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.
The healing of a marriage/relationship after an affair is not a passive process. There is no recovery conveyor belt to carry you from one stage to the next. The only way to reach your preferred destination is by walking the right path, step by step.
Couples who hope to heal together can expect to stumble. A lot. They will need to frequently adjust their footing to get back in sync. Knowing their desired destination can only be reached by taking the difficult journey together, both partners must cooperate in their efforts.
Consider the steps the Involved Partner (the one who had the affair) must take to help their relationship heal...
Last weekend, a clicked on a documentary that showed up on recommended watch list, expecting to be inspired by a story of one man's triumph over adversity. Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story.
This is an edited copy of the letter one woman wrote to her husband after her affair. It is used with her permission. The entire letter is included as an extra resource in the Understanding WHY course.
If you had told me seven months ago that I would be writing this letter, I might not have believed it—not because I am not profoundly sorry and regretful for my actions in the past, but because I never believed I could survive telling the truth, that you would survive hearing it, that we could survive its aftermath, or that you would even be willing to offer me the chance.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources.