Affair healing Blog
These six predictors are not guarantees. They are indicators that tend to be present in couples who, on the other side of infidelity, rediscover a satisfying and intimate relationship with each other. How many are present in your marriage?
1. A Relationship History of Love & Trust
The couple has previously experienced mutual love, respect, and trust in their marriage. If they never experienced this level of connection, the affair will likely become the final reason for ending their marriage. If both partners remain committed to saving the marriage, they will need to understand that “dealing with the affair” is only the first step in a longer journey of rediscovering the kind of marriage in which trust and intimacy are the norm again.
2. A Quick Return To Trustworthy Behavior
The unfaithful partner is able to move quickly to trustworthy behaviors, including (1) honest disclosures about the affair and (2) a complete cut-off of all relationship ties with the affair partner. The longer the unfaithful spouse holds on to deceptions or continues in any kind of affair behavior, the harder it becomes for the marriage to survive.
3. The Appropriate Acceptance of Responsibility
The unfaithful partner assumes responsibility for helping his/her partner feel safe again. This means he/she will be willing to go to extraordinary measures to regain the partner's trust. There will be no expectation for the betrayed partner to “just get over it.” Rather, the betrayed partner will be given enough time to process grief and hurt, even if it takes longer than the unfaithful spouse thinks it should.
4. A Willingness To Forgive
The betrayed spouse is able to offer grace and forgiveness. It will take time, but this must eventually be done in order for the marriage to fully heal. For the betrayed spouse, forgiveness means they no longer have to be held captive by the past. For the spouse who had the affair, real forgiveness helps them heal from shame and live without fear of continual shaming.
5. The Gaining of Necessary Insight
The unfaithful spouse gains necessary insight into their affair behavior along with a clear vision for change. In order to guard against repeat behavior, they need to understand the various influences that were at play when they chose the affair and give proper attention to each. Along with gaining insight from the past, it is important for them to gain a clear vision of what it means to be healthy and whole.
6. Shared Efforts Toward Connection
The couple finds new ways to pursue intimate connection with each other. Simply returning to "business as usual" often means a return to affair vulnerability. Healing couples find ways to make their marriage stronger by accepting mutual responsibility for the problems in their marriage and working together toward change.
This post is an extract from the PDF eBook Affair Healing: A Recovery Guide for Couples.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder