Beginning Again: Developing Renewed Trust After an Affair
An affair is survivable. Millions of couples opt to stay together for many reasons. More often than not they still love each other still love and still possess a longing for the marriage to endure and this is what brings couples to marriage and family counseling. Therapy treatment, in conjunction with the couple’s persistent efforts, can help a marriage after an affair not only survive the affair but also thrive and grow into the marriage for which both have always longed.
Therapy following an affair is composed of helping the couple through three phases: ending the affair, complete transparency, and forgiveness.
First, the affair must end. Ending an affair has to be not only an ending for the partner who conducted the affair, but also an ending that satisfies the partner who did not engage in an affair. For this reason it is vital that both partners have a role. For instance, the partner who had the affair may write an ending letter to the person with whom the affair happened and the partner who was not engaged in the affair will mail it. This display of marital unity may help them become a team again.
To help the marriage proceed in the journey forward to the goal of the couple becoming united again after ending an affair, the partner who had the affair must commit to absolute transparency. Nothing can be off limits. Cell telephones, notebook passwords, and all email accounts must always be available without hesitancy for inspection when requested. Every single question, irrespective of how painful, must be answered with humbleness.
The final step the couple must take is forgiveness. The wounded partner must forgive the betraying partner, and the betraying partner must forgive him/herself. This last step is not something that occurs on a specific date. Rather it is a journey the couple will travel every day, and a trip where having access to the steering of a marriage and family counseling consultant can be most useful. With some help from marriage and family counseling, couples can execute these steps, survive the affair, and ultimately achieve the marriage of their dreams.
Dr. Kate Walker, Ph.D. Is the founder and Ceo of AchieveBalance.org, located in The Woodlands, TX. Marriage and family counseling are very important to couples making an attempt to recover their relationship on the heels of ending an affair. It’s a long road, but it is one that can produce a deeper and more enriching relationship than was previously thought imagineable.