So, you find yourself in the middle of an affair. What to do now?
Whether or not you’ve stepped outside your relationship, or your partner has, affairs can hurt relationships. Interestingly enough, there is hope of having a better relationship when both parties are committed to healing and repairing the marriage or relationship.
Recovery from the emotional trauma of an affair is a long process. Don’t expect the healing to happen overnight. You may even find yourself wondering, “When will these feelings end?” or “Will I ever feel right again?”
We recommend anywhere from 6 to 18 months for a full a recovery. Many people may even argue that once an affair happens, the relationship is over.
For some couples, this is true and for others it isn’t. There’s no right or wrong in a couple’s decision about their relationship after an affair.
There are right and wrongs with how to continue with a relationship after an affair
I have an Affair Recovery Questionnaire for you and your partner to review to determine if you are ready to begin to heal your relationship after an affair.
The goal of the questionnaire is designed to elicit commitment from both individuals to work on the relationship so it can become stronger and healthier.
The questions cover:
- A commitment to one another, the relationship, and the process,
- A cessation of damaging activities, including contact with the individual with whom there was an affair or betrayal,
- A willingness to learn, take responsibility, and explore in order to gain insight and promote a healthy relationship.
Here are a few questions for those who haven’t decided whether or not to continue the relationship:
- How often has this happened and with how many people?
- How did I feel about my relationship before the affair?
- Have I already been thinking about separation or divorce before finding out?
- Has my partner expressed remorse and has s/he changed her/his behaviors?
- Are there deeper issues here like addiction, mental health issues, etc?
- Am I willing to do whatever it takes?
These questions are a guide to let you know whether or not there exists a potentially dangerous pattern of behavior in the relationship (putting your health at risk with unprotected sex) or deeper, potentially unresolvable issues.
When considering these questions if one partner is on the fence, discernment counseling helps couples determine if they want to work on their relationship or not.
Explore Discernment Counseling and see if it’s right for you and your partner. Discernment Counseling allows the couple to make a decision on how they want to move forward.
No matter the decision you make in deciding how to proceed after an affair it is a difficult endeavor that takes time, patience, and commitment.
You can heal, it is possible and many couples report having a better relationship on the other side of the process.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More By Katie Lemieux