The Difficult Work Following Infidelity

April 3, 2013
Author: admin

The difficult work after an affair starts with the revelation. Once both partners are aware of the infidelity and the choice is made to stay married, then it’s time to dive into the recovery process. In my prior experiences helping partners survive an affair, I’ve been taught there’s virtually no limits to the desire to work to salvage the marriage. My job is to help couples divide the work and work smarter.

The partner who had the affair must work on humility. Frequently I call this staying “low.” Humbleness means there’s never any push back when the betrayed partner makes a request, never telling a half-truth when replying to a direct request for information, and never any exhibiting hostility when replying to the betrayed partner’s hostility.

Humility can be extremely difficult for the partner who had the affair for a few reasons. Firstly, she most likely has anger she never dealt with that allowed her to justify or minimize her affair. She may feel that she isn’t allowed to exhibit her anger during the restoration process and therefore the process of “stuffing” the emotion may begin all over again, leading to anger and possibly acting out.

The partner who was deceived has perhaps the hardest task of all in treatment. He must choose to offer forgiveness after infidelity has occurred. If recovering couples decide they don’t want counseling, forgiveness may never be addressed or it could be ignored in favor of punishment. In counseling, the therapist helps the betrayed spouse release the contempt, which leaves room for forgiving if he decides. The therapist also helps the deceived partner understand that forgiveness isn’t for the partner who had the affair; it is for him and his well-being.

Working conscientiously during affair recovery isn't really enough. Both partners must divide the work and focus their energy on working smart. The result will be contented individuals and a marriage on its way to recovery.

Dr. Kate Walker is a licensed professional counselor in the Woodlands, Texas. Her article outlining the work during affair recovery makes sure that life after infidelity can ensue.



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