Is enduring happiness in relationships even possible at all? Now you begin to doubt that what you had was real. Now you begin to question whether or not your choices were right.
And now, you begin to despair, you may never have your deepest desires fulfilled. This causes a thin cloud of anxiety to undermine everything you do. This is because when it comes to a marriage surviving infidelity, the answer is always in your hands. Pretty scary, right? The question is, why? Could it be that betrayal is such a treacherous act that it causes people to stop loving each other?
Is it because extramarital affairs affect the intimacy between the primary couple so drastically that they have a hard time reconnecting? I believe all these reasons play a part.
However, I also believe there are two major contributing factors missing from that list, both of which I consider to be so lethal to a marriage challenged by infidelity, that they cannot and should not be ignored. Now before I share with you what they are, I must warn you. At first glance, they both appear to be harmless and even insignificant. Following the Wrong Advice.
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In the aftermath of infidelity, one of the most dangerous things that couples do is to follow the wrong advice and guidance. Because they would have the best chance of giving you the right kind of advice, and perhaps most importantly, the right perspective. What perspective is that?
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The perspective of someone who has gone through the fire and emerged victorious. Whom you talk to and whom you turn to for advice is going to have a dramatic impact on the results you get. Most people on that list will fall into one of the following three categories :.
Which category of experience a person has had with infidelity is going to greatly affect the advice you hear. And you probably noticed that one category is missing from the list; those couples who have been through infidelity and successfully rebuilt a stronger marriage that remained happy and infidelity-free. Well, research tells us that couples like this are rare. Many who are going through infidelity never get a chance to meet such a couple. It leaves them talking to the wrong sources and following advice based on theory, not first-hand knowledge.
This is a dangerous combination. Until you have been through it, you cannot say for sure how you would handle it. Makes sense? What winds up happening is that rather than infidelity being a fatal shot, it seems more like a flesh wound that causes a marriage to slowly bleed to death over a one to two-year period.
The Essential Guide to Surviving Infidelity by Liz Currin (2012, Paperback)
I believe the reason for this slow death is because so many couples take a passive approach to dealing with infidelity. Alas, this passive approach is like taking the long way over Mt. And, after a while, the misery becomes too much; they give up hope and finally decide to end the marriage. At a time like this, it may feel like there are a million ways to go. But when you look at it, there are really only two roads to marriage and relationship recovery after infidelity. That last bullet point is a crucial point. Eventually, everybody reaches their breaking point. The reality is, a man will only tolerate being punished for a certain period of time, and a woman will only suffer in silence for so long.
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The answer to your question comes in two parts: 1 avoid taking a passive road to recovery; and 2 do everything you can to move towards taking the active road to recovery. This can cause a lot of problems, especially at first, because the betrayed partner might very well feel that the betrayer is seeking to justify his or her actions or even to defensively blame the betrayed partner.
You need to communicate what you need to repair the relationship. For most couples in this situation, transparency is a must. That means that your partner needs to be an open book about where they are, who they are with, when to expect their return, and immediate communication if there is a change in plans, or if they have had any encounter with the affair partner. The biggest issue in establishing a transparent relationship is hearing the full story of the affair. While it is best to avoid questions regarding specific sexual behaviors, all other questions must be answered openly and honestly.
You might want to write out a list of what your needs are. It is okay to have needs and to ask your partner to honor them. Emotional infidelity takes many different forms. A lot of people argue about what constitutes an emotional affair. In the Gottman Method, we believe it starts when a person gets too close to someone other than his or her relationship partner. Often these relationships begin innocently enough, but they grow into something very dangerous. The signs of emotional infidelity are: confiding in; flirting; keeping the relationship secret from the partner; and sharing details about their personal life, especially negative details about the partner and the relationship.
It can escalate very quickly. Emotional affairs almost always involve secret keeping. When people try to hide the extent and the content of their conversations, they are on a slippery slope toward an emotional affair. Almost all betrayals begin with emotional infidelity. Even if the betrayal never moves beyond the emotional betrayal to a physical relationship, the offense can be just as devastating and recovery can be just as difficult. My husband used to be a porn addict. He kept an online dating profile, commented on photos of other women, posted for sex, and responded to a woman to meet.
While he never actually slept with anyone, I still feel cheated on — betrayed at least. He has an extensive history cheating on past partners. How do I recover from this? Are we doomed? I feel my inability to fully trust him is a big part of our relationship. It makes sense that you would feel betrayed and anxious about your future. You are right, trust is a big part of every relationship and there are serious roadblocks to trust in this situation.
A thorough evaluation by a counselor or therapist is a good first step. You are going to need a lot of support, both individually and as a couple. The need for total transparency is a given here. There can be no secrets. Social media accounts and other media — email accounts and cell phones — must be an open book.
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