Healing after Infidelity

“Our friends and our therapist keep telling us that we will be able to trust each other again sometime, but I just don’t see how that is possible.”

“How can I bring myself to forgive?

It’s hard enough just to have a conversation about the kids!”

“How will she ever forgive me? I know how hurt she must feel.”

Chances are, you or your partner has had one or more of these thoughts over and over since the discovery of the affair. You are putting in the effort by going to counseling together and may be separated as well, but deep down, you wonder if it is just a waste of time. You have no hope that your relationship will ever be healed or even get back to polite interactions, no matter how well your therapy sessions go.

Restoring Trust

Every situation is different because of everyone processes and copes with traumatic discoveries in their own unique way, but you may find that following some of these steps will help you and your partner restore trust:

  • Make it clear that you are committed to your partner and will do anything it takes to reconcile with them. This goes for both partners.
  • Consistently attend and actively participate in your couples therapy sessions, being open and honest, even when it hurts.
  • Establish mutually agreed upon boundaries for
    talking about the affair. You may not want to know specific details about the affair itself, but you do want your partner to talk with you about the path that led them there or the little lies that were told along the way that turned into this big lie. This does not have to occur all in one sitting, but it could.
  • Determine a framework for accountability in the hopes of preventing the situations that led to the affair in the first place. Both partners should contribute to this process, and it could involve internet screening, location services on each others’ phones, changing your work schedules to intersect rather than be opposite, or creating a weekly check-in meeting for you to both report how you’re doing.
  • Get back into the activities that you used to do together, like going to concerts, doing trivia night, your church small group, or playing golf. Creating new and fun memories together will help you to remember what you liked about each other, to begin with and will help to remove the sting from some of the memories associated with the affair.
  • Begin being intimate with each other when you are both ready, which could be months or years, but be honest about your desires and avoid the temptation to revert to old behaviors if your partner is not ready yet. This will likely be the hardest step to take, and it should not be rushed, but intimacy is a crucial step on the path to reconciliation and healing.

It Is A Process

Healing and reconciliation happen in stages, and you may find that you don’t feel any mental or emotional changes in real-time. But when you look back over the past several weeks or months, you will see how far you have come and got a grasp on how much you have left to go. This process can seem to take a long time, but remember that your relationship is worth this investment, no matter how long it takes.

You may find it helpful to reference this blog post as you consider the healing step in the couples therapy process:

“4 Ways Couples Counseling Can Help Rekindle Love in Your Relationship” – https://novusmindfullife.com/4-ways-couple-counseling-can-help-rekindle-love-relationship/

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