Think About 5 Key Areas to Unfold the Route to Recovering a Relationship After Infidelity, Expert Says
Can a marriage survive an affair?
Now, there are no simple 1, 2, 3 steps for recovering relationships from an affair.
Relationships are founded on trust.
So when that trust becomes degraded, there isn’t a wand that can magically fix the problem.
However, as the case of Jay-Z and Beyoncé proves, recovering from an affair is possible, but only if both sides of the partnership dedicate the right time and effort into rebuilding the trust.
Also, read – Couple surviving infidelity
1. Cut ties with the affair partner
The first port of call is to make sure that the affair itself is over. When it comes to an affair, it is not just the betrayed partner who has to recover from it – the deceiver has to recover as well.
Their recovery only starts after they have cut all ties with the person they had the affair with, so that they can then invest their time into fixing their actual relationship.
2. Don’t get angry
When first finding out an affair, most people react by lashing out in anger.
While this is usually justified, reacting in an angry way doesn’t help mend the relationship. Quiet admissions of “I feel so hurt” or “I don’t understand” will better-resonate with the betrayer, and lead to faster healing.
As Erika Myers, a licensed psychotherapist, explains:
“Anger is a powerful emotion, and it can mask other feelings. [It] may feel like a safer way to manage your pain, but it will slow your healing.”
Likewise, becoming excessively angry at your partner can build resentment, which can also prevent recovery. As difficult as it might be, keeping your temper in check and being able to understand the reasoning behind your partner’s deceit can go a long way towards mending the relationship.
Repeated stingers (i.e. comments designed to infer guilt on the betrayer) also won’t help.
They might make you feel better temporarily, but they won’t help fix the relationship in the long-run.
3. Discuss why the affair happened
Talking to your partner about the affair can be a very difficult thing to do, but it’s one of the most important steps to take. Not only will it give the partner a chance to explain their reasons behind the affair, but it’ll also allow you to see what, if anything, you could have done to prevent it.
Many relationships break down as a result of life changes, external pressures, or due to a breakdown in communication. Therefore, being able to identify the cause of the affair is vital in being able to learn from it and take preventative steps in the future.
Discussing the affair openly with your partner will also allow you to see their reaction to you finding out about it. Are they empathetic? Did they apologise? Do they show regret for their actions?
If they do, it’s important that you, as the betrayed partner, accept their apology. That’s not to say you have to forgive them, but accepting that they are sorry for their actions should reassure you that there’s hope for the relationship yet.
As Amy Begel, a family therapist, wrote in a recent Huffington Post article, “Repairing trust can only happen in a real relationship, with well-meaning people who have been committed to each other. [It] cannot be rebuilt when the “cheater” is a serial sociopath, who has affairs and doesn’t feel guilty about it, or where there is such a power imbalance that one person does not have a voice.”
It’s important to analyse the relationship yourself internally, thoroughly assessing whether the deception is a one-time thing, or has the potential to happen again in the future.
It’s about being able to trust yourself, questioning the strength of your relationship rather than the strength of your sanity.
4. Discuss what the affair means
Discussing about the affair is one of the ways to repair your relationship.
Another important thing to discuss is what the betrayer was intending to achieve from the affair. Were they trying to hurt you? Were they hoping for a reaction? Or were they trying to fill a long-standing sense of inadequacy that their current relationship wasn’t providing?
Understanding this will help uncover any underlying issues in the relationship, and allow you to identify methods to effectively overcome them.
5. Couples counseling
Affairs are often described as addictive, with many occurring as a result of the deceiver receiving a lack of attention or sexual excitement in their current relationship.
As mentioned already, discussing the reason or reasons behind the affair is a vital step towards understanding why it happened in the first place. However, starting that conversation can be difficult, especially if there is a resistance to discuss it by one, or both of the partners.
At this point, enlisting the support of relationship experts can really help, with couple counseling proving to be a great way of analyzing the broken relationship.
By discussing it openly with specialists, the counselors will be able to act as a mediator, guiding you through the process, and helping you identify methods that can recover the relationship.
As Maggie Morrow, a renowned psychotherapist and life coach, puts it, “Couples counseling can enable you to resolve problems effectively and build, love, fun and deeper trust back into your relationship. Even if your partner refuses to take part, it’s possible to get them to respond differently by making simple changes in your own behavior.”
Wondering, how can a marriage be saved after an affair? Well! You just found the right answer to your question.
No more hiding from the truth
There’s no hiding away from it – recovering from an affair can be a very difficult thing to do. However, it’s not impossible and, with the right dedication and attitude, it can actually help relationships to become stronger over time.
The first step to recovery comes from an in-depth discussion between both partners.
Questioning why the affair happened, what it was hoping to achieve, and how it could have been prevented can really help identify where and why the relationship started to dwindle.
Affairs are often difficult to come to terms with.
But, whatever you do, don’t just sit in silence if you’ve been deceived, as that can only lead to further hurt. Put the effort in, and do all you can to recover your relationship.
Remember that it is possible to rebuild that trust back again, but only if you put in the time and energy.
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