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Surviving Affairs

Can Your 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.

You 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 required.

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 of blame.

Take steps to change disconnecting habits.
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 partner.

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.






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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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