After the Affair: Can a Person Heal from Infidelity
Absolutely. After the pain of infidelity has been mined and trust has
been firmly restored, a couple can learn some important lessons that
will help solidify their relationship. The irony is that sometimes an
infidelity can be a catalyst for creating an even better relationship,
by bringing hidden and repressed issue to the surface.
A starting point for discovering the silver lining of an emotional
affair is to discuss what the unfaithful partner liked about himself or
herself while having the other relationship. Are aspects that can be
fostered in your relationship? For instance, maybe he felt romantic and
generous, and can start to surprise you with little gifts. Or, maybe you
felt sexy and attractive, and can find ways to elicit those feelings in
Other relationship strengths that can grow out of one partner's infidelity include: â€¨
A clearer sense of appropriate boundaries for friendships and other relationships.
A shared vision of what commitment means.â€¨
A closer, more honest relationship, in which you share more of your deepest desires and fears with each other.â€¨
A renewed sense of priority for your relationship and each other in your lives.â€¨
A united front after having come through a difficult time together and being stronger because of it.â€¨â€¨â€¨â€¨
Once the dust has settled after a disclosure of infidelity and a
couple wants to try to make the relationship work, it's important to
begin creating an atmosphere of warmth and affection. Often, it will
take some effort, especially on the part of the betrayed partner, but
reconnecting sexually can be an important route to healing:â€¨â€¨
Be appreciative. Notice your partner's efforts to do nice things,
whether it's emptying the dishwasher or complimenting you on how you
look. You may not feel ready to forgive yet, or say something nice in
return, but expressing appreciation or a simple thanks will help
Take the initiative. If each person is waiting for the other to break
the ice or plan some quality time together, it may never happen.
Reminisce together. Recall how you first met or your wedding day. Look at photo albums or videos and remember the good times.
Look to the future. Think of better times ahead, too. This may be
nothing more than a bump in the road on your long journey together,
whether it's having children, grandchildren or planning a
Bring back courtship. Start dating each other again. Plan romantic
outings or give little gifts and notes to show thoughtfulness and revive
excitement. Act like you are getting to know each other all over again
(perhaps you are).â€¨
Renew your vows. A vow renewal ceremony can be done privately, in
front of family and friends or even as a second honeymoon, to symbolize
your renewed commitment.