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4 Strategies to Help You Get Past the Past

By Susie and Otto Collins

Kevin wishes that he could just get over it.

His wife, Linda, had a brief affair with a co-worker 3 years ago. When he found out about the affair just after it happened, Kevin was devastated.

He wasn't sure that he could even look at Linda again, let alone remain married to her.

A lot has changed since that time. Kevin decided to stay in the marriage and he gives Linda credit for taking ownership for her affair.

She has really worked hard to prove to him that he can trust her and that she loves him. The two of them are far more open and honest with one another than they ever were.

The trouble is that Kevin just can't seem to get past the past.

Even though he can see that Linda has made amends for her mistake, at the back of his mind he keeps watching her and waiting. He continues
to "see" Linda cheating again and this makes him jealous and keeps him distant from her.

Your partner's affair may have been a long time ago or it could have occurred more recently. What matters the most is that you find strategies that work for you and that help you overcome jealousy and move past what happened.

The only way to create the kind of love relationship or marriage that you want after infidelity is to move beyond the affair and-- in healthy ways-- let it go.

We are certainly NOT advising you to pretend that the affair didn't happen or to ignore your very real feelings.

Ignoring, denying feelings and pretending are just not effective or healthy for you or your relationship.

Instead, try these 4 strategies to help you get past the past...

#1: Be present.
Practice staying in the present moment.

This is so essential to you two being able to rebuild trust. It's nearly impossible to create the kind of relationship you want if you are continually reacting to your partner from the past.

Notice it when you begin to make an assumption about your partner (or yourself) that is accurate for what happened around the affair, but may not be true today.

Your breath can be a useful to help you return to the present.

When you have a thought about your relationship or your partner that was true in the past but isn't necessarily true today, just pause and breathe.

Don't try to rationalize why that thought might still be true or argue with yourself about it. Just recognize that your focus is on the past and breathe as a way to re-focus yourself on what's going on right now.

#2: Talk about it.
Talking about the affair with your mate is most likely not your idea of a good time.

It's probably not going to be helpful-- or keep you living in the present moment-- to keep rehashing the details of the infidelity.

However, it's important for you and your partner to acknowledge how you are feeling, right now, and that might relate to the affair.

Be honest about your feelings and request that your partner create specific agreements with you that can help you two move closer together.

If you allow honest and open communication, you both can learn a lot from the affair. You can actually start to see that the infidelity was (most likely) part of bigger problems going on in your

Yes, your partner chose to cheat.

However, there were undoubtedly a lot of other factors that contributed to the disconnection that may have led to the affair.

#3: Clean up "bad" habits.
As you have this communication with your partner and start to better understand what factors may have led to the affair, you're probably going to realize that you and your mate have developed some "bad" habits.

These might still be going on today.

Let's be clear here... We're talking about habits being "bad" and NOT people.

To be even more clear... Habits are actually NOT "bad" or "good," they are just habits.

What you need to start noticing is which habits are taking you and your partner further away from one another and which are helping you move closer together.

Those habits-- which may involve communication, intimacy, priorities, decision-making and more-- that don't help you two to rebuild trust and re-connect are the habits that you may want to

Identify those disconnecting and trust-eroding habits that you both have and begin to develop new habits instead.

#4: Forgive.
Forgiveness can seem like a daunting task. It can feel like something that you "have to" or "should" do in order to heal and repair your relationship.

For forgiveness to be truly effective in rebuilding trust, it cannot happen grudgingly or because you believe that you "should" do it. It needs to happen in the course of healing and it is also a necessary
element of healing.

Start out by inviting yourself to forgive your partner.

Remind yourself that you are taking steps to release the past so that you can be freer from the anger, resentment, sadness and grief related to the affair.

Remember that you are doing this to open up to a new phase of your relationship.







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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 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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