The Question that
Can Make All the Difference When You Are Getting Over an
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
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?"
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
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
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
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
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
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