When your partner has an affair it is one of the most difficult experiences you can go through. The feelings of rage and sorrow are so intense that they can disrupt your entire life for extended periods of time.
Everything can seem chaotic and confusing. And throughout all of this, you’re faced with an extremely important decision about your future. Do you forgive or do you move on from the relationship? Is it even possible to love someone after going through something like this?
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Would you want to be committed to your partner if you trusted them again?- Terry Gaspard
3 Important Questions
Our friends at the Gottman Institute say that before making any decisions about what you do next you need to ask yourself 3 very important questions:
1.Would you want to be committed to your partner if you trusted them again?
In other words, do you have enough admiration and respect left to salvage the relationship? Be honest and ask yourself: Do we still have fun together and enjoy each other’s company most of the time?
2.Have you let go of your anger and resentment about your partner’s betrayal and are you able to move forward?
Can you imagine ever feeling happy in your relationship or wanting to be close or intimate with your partner in spite of their actions?
3.Can you forgive your partner for their actions?
This does not mean condoning their actions but simply not letting them have power over you. Research suggests that a willingness to forgive can help heal marital problems, both big and small. In fact, marital therapists have found that forgiveness is an essential ingredient of healing from infidelity and contributes to a long-lasting, successful marriage.
If your answer to one or more of these questions is “no” and you think it is time to take the next step, you owe it to yourself to tell your partner you want a divorce. At the end of the day, you are the only person who knows if your marriage can survive infidelity.
Making It Work
And if you decide to stay in the relationship, there are ways to make things work. But it will take work, from both you and your partner. First and foremost, it should go without saying that the affair must stop. Next, the “Gottman Trust Revival Method” can be summarized in 3 steps:
It starts with the cheater atoning for their infidelity by expressing remorse for their actions – without becoming defensive. There must be completely open and honest communication and no more secrets. And for you – it’s time to truly forgive.
Overcoming the pain of an affair is not easy, but it is definitely possible. But it takes a willingness to move forward – whether you stay together or end the relationship.
If you’ve gone through, or are going through an affair, we can help you move forward. Give us a call at 604-539-5277 to speak to a relationship counselor. The call is completely confidential and you’re under no obligation.