An Education You Never Wanted
It has been only six hours since you found those messages. But it feels like six weeks. Time stopped, then started again in slow motion, but your brain keeps trying to turn it backward.
Everything in your life feels different now.
At first, it seemed like a twisted joke. You weren’t even looking for anything – or anyone. You were innocently using his device to Google something when it caught your eye.
An odd text message. You glanced at it – mildly curious – but once you started reading, you couldn’t stop. Shock and confusion rolled through your body, and you descended into the rabbit hole. “How could this be happening?!?” you thought.
So many moments keep flashing through your mind – times when you thought everything was fine. Happy even.
But now, you realize appearance wasn’t reality. You feel as though you have to rewrite the entire history of your relationship. The more you learn, the more you question everything that’s happened between you.
This affair has cost you more than you ever dreamed – perhaps even more than you know.
Things you used to take for granted now seem fragile – especially your certainty – about your relationship, your life, and even yourself.
Broken. Everything is broken. The explosion of this affair has created a wasteland in your lives – a shambles of debris you can never put right.
Should you drop out?
You’ve thought about what you’d do if he had an affair before, and the answer always seemed simple: Leave. Have some self-respect. Don’t allow someone to treat you like this. “Once a cheater – always a cheater,” right?
But it doesn’t seem so easy now.
You’ve been together for years. There’s the house, the kids, all of your friends. Why should you have to lose all of that, too? It seems too high a price.
Not to mention – you still love him. When things are good, they are so good. But isn’t staying the wrong thing to do? Doesn’t that tell them what they did is okay? And what will people think?
“Well,” you think to yourself, “it’s better to say I tried everything – even if it doesn’t end up working.”
Should you stay, or should you go?
Another complicating factor is that there are many types of affairs, including clearer or more blatant emotional violations than others. When a spouse “cheats,” we usually think of long-term affairs that include sex. But there are other, more subtle, and even perhaps more invasive infidelities.
Emotional affairs occur when a partner develops the connection and intimacy with someone else which is typically reserved only for the marriage bond.
They can be just as damaging, if not more damaging, than a physical affair – because partners often disagree about what makes up “cheating.” Boundary lines may be blurry, so it’s harder to tell when a partner has crossed them.
Making such momentous, long-term decisions amid so many complicated circumstances and feelings can overwhelm you, particularly when you’ve “lost” your primary sounding board and decision-making partner.
But you don’t have to face this by yourself. I’m here to help you find your way.
Or should you change your major?
Recovering from an affair is a brave thing to do. Sometimes, people think it would be easier to “just leave.” Repairing the relationship requires change on behalf of both partners. I’m here to tell you that both choices are challenging, but both are also possible.
I’ve broken affair recovery into six essential healing steps. (Though all are necessary, you may complete them in any order.)
- Clearing the Air: The partner who had an affair must fully disclose the details to take accountability for his/her actions.
- Adopting a New Form of Communication: You must both learn and practice reflective listening for communication.
- Defining Fidelity: Together, we must create a clear, shared definition of boundaries.
- Building Trust: Together, we’ll define sets of behaviors you can use to repair, rebuild, and look for examples of trust within your relationship.
- Fighting Fairly with a Plan: You’ll learn a structured approach toward handling disagreements – so inevitable conflicts can bring the two of you together instead of tearing you apart.
- Repairing Self-Esteem: Together, we’ll nourish the self-esteem of both partners – to restore you both to a healthy place so you can nurture a successful, egalitarian relationship.
Graduating to a New and Better Relationship
It will not be easy – you may look forward to some of those steps more than others. But I’m also here to tell you that THEY WORK.
Research results have proven that it’s successful. A recent study by psychologist Dr. Shirley Glass, whom the New York Times calls “the godmother of infidelity research,” showed that 71% stayed together after their therapy.
Heal your pain. Repair your relationship. Move forward together.
Give me a call today – and let’s get started. (763) 412-6983