When it comes to maintaining a marriage, there is nothing more damaging than an affair. No matter if the affair was physical or emotional, infidelity causes the foundation of a relationship to crumble. Even if both partners decide to stay together and fix their differences, it can be very difficult to rebuild that trust and create a successful relationship once again.
Overcoming the Breakdown in Trust
Far too many couples decide to try to forgive, only to find that they never truly feel safe again. If your partner was unfaithful, the road to recovery has to be based on rebuilding not only trust, but also love with your partner. The two of you have to build together, and every activity you do will need to be with recreating trust and love in mind.
Note: Recovery Must Be Mutual
Both you and your partner need to be willing to take the time to rebuild your relationship together. No matter who was unfaithful, and no matter who is “to blame” in your mind, couples can only overcome infidelity when they are both actively working towards recovery. Luckily, there are ways to build back trust again. Strategies include:
- Start Dating Again – When the foundation of your relationship has shattered, you cannot simply put the roof back on and assume all is well. That is why the best thing to do is to start dating again as though you are a brand new couple. Get to know each other. Experience new things. Early dating is when trust is built, and dating like when you first got into a relationship will help start mending the wounds.
- Don’t Hurry – Don’t expect recovery to be fast. Recovery from infidelity can take years, depending on the level of emotional pain. Even if you’re recovering, there will be setbacks along the way. Rushing back can actually make recovery worse. The more time you take working on your relationship and trying to heal before you jump back in, the better that healing will be.
- Safe Communication – You’ll also have to be willing to communicate to each other, and often. While open and safe communication is always important, it is crucial when you are recovering from infidelity. If you don’t communicate you’ll find yourself angry at your partner in your mind all the time, and that will hurt your ability to heal.
- Talking to a Relationship Counselor – Even if you are recovering, a regular meeting with a relationship therapist in the Long Island/Garden City area can be beneficial. It gives you that added safe space, the guidance that your relationship needs, and someone to keep the two of you accountable to each other.
- Create New Activities/Memories – Finally, start brand new memories together. Go on vacations if you can afford them, try new hobbies, etc. Recovering from infidelity sometimes means replacing old memories with new ones in order to experience a “difference” in your relationship. New activities and new memories can provide that “different” feeling between your past and present.
Affairs can be devastating to relationships, and recovery is not always possible. But with the above strategies you can improve the likelihood of recovery and aid in your ability to find a some way to rebuild your relationship again. If you would like to talk about relationship counselling in Long Island, contact me today at (516) 732-0273.