are tried, tested and proven to create and maintain romantic love, the unhappiness within the marriage will not be resolved, and the couple will not be happier, and in love. A couple that is in love will not divorce. A couple that has learned to "communicate" their grievances (the focus of most counselling) can still be unhappy and can still divorce.
If an affair is ongoing, Christian and other counsellors do not use Dr Harley's methods to end the affair permanently - moving house, changing jobs, changing career altogether if the career facilitates affairs (such as airline work and mixed hospital environments). Such extraordinary measures are considered far too extreme for mot counsellors, who prefer to rely on "trust".
For most people having an affair, it is the specific affair partner that is the attraction. The unfaithful spouse did not go out looking for sex on the side; they breached certain boundaries, and formed friendships with someone from work, or re-established contact with an old boyfriend or girlfriend. Therefore although the couple needs to take extraordinary measures to avoid that affair partner for life, such as moving house or changing jobs, and they need to create a transparent, integrated life so that neither could have an affair without the other knowing (accessing each other's phones and emails, for example), the "extraordinary precautions" that Dr Harley recommends are really no more than the precautions that everyone should take from the day they get married. We should always have had integrated lives, where we do not socialise in mixed company without our spouse, and where secrets are not possible. However, in the case of the routine affair, the unfaithful spouse does not have to avoid the opposite sex altogether. They can still go out to work, and they can still go shopping and walk the kids to school. They can still use the Internet.
However, with an unfaithful spouse who has had several affairs, who is either very susceptible to the slightest attention, or who actively trolls for affairs, a normal lifestyle is no longer possible if the marriage is to be rebuilt. The couple will need to be together at all times, so that lone contact with the opposite sex is not possible. They would need to work together, perhaps by starting a business.
Dr and Mrs Harley, who have never had affairs, work together and are in each other's company for most of the day. They don't socialise with friends without each other. They don't go to the gym without each other. Mrs Harley attends a women-only Bible study class, not a mixed one and so on. Their lives are structured so that, not only is lone, opposite-sex contact almost impossible, but each would know instantly if an affair were developing - online, or face-to-face. That is the kind of marriage and lifestyle that you would need to create if your marriage to an attention seeking, flighty, promiscuous, confused, "finding herself", serially cheating wife were to be successful. Would she agree to that lifestyle? If not, forget trying to recover with her.
Does your Christian counsellor know all the above? Does he or she have proven, successful programme for rebuilding a marriage where a serially-cheating spouse is involved? I suspect not; I suspect that he or she will focus very much on rebuilding Christianity within the marriage as a means of creating faithfulness, but not on practical strategies
to meet emotional needs only inside the marriage, and never outside it.
If you want counselling, you should first, write to Dr Harley at the radio show, telling him your marital history and asking for his advice, which will be free of charge. He will invite you to discuss the problem on the radio show, which means you and your wife (if she will cooperate) could talk to him for up to an hour. If you don't want to be on the radio show, he will address your email on the air.
After that, you should use the Marriage Builders telephone coaching service, which is run by Dr Harley's children, Steven Harley and Dr Jennifer Chalmers (Jennifer is co-author of the book Surviving an Affair
- which you should have read by now. I don't know if it has been recommended to you yet, but if not, get it now, in print or download, from Amazon.) The coaching service is not "counselling"; it does not encourage you to spend weeks, months and sometimes years looking into personal and emotional history, and working out what is within the unfaithful spouse that needs resolving before they can move forward. The coaching service uses Dr Harley's MB programme to change the conditions of today and the future: to end the affair, prevent any more affairs developing, and create a loving, romantic marriage. Steve and Jennifer are both excellent at getting reluctant, unhappy, unfaithful spouses on board with Marriage Builders, and they do not allow the conflicts of the past to be dragged into sessions, which, when it is done, leaves both spouses feeling angrier than before the session started, and does not create love.
Send an email to Dr Harley today, right now, and then click "coaching centre" in the red area at the top of every page on this site. Since your wife has agreed to do counselling, she can be persuaded to agree to Harley coaching, and to cooperate with an email to Dr Harley directly at the radio show, instead.