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Save Your Marriage

What You Learn from the Affair Could Actually Save Your Marriage
By Susie and Otto Collins

Jennie and Adam both feel like their marriage is back on track.  But, in the not so distant past, divorce seemed imminent.

When Jennie discovered that Adam was having an affair, she wasn't sure that she could stay with him.

Even though she knew it would devastate their children to have to go through their parents
splitting up, she couldn't fathom being able to love him or forgive him for cheating.

But Jennie gave herself time. She took the kids and went to stay with her sister for a few weeks. After those weeks, Jennie had cooled off and was ready to talk with Adam about the future.

After many talks-- including sessions with a counselor-- Jennie and Adam decided to remain married.

Since making that decision, they have both made changes in their relationship habits and Adam is especially working on proving to Jennie that he is trustable.

From where she sits today, Jennie can see that the affair was actually one reason why her marriage is still together today...and even better than ever.

This may sound crazy to you. How can an affair "save" a marriage?

Well, of course, a marriage can be saved and trust and connection turned around without infidelity having to happen.

You can certainly make changes now that could prevent an affair. But, once an affair occurs, a couple can learn valuable lessons from it.

Get to a place where you are open to learning.
Those first months after discovering that Adam was having an affair, Jennie didn't want to hear anything about lessons.

She was angry, hurt and afraid about the future.

But after deciding to give Adam a second chance, Jennie was able to start making a shift.

Little by little, she could begin to see that there were many disconnecting dynamics going on in their relationship that were unhealthy for their marriage.

It wasn't just the affair that damaged their relationship.

We encourage you to be honest with yourself about what you're feeling. And we also encourage you to question what you are thinking along the way.

When, for example, you think to yourself: "If my partner hadn't cheated, we'd be happily married right now," ask yourself if this is absolutely true.

In just about every case, when infidelity happens, there are major disappointments and significant unmet needs that one or both people are experiencing.

These don't usually get talked about-- or, if they do, they are not communicated about in ways that are connecting.

When you come upon a thought and you question it, you can start to widen your view of your own relationship.

This isn't about making a list and determining who was to blame for all of your marital troubles. You can do that and it might even feel satisfying in the moment to make such a list.

But a list like that won't help you learn from what happened. It certainly won't allow you to save your marriage if that's what you choose to do.

Be willing to own up to your part and to make changes. 
That blame list might seem easy to you to make because if your mate is the one who cheated, it could seem obvious that he or she is the one responsible for where you are today.

From a widened view, however, you can begin to see the ways in which your own habits and behaviors might have contributed to distance in
your relationship.

We often advise coaching clients to "take no more and no less than your share of responsibility."

Focus on how you tend to communicate (or withdraw from communication) when disagreements or tension arises.

Pay attention to how honest you usually are about what you want from your partner in terms of emotional, sexual or other ways of connecting.

Get clear about any unmet needs that you might have in your marriage as it stands now (and as it was before the affair happened).

Be willing to listen to your partner talk about his or her unmet needs.

How can the two of you work as a team to ensure that both of you feel satisfied and (eventually) passionate and excited in your relationship?

You might not know the exact answer to this big
question right away.

Being open to sharing and listening with honesty is a great start.

Learning from the affair can be painful and a challenge. But the payoff is worth it.

As you widen your view, take responsibility for your share and open up to possible solutions, you'll probably find that healing and trust-rebuilding happens more quickly and that it will last.






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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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