Healing A Relationship After An Affair

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Couples & Family | 0 comments

Healing A Relationship After An Affair

Healing A Relationship After An Affair

(As Seen In Anton News Publications December 9th – 15th, 2015)

          Many consider Infidelity to be the ultimate betrayal, one that often leads to a break-up. However some of us may still have feelings for their partner and, depending on the circumstances, may want to try and keep the relationship going. Deciding to remain together is a huge step. The betrayed person may find this choice feeling like a good idea at times and too difficult or painful at others. Be that as it may, if both parties are committed to it, trust can be rebuilt and sometimes stronger than before. What does rebuilding trust look like in real life?

          The healing process will require an effort from both parties. Accountability on one side must be balanced with a genuine willingness to risk on the other. The adulterer must take ownership for their choices and be prepared to put in the all the time and effort their partner needs to reestablish trust. The betrayed will need to manage their anger, concerns about their own attractiveness and worries that areas of their life have not been as they’ve appeared.

CHEATER’S REQUIREMENTS

Rebuilding Trust After An Affair 02          If you are questioning whether or not you are still in love with your partner you need to say so now. If you have fallen in love with someone else you need to admit it. Before you look your spouse in the eye and tell them you want to work on the relationship you need to be certain your heart is in this and you’re ready to end the affair immediately.

          HONESTY: Having an affair required a cocktail of mistruths, deceptions and secrecy that shattered your partner’s trust and forces them now to question their judgment. To earn that trust back you must first prove yourself worthy of it. It is critical that you maintain total honesty from this point on since any lie, even a small one, can damage or destroy your chances. Communicating the details of an affair is likely to do more harm than good, but you should talk open and honestly about it if asked, knowing that any details omitted or minimized will create further distrust.

          TRANSPARENCY: You are no longer entitled to come and go as you please and its going to take a while to earn this privilege back. Whenever you are apart, your spouse will now wonder if you are where you said you were going to be. If you want to ease their insecurity, the best way is to check-in throughout the day. Your life must now be an “open book” with complete transparency. Proactively give your partner full access to your email, cellphone, credit card statements and social media accounts.

          BE PATIENT: The key to rebuilding trust is proven behavior and accountability over time. The straying partner must reassure their spouse that they are both happy and appreciative that they were given another chance. While there can be no timetable, be aware that it will likely take a minimum of six months before you may see any signs of normality return and perhaps two years to rebuild the marriage and the ability to trust.

BETRAYED’S REQUIREMENTS

Rebuilding Trust After An Affair 03          SHARING RESPONSIBILITY: Even in relationships where only one person has strayed, oftentimes both members share blame for an affair. To be clear, the unfaithful party is clearly guilty. No one forces you to cheat. However, the wronged party must also be willing to explore their role in fostering an unhappy union, however small. The hurt person must see how they may have had a hand in facilitating the loneliness or isolation that compelled their companion to have an affair and then take steps to ensure greater emotional intimacy in the future. Common causes of infidelity include financial/family pressures, mid-life crises, insecurity or boredom in the marriage, feeling lonely and disconnected from a spouse or enjoying attention from a third party.

         STAY PRESENT-ORIENTED: One of the most difficult things about rebuilding trust after someone cheats is staying in the present moment and building toward the future, rather than living in or worrying about the past. You will likely have a lot of anger constantly eating away at you, but it is important that you manage these feelings. If your partner is working hard on the relationship, don’t attack them. Don’t stab them constantly with little barbs about the affair. You have every right to feel hurt, angry, and sad about your partner’s decision to cheat. However, if you can’t eventually let go of those feelings and work toward a more positive, open approach to the relationship, it may be a sign that this relationship is not worth staying in.

           LET GO/FORGIVE: If partner was thrown out, it is important that you have them move back in if you’re going to start working on the marriage. You must be prepared to gradually ease the rigid requirements on your partner as your pain fades and trust grows over time. Both parties must prove they are willing to put renewed energy in their relationship, which requires taking risks in the partnership.

 

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