The question I’m often asked is “How to Find Hope After An Affair?”
Few things harm a relationship more than an affair. Whether the affair is emotional, a ‘one night stand’ or full-blown, the betrayal delivers a life-altering blow. Will the injury to the relationship prove fatal?
In my experience as a relationship counselor, there are some essential steps a couple must take to survive an affair, individually and together. If done wisely, there is hope the relationship will come through the ordeal stronger than before.
8 Steps To Find Hope After An Affair
- End the affair immediately.
Kindly, completely, utterly. This has to come first if you are serious about reconciliation. ‘Friendship’ is not an option.
- Re-commit to the relationship.
If either of you isn’t sure about staying together then, for God’s sake, say so! Confusion is OK just don’t let that be an excuse to avoid talking about the reality.
- Full disclosure.
If your partner wants to know the details you owe them the details. Help them understand the reality because believe me, as bad as it is, it isn’t as bad as what your partner is imagining. Sometimes they really don’t want to know. Fine, let them tell you that directly. Don’t assume it.
- Stop running and face the pain. Avoiding pain is often what led to the affair in the first place. Facing it is terrifying but necessary. Just shut up and listen; take courage and talk.
- Walk on hot coals.
Express your remorse and sincerely say that you will do whatever it takes to re-focus on the relationship. Then do it.
In order to Find Hope After An Affair, You Must Take responsibility. Resist assigning blame.
- The affair is a symptom of something very wrong in the relationship.
Both parties need to dig deep to discover and accept their share of responsibility. If the real issues aren’t addressed nothing has changed.
Everyone involved needs forgiveness in order to heal. Both parties are injured, both parties are grieving, both parties need forgiveness.
Find Hope After An Affair And Have Positive Relationships!
A good relationship counselor can help you negotiate these steps, and
more, steps that may be unique to your particular situation. This is just the beginning. To fully heal you need…
Time. Once injured, trust is like those tiny flowers that manage to live in the harsh environment of the tundra. Protect it, cherish it and with time something that once appeared so vulnerable will turn into something beautiful and incredibly strong with deep, sturdy roots.
Some related resources you can find on my website:
- After The Affair and How Can I Forgive You?
both by Janis Abrahms Spring
- The Dance Of Anger, by Harriet Lerner
- The Spiritual Divorce, by Debbie Ford
- 12 Ways To Recover From An Emotional Affair