Doing Life Together

ID-100147970Affairs are devastating. When they do happen, the question most often asked is, “Should I try to work through the betrayal and give the person another chance?” The answer depends on a number of factors that can be determined by these 10 points.

#1 Don’t react impulsively to the news of betrayal. Slow down and consider what is at stake. Infidelity, while hurtful and devastating, doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship. Many people work through the breach of trust and come out stronger in the end.

#2 Is there repentance by the person who had the affair? If not, it is very difficult to make repair. But if the person is genuinely sorry and repentant, there should be a sincere apology and request for forgiveness. This is marked by true humility.

#3 Is there a willingness to work on the relationship and try to reconcile? If both partners are willing to work on the relationship by acknowledging their shortcomings, there is the possibility of rebuilding trust and growing in intimacy.

#4 What is behind the cheating? I know, you may not care because the breach is so painful, but most cheating comes out of relationship problems that need some attention. Clearly, cheating is a choice made by one person, but it is often driven by issues in the relationship that need to be addressed. The person who had the affair still takes full responsibility for turning to someone other than his/her partner.

#5 Is the person who had the affair wiling to cut off all contact with the cheating person? This is absolutely necessary for the repair to work. If the affair happened at work, consider changing jobs or ensure the least amount of contact possible.

#6 Is their a commitment to complete honesty in talking through the breach of covenant? The person who had the affair must be willing to answer any and all questions about the affair and be honest. Some people want a great deal of detail and others do not. Whatever your partner needs to heal, this needs to happen.

#7 Is the betrayer willing to provide lots of reassurance that he/she is being faithful? This may require phone calls regarding late meetings, delays in coming home, questions asking where the person has been, has he/she seen the person who had the affair, etc. Until the betrayed feels confident, these questions and check points may continue.

#8 Are you prepared for feelings of post traumatic stresslike symptoms? The depth of the betrayal can be triggered at the mention of the name, anniversaries, and other situations that are reminders.

#9 Are you willing to allow plenty of time to heal and rebuild trust? There is no substitute for time to prove that the betrayer has made a turn in behavior and can now be trusted. A partner who is impatient and wants you to “be over this already” does not understand the healing process. It takes time to regain trust.

#10 Are you willing to let it go? Once the healing process has happened, do not use the affair as a club over the person’s head. Forgiven is forgiven and while trust takes time to rebuild, using the affair as a weapon against the other person will only deepen the wound.






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