Joseph Hernandez, Ph.D. and Ana Morante, L.M.F.T.
Recover from infidelity
What are the ways to repair rebuild, recover from infidelity? Part 2 I have seen that a lot of marriages that stay together after an infidelity, and if there hasn’t been a lot of work around this to pass through these crises, then it could be very damaging for both parties. If there’s not enough forgiveness, then the person that feels hurt will maybe look for ways of hurting the other party back in many different ways.
One of my friends, for example, was telling me, about “If you cheated on me, then I’m going to go and spend money and shop a lot because that’s the way that I’m going to feel better.” The only thing we’re doing here is we’re just continuing hurting to hurt each other. What we know is when we do honestly forgive from our heart, and if there’s the other party is still willing to work on this relationship, it will take two because if I forgive, I can live let’s say without the hurt. If the other person is not changing their behavior, then I wouldn’t be respectful of myself.
To live with someone that who is constantly hurting me and continuing to do a behavior that is not going to be okay for me. So I can be as wanting to reconcile as much as I can, but if the other person is not committed to my the relationship, that’s not going to work.
Now if both of us are committed, then if I’m the injured party, I will have to forgive, and the other party will definitely have to show a change in behavior, like Jojo said. When that happens, it’s going to take a lot of work because trust is something that takes a lot of time to build and is very easy to shatter. When it’s shattered, we have to do a lot of repair work to make it work again. The thing is, as much as it takes work, it is very possible. I can tell you experience.
Once the couple is willing to work together, is willing to pull from their hearts and actually risk to trust again in this relationship, then that relationship cannot just only can get to the level that it was before the affair, but possibly can get become even stronger, because now we have gone through a crisis. We have risked to actually have our relationship fail, and we have decided that we are important enough for each other, that we really want this relationship to work. So now, we probably are going to be more willing to work on it on a regular basis, and that will make our relationship even stronger.
So it’s not just only possible to survive an infidelity, I think it’s very possible to thrive after that and to grow closer to each other if we honestly and genuinely forgive and change the behavior.
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