Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Infidelity is certainly one of the most challenging issues a couple can face. The depth of pain experienced by the partner who was cheated on can be excruciating and unrelenting. For those who are not able to move past this transgression, it can represent the death of the relationship. The breach of trust is simply too much for some to bear which is completely understandable. However, for those who want to try to move past this event and rebuild their relationship foundation – there is hope. But it requires hard work and a commitment to the process.

The issue of “cheating” and having an “affair” comes up frequently in my couples work. Though this is one of the more challenging circumstances to work through in relationship, the fact that the couple has presented themselves at all to work on it is a great first sign. This can not only be very damaging to the partner who was cheated on but shaming for the one who did the cheating. When the couple sits down on the couch in front of me, they both know they are about to climb an incredibly steep hill together in which they may not even make it to the top. There will undoubtedly be slippery rocks, sharp grades and harsh weather along the way.

I want to provide some guide posts to help navigate this treacherous climb in the form of thoughts of ways a couple begin their ascent together. The following are five thoughts on how to heal from infidelity:

1) Cease the affair: This may seem obvious but sometimes “obvious” is better off stated. I personally know of one couple who went to therapy (not with me) to work on infidelity with understanding that it was over – but the reality was the affair was still going on. This is not helpful.

2) There is no such thing as too much apologizing: The partner who cheated must be willing to apologize as many times as needed – and as sincerely as possible. They need to continue to take responsibility for wounding their partner and the relationship.

3) Allow the wounded partner his/her feelings: There could possibly be a wide range of emotions from the hurt partner, sometimes even seeming erratic and unrelenting. Remember that they are dealing with images, thoughts, suspicious thinking, anger, hurt and other swirling thoughts and emotions.


4) Learn how to communicate effectively: Sometimes affairs can come on the heels of build-up of resentments, unexpressed needs, feelings and so on. Be clear that I’m not excusing unfaithful behavior, only highlighting that effective communication between couples can only help build and maintain a strong relationship foundation.

5) It takes time: A couple dealing with infidelity need to understand that this is a process and can take a long time to work through. There is not formula to figure out, “how long.” It will depend on a lot of factors specific to who they are, what exactly transpired, the length of time it occurred and so on.

After following these guidelines, there still might always be a nagging doubt or mistrust of the unfaithful partner who can be vulnerable to having his/her insecurity triggered. Stay aware of maintaining behavior that is kind, loving, loyal and supportive of each other. In other cases, there are couples that weather the storm of infidelity and come out stronger in the end. In either situation, if you both believe the relationship is worth fighting for, this is the first and most important step you’ve already taken towards the healing process.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisakifttherapy View Post
if you both believe the relationship is worth fighting for, this is the first and most important step you’ve already taken towards the healing process.
This should be at the top of the article, not the last sentence. If this is not true, the article is pretty much moot.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Great point. Thank you.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

I think the wounded partner needs to know when to stop milking it however, or the relationship will always be delicate. Quite often the errant one perceived a lack in the relationship - which while not excusing the affair - needs to be addressed or something else will just go wrong later.

A marriage is an entity in it's own right. We should not try to extract our "pound of flesh" from the other person - that's just feeding the ego. This will not create joy for either person.

An affair need not be the hammer blow that people imagine. It's not on a par with contracting cancer. As the old Zen saying has it:

He who can be punctured must be a balloon.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

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An affair need not be the hammer blow that people imagine. It's not on a par with contracting cancer. As the old Zen saying has it:

He who can be punctured must be a balloon.
I realize this is an old post but wanted to say this quote rejuvinated my efforts to try to accept my wife's recent affair.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Lisa,

The latest stat's do not support the ideaology of life go's on after affair somewhat weakened but managable while working on it.

It supports people simply exist or cohabitat as friends nothing more. They live under same roof but different lives when not under the roof. When asked is it a happy marriage, the response is no but we are friends.

There is couples that have physically separated under this roof.

This seems to replacing the traditional one of forgive and forget and indeed may be easier to attian when the heart has no more strings attached.

Your thoughts, as the numbers seem to dictate this is the future.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

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Lisa,

The latest stat's do not support the ideaology of life go's on after affair somewhat weakened but managable while working on it.

It supports people simply exist or cohabitat as friends nothing more. They live under same roof but different lives when not under the roof. When asked is it a happy marriage, the response is no but we are friends.
I would love to know what research you are referring to as I have not run across this. Please share as I would like to look into it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Cheating, physical cheating is a deal breaker for me...there is no coming back from that no matter who and what anyone says to me. If I was to make the mistake and cheat on my husband...I would tell him apologize and then leave the marriage/divorce. If he did, the same thing would happen.
Maybe because I was cheated on physically in the past, but that is a marriage killer, sorry.
Maybe I'm just cold and hard and non responsive to whatever...but if that were to take place in my marriage, regardless of how long we had been together, how many kids we had, who had what life threatening disease, or what mid-life crisis, or whatever...if there is physical cheating...there is to be a divorce.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

That's very easy to say until you are placed in that situation. We are all human and have our failings. I always said I would NEVER stay with a cheater but I love my husband and our relationship is too good to throw away after a mistake that he takes full responsibility for and is willing to work his hardest to rectify
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

That's not even to mention our two innocent children who deserve us both to try as best we can to keep there once happy family together
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Post Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

Good article.
So, in a nutshell if your spouse is not remorseful, still denying and possibly not cut off contact with the OW (after 1 1/2 -2 yrs) there really is no hope.
I just want acknowledgement now that I am not "imagining" that something is still going on. As I posted before, locked down computer and password on cell phone. I am tired of trying and getting back anger and no love or caring.
Need to move on, thanks to all the people that post and give their objective opinions it does help.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Saving Your Relationship: Healing from Infidelity

I really appreciate your post.I hope it will help me a lot.Thanks for sharing this post!
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