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Surviving Affairs

The Question that Can Make All the Difference When You Are Getting Over an Affair
By Susie and Otto Collins

If you and your partner are trying to rebuild trust in your relationship after infidelity has happened, you might be searching for effective ways to get over the affair and move toward reconnection.

It can feel like a long road ahead. There might be times when you even wonder if you'll ever feel the closeness and easy passion that you once might have shared.

It could seem like for every step you and your mate take toward renewed trust and connection, two missteps occur and you appear to be turned around yet again.

One way to get over an affair in your love relationship or marriage is to ask yourself this question: "Whose side am I on?"

Your answer can make all the difference.

When you really stop and look at your answer to the question "Whose side am I on?" you get a clearer perspective of the degree to which you might still be guarding yourself against pain and hurt-- and your partner.

Even though you've decided to stay in this relationship after infidelity and even though you've made a commitment to rebuilding trust, you could still be holding back.

This is understandable given the past you've experienced.  If your partner was the one who cheated, you might feel guarded and may still be healing from the wounds of being betrayed.

If you were the one who had the affair, you might also be holding back from your mate either to give
him or her space to trust you again or even because you feel defensive and judged.

It's not wrong for you to be holding back or guarded. But the consequences of approaching your partner and your relationship from a holding back place is that further divisions and distance can result.

And that environment of division can easily turn into conflict and competitiveness when challenges arise-- even those that might otherwise be easily handled.

Janey sometimes feels like she's in a contest against her husband Chas. He always seems to want to be right-- about everything. Chas' tendency, which has only intensified since his affair a year ago, is really irritating to Janey and has meant more and more arguments between the two of them.

Since Janey has agreed to stay with him and try to restore their marriage, she thinks his need to be right has grown unbearable. She doesn't see how they can possibly rebuild trust and be happy again with this division between them.

Whose side are you on?
If you feel at odds with your mate on a regular basis, you might be dealing with a scenario similar to Chas and Janey. It is possible the Chas feels the need to literally be "right about everything" as Janey perceives.

It's more likely that the two of them are each defended against one another partly because of the broken trust. This sense of defendedness has added to the distance and division between them and it sets up a situation in which they seem to be on opposite "sides."

Janey could demand that Chas stop trying to be "right about everything" and join up with her on the same "side." Chances are, if she makes a demand like this and labels Chas the troublemaker, he'll shut down even more than he
may already be.

Another option might be for Janey to ask the question of herself. She can begin to look at the ways that she closes off and opposes Chas.

She might not realize it but perhaps she has the same need to be "right" that she is detecting in Chas' behavior and words.

It can be uncomfortable to take a closer look at the role you possibly play in your relationship dynamics. But if you see that you and your partner are moving further away from one another and, instead you'd like to be moving closer, this can be a powerful practice.

What is your goal or intention?
You might also ask yourself what your ultimate goal or intention is in this relationship. Set aside any doubting or limiting thoughts you might have right now.

Release your expectations due to the past. Simply ask yourself what your goal or intention is for your relationship.

If it is to continue to rebuild trust-- or to do so more effectively-- and begin connecting more of the time with your mate, affirm that to yourself. If you have a different intention, affirm that. Get clear about what you really want.

Now ask yourself if mentally viewing your partner as opposed to you or on the "other side" from you is helping you move toward that goal. If it isn't, you might consider ways to shift your viewpoint.

You can share your goal with your mate and listen to what his or her goals are for your relationship. You two might even write down your intentions on a piece of paper and place it in an easy-to-see location.

It is possible to be true to you and keep pointing toward that intention to share strong trust and closeness with your partner.

You may not always agree on everything, but you can still approach challenges feeling like you're on the "same team." In fact, a renewed sense of being a team can bolster trust and connection.







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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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