Affair healing Blog
In Recovery Room podcast #502, counselor Jennifer Gingras and I discuss issues related to someone who has had repeated affairs. Let's focus on just one questions: If a marriage has any hope for healing after repeated infidelities, what is the one thing that matters most? What is the best predictor of genuine, lasting recovery (assuming the betrayed partner decides to stay)?
First, let me list some circumstances that are not most important in relationship recovery from multiple affairs. Although these may all be part of the recovery process, they will not matter if the one thing is missing.
The essetial, necessary change is this: The involved partner's sincere passion to take responsibility for personal and relationship healing and their desire to work on change that happens from the inside-out.
There must be an obvious, recognizable difference in the way the unfaithful partner confronts their affair behavior. There needs to be a real difference in the way they work on recovery now in contrast to their efforts after previouse affairs.
The inside-out change means they are driven by a personal passion to do what is necessary in pursuit of lasting change. Not because they're being forced to do it. Not just because they fear the consequences if they don't. Not because it's what's "expected." It needs to be an almost desperate desire to figure out the pattern and to follow a different path in the future.
This shift is the greatest predictor of long-term healing.
For more information about this "inside-out" motivation, I'd suggest listening (or reading the transcript) to podcast #501: "Satisfying Choices, Lasting Change."
In this episode of the "Dear Therapists" podcast, hosts Guy Winch and Lori Gottlieb focus on helping a man who left his family to be with his affair partner. Troubled by the perspectives his ex-wife and friends seem to have of him, he asks the therapists for help. You'll have to put up with a few commercials, but it's well worth the listen.
After listening to a podcast interview with Guy Winch, the author of Emotional First Aid, I ordered and read his book. While it does not focus specifically on affair recovery, most of the problems addressed in the book are commonly experienced in the affair healing process. In each chapter, the author (a practicing psychologist) discusses an emotional wound using real-life examples and then offers practical research-based remedies.
Each of these emotional wounds is covered in a chapter of the book: Rejection, Loneliness, Loss & Trauma, Guilt, Rumination, Failure, and Low Self-Esteem. Anyone struggling to heal from wounds of infidelity would benefit from the instruction and remedies presented by the author.
With Disney's film release of the musical, Hamilton, I've finally been able to understand the obsession of those who witnessed the theater production. It's an amazing creation that stirred many emotions while I watched and listened to this creative telling of Alexander Hamilton's life and the birth of a nation.
One song, in particular, produced a flow of tears. It's Quiet Uptown follows two tragic events in the story: Hamilton's public humiliation over his confessed affair and the death of his son. These cause an estrangement between Alexander and his wife, Eliza. But they choose to do the unimaginable: find their way back together again.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources.