You can survive infidelity and rebuild the relationship. However, the process has to be slow and cautious. Both you and your partner need to work together on this.
If you have been betrayed, you must find the right support and that is a psychotherapist or a licensed marriage family therapist who is experienced in helping couples with betrayals, much more than just listening to them and validating their feelings. This is a very serious injury in the marriage so you need someone who knows how to help you.
Although for a marriage it’s not easy to survive infidelity, it’s not impossible either. It’s going to be hard and painful and the two of you need to commit to reviving and reconnecting. For the relationship to take a fresh start, the unfaithful partner should be ready to stop the adulterous relationship and share all the information about the illicit relationship honestly with the partner. Trust and trustworthiness need to be won again in the relationship.
For the betrayed, the process of healing has to be natural and honest. It can’t be minimized or expedited. Learning as to what exactly had happened can lessen the anger, pain, and despair. Doing away with secrecy and forging a new relationship based on honesty and integrity are the most important things.
If an estranged couple follows these strategies, their marriage stands a chance to survive the infidelity. Their relationship can emerge stronger from this crisis.
What an Unfaithful Spouse Must Do?
The unfaithful partner must stop the illicit relationship and must stop seeing the lover with immediate effect.
He or she must remove all secrecy and talk about the affair in plain truth. This can give the betrayed a sense of hope and safety. Many times a couple can not do this alone, they need to get the right professional help. Make sure you ask good questions to a therapist before making an appointment.
The unfaithful must commit to going beyond stopping sex and dinner dates. You should also stop phone calls and other conversations. If the two of you work in the same office, stop going together for quick coffee breaks. Keep your interactions focused strictly on the business. Also, keep your spouse informed about anything that happens between you and your partner in crime.
No More Closed-door Meetings
Even before your spouse asks about it, you should reveal any chance of meeting with your ex-lover. Reveal all the content of any such meeting to your partner. If you have been contacted by your former lover, you should tell your spouse. Your willingness to share information about your former lover and commitment to keep no secrets will promote trust in your marriage.
Answer All Questions
Psychologists and therapists who treat people hurt by infidelity agree that they heal better if the adulterous partner provides all the information sought by the betrayed partner.
Available studies show that betrayed men and women whose spouses honestly revealed all the information about their affair were able to reconcile and felt better. If the couple does not talk about it openly, they are not healed. They need to reach a point in their relationship that when they talk about an event of infidelity, they can talk about it without feeling pain.
If you don’t discuss it, you will never recover. The willingness to answer all the questions of the betrayed spouse can help and expedite recovery. Some psychotherapists are of the opinion that going over the details of the infidelity can further upset the aggrieved spouse.
But the truth is just that willingness to bear it all helps rebuild the trust. If some of the “truth” emerges at a later stage, your spouse is going to feel betrayed all over again.
What to Do When You are Caught Cheating?
A relationship can survive an event of infidelity if the unfaithful partner shows unflinching empathy to the aggrieved partner. After such an episode, the amount of empathy that an unfaithful spouse shows can make or break a relationship. The betrayed spouse needs emotional support to put up with the pain caused by the betrayal.
Talk and Listen
The benefits of listening skills in a relationship cannot be overemphasized. However, it can prove to be immensely useful if you are trying to heal your spouse of pain and grief caused by your acts of infidelity.
There is no way you can speed up the healing process of your spouse. You can’t decline the significance of the healing process either. This means you should be ready to answer your spouse’s questions about your affair for as long as it holds the interest of your spouse. It can be a few months or a few years – you must not stop supplying information about your affair if your spouse’s curiosity about it is still alive.
You should not blame your partner for what you have done. It is really hard to do that so get the right help for yourself as the betrayed partner. It won’t heal your relationship. When you regret sincerely, apologize, and promise to never indulge in adultery, the hurt and pain become less. To you, it may look obvious that you will never again stray into an adulterous relationship, but to your spouse, your repeated commitment will be highly reassuring.
No Easy Forgiveness
Having committed infidelity, you should not expect easy or early forgiveness. An unfaithful spouse should be ready for a long haul convincing and healing his or her partner. The betrayed partner may feel extreme pain and shock. Tears, anger, and rage are bound to spill over.
What Should the Betrayed Spouse Do?
As a betrayed spouse, you have pain and hurt all over you. You want to scream and curse your partner. You are very angry and have a lot of questions. You want to know what all happened, and how it happened, and where it happened, and so on. You don’t want any secrecy. You want your spouse to come clean and accept what he has done, apologize, and seek forgiveness. That’s a minimum if the two of you want the marriage to continue. This process takes many months and a long time in order to be done in the right way.
Ask As Many Questions As You Want
If you are still asking your spouse to answer the obvious questions, it is an indication that you want to give your partner a chance. You are not choosing to quietly walk away from the relationship. There is no other way but to ask questions – as many as you can. How many times did they meet? How did they choose to become lovers? What kind of sexual intimacy did they share? Where and how many times?
If you want to salvage the marriage, you need to balance your anger and need for information. Your spouse may blame you for his betrayal and even get angry with you. So, be prepared to deal with him on these counts. Don’t let the affair talk consume you and your relationship. Let your partner know how pained and hurt you feel. Find support for yourself and don’t forgive your spouse quickly for his infidelity. As a psychotherapist for nearly 22 years, I can help. I use the counseling experience with couples to attain emotional stability, improve their relationships, enhance their communication and their emotional connection. Call today to schedule your appointment, let’s do this together.