spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy, a leading provider in marriage counseling and infidelity recovery in New York City, has marriage counselors and marriage therapists, who are expert in helping couples overcoming marriage infidelity or extramarital affair and saving marriages in crisis, while building healthy marriages. spiral2grow, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers proven marriage counseling and couples therapy to provide couples the necessary tools to heal after the affair and overcome infidelity.
People are deeply monogamous and romantic in their beliefs as they aspire to be in a monogamous relationship. Yet, many people find themselves in a conflicting desires; in a conflict between their values and their behaviors. They might find themselves crossing a line they didn’t think they would ever cross and pay high cost for that.
Marriage after infidelity is like entering a whole new universe with new rules of physics. All the physical and emotional connections as well as the habits that the partners have spent years building are suddenly broken beyond repair. The thought that from now on you can never trust your spouse again fills the unfaithful spouse feeling of hopelessness. The couples face one of the most difficult challenges to overcome. Yet, most marriages are repairable after an affair. In fact, many couples find that after affair recovery, their marriage thrives.
The following are some tips and guideline to help couples overcome the crisis of infidelity and rebuilding trust in the relationship:
- Take responsibility for the affair
- When the affair becomes known, it is important for the unfaithful spouse to be honest in admitting what happened as well as taking responsibility to their actions. This is a necessary step to begin the process of renewed trust in your mate. Only then will the relationship have a fair chance at redemption and you will have the possibility of a second chance.
- The unfaithful spouse must take full responsibility for the extramarital involvement and show remorse for the pain caused before the healing process starts. Additionally, acknowledge’ how much the betrayal hurt your partner, how difficult it must be to move past it, and vow to do whatever necessary to make things better.
- People make mistakes, but owning up to them makes you a better person. When you take full ownership of your own selfishness, immaturity, or basic destructive relationship behavior, you make a clear statement that “I want to change my ways,” you own your decision and behavior without e excuses.
- Stop lying
- To regain the trust the unfaithful partner must demonstrate a commitment to being honest, even about information that might be hurtful. The only way to rebuild the trust is simply be honest and transparent and to and always tell the truth. Therefore, the cheaters must stop lying or making excuses for their actions. The cheaters must amend their way and move away from dishonesty.
- If cheater continues to lie, it sets the reconciliation process way back. If the betrayed partner discovers (either on purpose or by accident) that you have lied about or left out salient details, they will likely never trust you again. Truth is the only way to rebuild your relationship and the only way to reclaim your own integrity. You simply cannot build a relationship on lies and deception.
- Talk about the affair
- Some people may think that discussing the affair with the spouse will only create more upset. However, the opposite is true. Talking about the affair itself is a major part of the process of moving beyond the affair and start healing. It is important to deliberately focus on dealing with the affair and what comes with it, rather than avoiding it. It is, also, necessary for the partner who had the affair to answer all the questions, sometimes repeatedly.
- By asking multiple questions, the betrayed partner get up to speed, thus obtaining necessary information to deal with feelings of being in the dark while their partner was trying to hide things from them. The betrayed partner is going to ask lots of questions and want details about things unfaithful partner may not want to answer. The unfaithful partner is going to cross reference prior stories and ask to confirm if “this” or “that” was a lie. With all this challenge, the unfaithful partner needs to answer.Withholding information about the affair gives the impression of an attempt to continue the deception. Talking about the affair is very difficult, yet it is the only way to improve the chance of repair and rebuilding trust and intimacy.
- Be honest, open and transparent
- Make a commitment to honesty and ongoing open communication, even when honesty is uncomfortable and inconvenient as well as hurtful. Honesty, in this case, means more than just “not lying.” It also means not withholding relevant information. In addition, voluntary sharing additional secrets clearly state your intention to build trust and not hold secretive information. You need to be as open as possible in your relationship in order to show that you have nothing to hide.
- Do everything you can to let your partner know that you have nothing to hide. Additionally, do not hide your phone or set the ringer on silent. If your partner requests, give them your phone, email and voice mail pass codes. When you are open and transparent, your partner will also feel that they should be open enough to you as well.
- Even more, if you have nothing to hide, then offer your partner the codes without them having to ask. Don’t clear you phones call log, messages or lock phone or email. Allow your partner to check and see any and all of your messages emails etc. and assure them that, from now on, you will be truthful.
- Although you may feel as though some of these are a violation of your privacy, you need to know that truth and transparency are absolutely necessary if you are trying to rebuild trust. Remember, keeping secrets is probably one of the worst things you can do for a relationship. Dishonesty will never get you to your goal of loving your spouse again. Once individuals break the trust of their partner, it takes a while and a whole lot of effort to get it back.
- Express sincere remorse
- The unfaithful partner must be contrite/regretful, remorseful, empathetic, compassionate and honest. Remorse needs to be conveyed in both verbal and nonverbal ways. Just saying “sorry” won’t do. “Sorry” needs to be conveyed through the eyes, body language and actions wholeheartedly, again and again, until trust has been restored. The unfaithful partners can’t apologize often enough. They need to tell their spouse that they will never commit adultery again.
- At the same time, acknowledging the degree of pain the unfaithful partners caused on their partner is important. It is vital for healing that the unfaithful partner understands, tolerates and empathizes with the hurt partner’s pain. In addition, expressing appreciation for another chance gives the betrayed partner a clear message that you are sorry for what you have done, that you are mindful of their pain, and that as long as you are aware of their struggle to overcome the ordeal, you will be less likely to make such terrible decision again in the future.
- In many cases, the betrayed partner may not see a lot of remorse until the relationship begins to cool down and the overwhelming emotionality has subsided. Also, the betrayed partner must recognize that the unfaithful partner understand that the affair is a horrible mistake and should not happened again.
- Be available and make your partner feel good
- While being emotionally available following the discovery of a betrayal might be difficult, it is important that the unfaithful partner make a tremendous effort to be emotionally available. Being around to answer questions and soothe the betrayed person’s thoughts and feelings will keep them from building up and causing future explosions and regressions in the relationship. If partners can’t be with one another physically, try to keep electronic communication open (phone, text, email) whenever possible to be able to answer the betrayed partner’s calls, and allowing them direct, quick and free access when they need. Depending on your partner’s temperament, you may need to respect their desire to be alone, but you need to keep yourself available when they need you.
- Giving your partner your full attention during this challenging time will help them to regain the feelings of importance in your life, and will serve as an indication to them that you are unlikely to repeat your mistake and hurt or betray them again. It is also important to show and tell your partner how much you care or love them, this will help your partner to overcome the anger, shame and humiliation as well as the hurt that comes along with the betrayal. Any gesture or actions toward making your partner feeling good, will more than likely make them feel a little better about themselves and at the same time will open the door to your reconciliation and lead the way to recovery.
- The betrayed partner will appreciate the fact that you are making yourself available and showing your seriousness about rebuilding trust in a marriage or relationship. In rebuilding trust after an affair, the unfaithful partners are required to go out of their way to demonstrate their willingness to amend their way and avoid potential temptations. For some couples, this may mean avoiding close friendships with the opposite sex, not being flirtatious, and when possible, not being alone with someone who has shown interest in you. The more time you spend with your spouse, the less you will be tempted to contact your lover.
- Building an inventory of positive interactions including a caring responses and actions even in the face of painful or negative interactions will create positive energy and will encourage your partner to move beyond the pain associated with the affair.
- Communicate and express your needs
- Healthy relationship starts with communication. This goes to any relationships (even when infidelity is not involved.) It is important to understand yourself, identify your need and express them in a healthy way. Healthy communication means being assertive (not passive and not aggressive), yet being respectful.
- Take the time to talk with each other frequently so that you both know where the other one stands. This will allow you to feel as though there is nothing that you’re not communicating to the other. It is better than being in the dark and unclear about your position.
- Expressing your need will go a long way to showing your partner how much you trust them. By allowing them to see what makes you happy, you are becoming vulnerable to them and to their reactions. They might not like what you’ve decided, though they probably will appreciate the fact that you are telling them what you need from them. Trusting them to listen and to respect these needs will help the favor to be returned.
- Remember, both partners are part of a team. Both partners need to do for the relationship and the family. It’s not just what the person who had the affair needs to do.
- Be patient and committed
- Generally, the unfaithful partner wants to “move forward” and putting the affair behind. The betrayed partners may think that since they have confessed, apologized and clearly stated that he would remain honest and loyal, things should return to normal. Unfortunately, this is simply not a realistic request. Restoring trust in a broken relationship will take time and energy, and it’s a process that’s measured in years, not months. Do not expect things to return back to normal after a short time.
- At the same time, the hurt spouses have totally different process to manage. They are in a stage of discovery, grief and pain. In many cases The betrayed spouse cannot let go and still hold on to the betrayal as a way to protect themselves and sending a clear message to the unfaithful partner “you hurt me badly, and it is hard for me to move on.” Or “I still want to punish you for what you have done and for you to feel my hurt.” The fact of the matter is, that your partner may never fully be “over it”, but may still learn how to mentally move past the lies, or the betrayal.
- It’s unlikely you will be able to learn and process all about the affair and its surrounding issues is a single meeting. Don’t try. Take your time to get the information you need. Most couples repeat questions, repeat telling parts of the story, and rehash some of their conversations about the affair many times. It is not an easy process, yet it is best to take it slowly and rushing will only be counterproductive. It takes time to heal the wounds of an affair.
- One minute you and your spouse talk about spending quality time together and actually do it. The next time is not so much. Inconsistency is a natural process specially after revealing the affair. So, anticipate that your spouse will be on a roller coaster of emotions. Mood changes, sudden tears, angry and explosive behaviors or withdrawal are natural.
- Although it takes time to rebuild trust after an affair, remember that you are rebuilding your character and your relationship at the same time. So take it slow, giving it your best will show your partner how much you regret your actions and that you really care for them and the relationship. Be patient. It is hard to forgive and forget after betrayal and rebuilding trust takes time. It is rare to completely recover from the emotional impact in less than two years.
- Consider couples counseling
- Infidelity is one of the most challenging that any couples can face. It is hurtful and devastating while it put the relationship is a serious jeopardy. Most couples having difficulties in manage infidelity by themselves and even more difficult is to find a constructive ways to restore the trust and rebuild the relationship. Therefore, many couples look for professional help to guide them through this difficult process.
- Marriage counseling and couples therapy provides safe environment, support and guidelines to help partners manage their painful and difficult feelings. After the unfaithful spouse has fully acknowledged responsibility for the affair, it would be wise for both spouses to gradually expand their understanding of each other and their marital issues. Each partner has to take responsibility for change. The infidelity crisis, even though devastating, can serve as an opportunity, for the couples to create something new, stronger, and more open and honest.
- Marriage counseling and couples therapy are instant gratification solutions. They intend to provide a safe, confidential environment to explore what is happening in your life and your relationship in the context of your personality, family of origin, and personal goals and aspiration. Before you destroy the possibility for recreating a previously painful relationship, consider looking for qualified professional counseling that is expert in infidelity. You may be able to salvage something worth having and recreate the relationship you wish for.
- Infidelity can shatter even the strongest relationship, leaving behind feelings of betrayal, guilt, and anger. Counseling provides the necessary tools for communication and exercises to work on healing, and restoration of trust, building healthy relationship skill and overcoming the infidelity.