Relationship Recover After An Affair?
By Susie and Otto Collins
If an affair has happened in
your marriage or love relationship, in the midst
of everything you are feeling, you may be
wondering if your relationship can recover.
may also be asking yourself if you and your
partner will again experience a sense of trust
and connection that you either once enjoyed or
that you have longed for?
We can't answer these
questions for you. Only you and your partner can
truly know whether you are willing to take steps
toward moving back together as you heal or if
ending this relationship in order to heal is
When you inquire within, you may even
hear different answers to your own questions. If
so, this is not uncommon. Try to tune in to the
most consistent message you are giving to
yourself and go from there.
If you and your mate do
decide to stay together and rebuild trust and
connection between you, there are specific steps
you can take. Above all, keep the communication
open. Listen as best you can to what your
partner needs to heal and move closer to you and
speak honestly about what you need.
Look at what contributed
to the affair.
We don't normally recommend that people
focus on the past. But it may be helpful for you
and your partner to spend some amount of time
identifying what was going on for each of you
when the infidelity happened.
This is not about
blaming and reliving the anguish either or both
of you may have felt at the time. Try to
approach it all with as much a sense of
curiosity as you can.
When engineers and builders
construct a bridge, they follow blueprints and
use certain skills to help ensure that the
bridge will be sound, sturdy and safe for use.
If that bridge collapses at some point during
the construction, they need to figure out what
contributed to the collapse.
Perhaps the cement
was faulty or the way reinforcing beams were
installed caused weakness. In order to end up
with a bridge that is usable and sound, they
need to correct the mistake or weakness.
You and your partner can do
the same thing with your relationship. Think
back to just before the time of the affair. How
were you each feeling? What needs were possibly
not being met? Again, this is about identifying
areas for healing and not about pointing fingers
Take steps to change
You might even consider making a list of the
habits that have developed in your relationship
that make you two feel disconnected. This can
help you two decide where you want to focus your
energy and what changes you might want to make
as a couple and/or individually.
You could take your list to
another level and reword the list of
disconnecting habits in more positive and
affirming terms. For example, perhaps you
initially wrote something like "we never spend
quality time together because we're both too
busy." You can easily shift that statement
around into, "we both look forward to creating
more quality time for just the two of us."
The bridge builders and
engineers might realize that their cement was
mixed incorrectly and therefore cracked causing
the entire structure to weaken and collapse.
They can better move forward if they seek out
properly mixed cement rather than focusing in on
how bad the original batch was.
Forgive and face forward.
While we recommend that you and your partner
devote some energy to getting curious about what
factors contributed to the affair, we don't
suggest you linger on this past event. Start the
forgiveness process for yourself and for your
No matter if you were the one who
cheated or it was your mate, there is probably
forgiving and letting go that can be beneficial
on both sides. Remember, forgiveness is all
about making your peace with what happened and
letting go of the hurt and pain.
Now, face forward with your
partner. Even as you embark on making changes,
keep your focus on the present and the future
you want for yourself and your relationship.
Little by little you can rebuild trust and
recover-- or even enhance-- your relationship
with the one you love.