Recovery from infidelity is a team effort you both have to be in on it for it to work. In the first instance often the betrayed has to lead it, then the unfaithful takes the reigns. Its the unfaithfuls job to make the betrayed feel safer in the relationship. Safety is very important. The betrayed has had their safety and beliefs about the world rocked by the infidelity and if the relationship is going to survive the unfaithful needs to make some big changes to change that. Eventually both of you will need to work together to figure out what safety is, after basic needs are met.
After you’ve read this post there is this downloadable to come back to. It’s a guidance sheet to work through for those who need something a bit more structured.
What I Needed For Recovery From Infidelity
About 6 months after my husbands infidelity I was able to really engage in what I needed from him to improve my safety. It helped us move forward a great deal. One of those things was that I was very unsure about my husbands feelings on certain topics, how he felt before the affair was completely confused in my mind. A lot of happy memories that we had together damaged by the affair. Many things changed because of it and in my head a lot of things were jumbled and difficult to put together. I am sure many of you can relate. I questioned a lot of things that I believed to be true and I couldn’t find the answers for them. Because of this, I needed his direction.
I needed to understand what was true about our life before the affair, what was true during the affair and what was true now. So we set out a chart, a table, in evernote an app we use, and I gave topics for him to think and write about. We had some absolutely brutal conversations because of it. Full honesty about his affair, his feelings before and after, his understanding of the world even. Raw, bare soul, kinda things. It was tough. It provoked some long conversations between us. I asked about LOTS of things. He chose to write about some things.
The list for him to answer
- Wearing a wedding ring
- Showing compassion towards me
- My body/physical attractiveness
- How you spoke about us to others (me and my son)
- The affair partner
- Understanding of affairs
- My career and working hours
We found the whole thing so helpful that I offered to do the same in return. It was illuminating, not only to see what he was asking about but to really consider what I was thinking and feeling. In regards to our recovery from infidelity the project really did move us forward. We commented when we could be calm and rational, more importantly productive.
The list for me
- Ability to cope with his anxiety
- Ability to be honest
- Relationship with our son
- His values
- Your understanding of affairs
- Attitude towards accountability
- His Ability to listen
- Ability to learn from mistakes
- My safety in our relationship
- Attitude towards others
Why we did this for recovery from infidelity.
As you can imagine some of the home truths that were delivered were difficult to read and very hard to process, it took time and a lot of talking to walk through all of these topics however we both had out say in a safe way for us (in evernote) and got to read and digest at our own pace.
It lifted some hidden bodies in our marriage but it helped us through them as well. We were able to leave them where they belong and move past the problems in our relationship. Sometimes the hard truth has to be explored. It’s tough, you have to be ready for this stage, if you rush it it will be a disaster.
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