5.11.2017

How to Recover from Infidelity



Starting with some facts: 
Most couples WANT to stay together
Men and women equally cheat
Women are statistically less forgiving of infidelity

Patterns:
Multiple infidelities are harder to recover from than single events.
In the case of multiple infidelities, sexual addiction may be the underlying issues.
Sexting and emotional affairs can be equally hurtful to one's spouse as a physical affair outside the marriage.

Unhelpful Statements:|

"I can forgive, but I can't forget."
"When is my punishment over?"
"How long am I in the doghouse?"
"Our sex life had dried up so..."
"If you're not going to get over it, tell me now."

Common Responses:
Increasing sexual frequency to satisfy the cheating party.
Feeling forced to increase sexual frequency so partner isn't jealous or to prove fidelity.
Placing tracker or GPS on phone or auto.
Cheating partner surrenders household power (e.g. "no longer disciplining the kids because he/she is now in charge, not me.") or relinquishes all decision-making to appease partner.
Cheating partner suggests that faithful partner GO CHEAT, ridding them of guilt and/or leveling the playing field.
The offended partner stifles their anger and hurt, for fear that any emotional outburst will further push away the cheating partner.


Solutions:
Counseling with a clinician who has vast experience working with infidelity
Reading materials (After the Affair)
Weekend couples retreats
Voluntary transparency of passwords, cell phones, and money spent.
Individual reflection of past choices, perhaps reviewing early childhood experiences, self examination.
Participation in church or spiritual community
Increase time with other healthy couples
Making the marriage a priority (saying no to extended family and commitments if it takes away from time together)
Review job demands. e.g. traveling, time away, etc. and seriously consider making drastic lifestyle changes.
Anticipate triggers towards a relapse. 
Set ground rules for outside relationships or "friendships." 
Do not push the injured partner to hurry up or "get over it" quickly.
Do not discuss the infidelity or marital discord with other family members.
If children are aware of the infidelity, ask that they be brought into a counseling session.
Recovery is not a linear trajectory. There are many bumps along the way; the path is not smooth. Once trust is broken, there will be random and unpredictable reminders of the deeply painful experience.
Agree in counseling which details need to be revealed in order to begin repair. The injured partner will feel compelled, almost to an obsession, to ask gory details about the extra-marital relationship. It is a fine balance to rebuild trust: getting it on the table and being honest, yet, sharing only what is helpful and not further hurtful.

The unfaithful partner must take full responsibility for their choices, without blame. And, the injured party must take responsibility for any mistakes they have made along the way as well. 
Both parties have unspoken needs - it is critical that both are allowed to bring them to the table. The future of the relationship depends upon this.

Acceptance:

If the marriage is not able to rehabilitate itself after an exhaustive effort, there is an appreciation and personal satisfaction that all stones were overturned in hopes of reconciliation.

Goals

A NEW relationship with the same person. 
To preserve and improve the family system.
Surpass your individual personal best. Be better in all areas.
Re-invest in your life. Re-boot. 

FINAL FACT: COUPLES CAN RECOVER!