A relationship can survive an affair and betrayals.
I Have counselled many couples struggling with the devastation of the discovery that a spouse has cheated , I strongly believe that not only can the relationship survive but that it can go on to be stronger and become more loving.
During the first sessions there is much resentment, tears,confusion, disbelief and many other negative emotions following the discovery that a partner has cheated. I always explain to my couples that in order to start work through these issues, there needs to be complete honesty in the room however difficult this may be, On occasions when a person is so upset or has heightened emotions, I suggest they take a breath of fresh air outside. I work on the basis that both people have the chance to speak without interruption from the other so a respect is formed to be able to listen to each persons perspective.
I always think by owning up to the affair, the unfaithful spouse must be completely honest and of course must stop the affair and of course be prepared to remove all photos, telephone numbers, text messages and also answer all questions that the betrayed spouse may ask. Only by promising to sever all contact immediately , can your relationship have the chance it deserves to survive the affair. There can be no further secrets whatsoever if this relationship is to repair.
During this very difficult process, it can be emotionally draining and I encourage the couple to have a walk together and wherever possible be kind to each other. For the unfaithful spouse, you will have to show empathy and be prepared for this process to take time. There will be many questions that will need answering many times over from the betrayed partner.
Forgiveness becomes possible once both parties understand the events leading up to the marital affair. Both people need to take responsibility in examining where they may have defaulted on the relationship.
Its also a time where it may be beneficial to talk about when the couple first met and the feelings they had for each other. By examining what attracted the couple to each other one may try to look as to what happened along the way. Was it simply that the couple spent less quality time together?, did intimacy go on the back burner? Did our jobs or careers become so important that we just didn't give our partners the attention they deserved? Did children come along and a partner not feel emotionally supported? There are so many possibilities.
By setting new boundaries together, committing to have quality time together away from the domestics in life, and above all having some 'fun' time, one can strengthen and heal their relationship. I have witnesses many couple walk away form their sessions hand in hand with a new understanding between them and a new spark rekindles through being respectful and honest in looking at what both parties want to achieve from their life together.
So, providing both parties want to work through the difficulties and challenges a betrayal presents, you can work through this and go on to achieve a new understanding of your partner and go on to achieve loving relationship.
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