A lot of people assume that when cheating is concerned, the relationship would most definitely end badly. It’s more complex than that, especially in today’s society.
With the much-better social equality, the rise in popularity of relationship gurus, and the disappearing stigma surrounding therapy, modern-day couples now consider things more than just the question of whether to break up or stay together after a betrayal.
However, that evolved mindset doesn’t mean that it has gotten easier to get up and move on from infidelity. Couples being able to recover from this is possible, but the rebuilding of a once-healthy relationship is a painstaking process for most.
David Klow, a licensed marriage and family therapist says that the majority of the couples who have had infidelity issues don’t recover from it. But for those who did, they managed to get out stronger. It took time, however.
According to psychologist Paul Coleman, Psy.D., commitments that they share like children or their house can play significant roles in the couple’s motivation to work things out between them.
Before being able to move on, the couple has to undergo a long process that would help rebuild their relationship
Put a Halt on the Cheating
According to experts, this is the first and most important step to do before trying to repair your relationship.
It makes absolute sense. You’ll just end up wasting your time trying to work things out if the person who betrayed the relationship is still seeing the third-party. It just shows that they are not committed to it.
After totally putting an end to the affair, the couple needs to lay everything out and sort things. If the betrayed spouse needs to ask questions about what happened, their partner should answer them in complete honesty. Some may want to know all the little details, while some may prefer not to.
The unknowns make affairs scarier. This is a chance for the person who was cheated on to be able to air out their feelings and for their partner to go through the process of forgiveness.
Rebuild the Trust
The betrayal part of affairs gives the most damage to a relationship. After going through that, the betrayed partner tends to question whether something is real or not or if they can identify the truth from the lie.
In this stage, the person who cheated needs to be completely honest even if it will cause pain to their spouse. Keeping the truth from them will just make them feel far worse.
Certified Imago therapist Lena Derhally, M.S., L.PC. says that handing over their passwords, phones, and emails is a sign that they are open to their partners looking through their things. The betrayed spouse needs to do what they need to do to reassure themselves and rebuild that faith.
However, Derhally also pointed out that this may be a challenge with today’s technology since things can be deleted with just a simple click.
Address Underlying Issues
Outside of the infidelity, couples should take time to step back and reevaluate their relationship. Find out the issues that have been holding your relationship back. The person who cheated also needs to be responsible for their actions and understand their partners would have to take their time in healing.
Make a Fresh Start
This is a chance for couples to recreate and refresh their relationships. Klow recommends couples to get rid of things that aren’t working and build a new relationship dynamic that would help them grow.
After surviving this test on their relationship, the couple may be able to get a better grasp of who they are as individuals and what they want from their relationship.
On the other hand, for those who choose to separate, they can still make use of therapy to help them learn from that situation, move on, and become better individuals and co-parents of their children (if there are any).