5 Things You Need to Know to Overcome an Affair
Recovering from an affair can be as overwhelming as the discovery of the affair itself. Most people tell me they feel as their world has been shattered into pieces and are at a loss in regards to what to do next. “What should we do? What should we not do? What is going to help us? What is going to hurt us more? What is OK to say or not say?” These are some of the questions I hear from my clients when they make the decision of continuing together and repair the relationship after an affair. Here are some of the most important things to know to overcome an affair.
- Continuing to lie will not make the pain hurt less. Something that I see in my office all the time is a partner trying to protect their loved one by continuing with the lies and secrets. They seem to be under the belief that openness will make the situation worse than it already is. On the contrary, once the affair has been disclosed or discovered, honesty and openness with your partner can act as a healing force. At the very least, it will show your partner you respect them and care about them.
- Feeling like you are in a roller coaster of emotions is completely normal. Affairs are challenging and a sensitive moment for any relationship. It is normal to feel rejection and want, disappointment and love, space and closeness, all at the same time. It is best to feel and process these contradictory emotions as they come instead of fighting them or questioning them.
- Do not make rushed decisions about the relationship. Because it is a delicate time for the couple, it is best to hold any decision making until feelings, questions, and needs have been addressed.
- Your partner can be your healer. It is difficult to imagine that the one that hurt you so deeply can also be the one that can make you feel better. The truth is that your partner might be the only one able to provide you with the repair you may be needing and wanting.
- First step is to build trust. Affairs can be an opportunity for the couple to find each other again and learn from previous relationship wounds. However, in order to be able to have these necessary conversations, partners have to feel safe with each other, and that can only be accomplished if trust is being actively worked on throughout the entire healing process as the main priority.
Couples decide to stay together, repair, and reconnect after an affair for many reasons. It is not easy to recover from an affair in today’s judgmental and opinionated society. One might be also dealing with family and close friends’ advice and guidance, which can make the mix more complicated than it already is. During this time, I encourage you to seek help of a professional that can help you and your partner navigate this more effectively.
Written by Nathaly Moreno
*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatical coherency.
To schedule a therapy session please call Houston Relationship Therapy at 1-800-913-9613.