- Assuming the Relationship Is Over
While it may feel like your relationship is over after a major breach of trust, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Sometimes people move very quickly to thinking that the relationship must be over, when in fact repair and healing of the relationship may be possible.
If it feels truly over, that’s OK. You can certainly move on. But if you’d both like to work on repairing things, it’ll be important to get into a mindset of healing, and away from one that feels like everything’s ruined. Then you can start to move on.
- Keeping Your Feelings to Yourself
While you might not want to shout from the rooftops that you’re having relationship problems, it’s not a good idea to keep these issues a secret, either. This can be harmful because it adds pressure to your relationship and forces both of you to present to the world as though nothing is wrong. Couples tend to compound the trauma of infidelity by creating this small circle within which the healing is to occur. Make an appointment at Embrace New Life to start the healing process.
- Asking Your Partner for Details
Even if you’re dying to know how the betrayal happened, what went down, where it happened, etc., asking your partner for details is never a good idea. Rather than feel better, you will feel worse because you now have vivid images of your partner in bed with someone else. And that can be an image that’s difficult to shake.
Feel free to ask questions. Get the info you need to know. But resist the urge to learn everything. Too many details can make moving on difficult, and way too painful. Everything you know, you will have to heal. You certainly have the right to know everything, but caution is recommended.
- Not Talking About It at All
All of that said, you shouldn’t go on with your lives and pretend like the incident didn’t happen, since that can slow down the recovery process, too. It is important that the couple be open in talking about their different experiences and emotions about the betrayal in trust, as a means to process their emotions and continue moving forward. Otherwise they can get stuck in resentments, unvoiced feelings, anger, and sadness.
- Minimizing the Impact It’s Had
When you do talk about it, try to be honest about the impact this betrayal has had on you. Infidelity in any way can make the person who was cheated on feel completely insecure. You must tell your partner when you are feeling insecure and what they can do to make you feel better.
- Trying to Get Even
One of the biggest mistakes you can make? Trying to get even with your partner, perhaps by going out and “getting back at them” by also cheating or betraying trust.
If you have this urge, try to resist it. Getting even leaves no room for remorse, reconnection, and repair. Couples who can’t move past their anger are unable to rebound from breaches of trust.
- Holding A Grudge
When your trust is severely betrayed, it may be difficult to ever truly forget. So, don’t try to force your brain to magically erase what happened. Do, however, try your best to not hold a grudge.
Once a grudge has lodged itself in your brain, you may continually take it out on your partner. You may also treat them unfairly making it hard to rebuild your relationship on solid ground. And that’s not going to get either of you anywhere. A grudge leads to resentment, resentment leads to contempt. Contempt is one of the most lethal predictors of divorce.
- Being Paranoid and Suspicious
If your partner betrayed your trust, it makes perfect sense why you’d feel paranoid or suspicious. You might be tempted to keep a closer eye on what they do or say in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
But doing so will only further damage the trust in your relationship. True trust demands that we tolerate what we don’t know about our partners, and intimacy can easily be squeezed out by these attempts at control. Trust is evidence based. At Embrace New Life, we help couples navigate rebuilding trust.
- Trying to Rebuild Trust In One Fell Swoop
Couples can also sabotage themselves by expecting trust to be there 100 percent of the time. That’s almost never how it works. You might, for example, be OK with your partner going out with friends at night, but maybe not going away for an entire weekend.
And it’s important that they understand the difference. Understanding that trust is incremental … helps the offending partner realize that they haven’t ‘lost ground’ just because they seem to have trust one minute but not the next. Forgiveness, particularly for something as painful as an affair, doesn’t come all at once.
- Trying to Heal All By Yourself
If you’re going to remain a couple, you’ll have to lean on each other during this time — just like you would during any other tough situation. And yet, it’s not uncommon for people to try to go it alone.
It is often overlooked that the offending partner is hurting, too. They may have very reasonable relationship issues that, while not justifying the affair, need to be addressed. So be there for each other as much as possible, and it will be easier to move on.
- Making Your Entire Relationship About The Affair
For some couples, the gravity of an affair becomes the sun their world together revolves around. These are couples that have failed to incorporate the affair into their overall narrative. The infidelity becomes the story of their relationship, not a part of it. And if the betrayal of trust becomes the only way you look at your relationship, it may be difficult to move on from it.
- Not Trying To Figure Out What Went Wrong
You might be tempted to figure out what went wrong, or which mistakes led up to the affair. But that, in and of itself, can be somewhat misguided. Infidelity doesn’t mean the relationship was bad. There is this societal concept that someone cheats only if they are unhappy or their partner is not fulfilling them in some way. In fact many people cheat when they are in very happy and satisfying relationships. There are opportunistic and seductive affairs.
It’s important to look at any contributing factors, and certainly you have to look and break the behavior chain that led to the infidelity. At Embrace, we help couples do this.
- Expecting Things To Be “Fixed” Right Away
The process of recovery is likely to be a lengthy one. And that’s OK. Far too often people put a cap on their healing and will say things like ‘it’s been six months, I should be over it’ or ‘it happened three months ago, we should be back to normal. There is no timeframe that the healing from an infidelity should happen in, and often the placing of a time frame actually hinders moving through the whole process of healing and recovery from the betrayal. Additionally each partner needs to recognize that they will have different trajectories in healing. At Embrace, we can explain the science that explains the different trajectories and the ‘why’.
- Not Answering Your Partners Questions
If you have cheated or betrayed your partner’s trust, make sure you answer their questions openly and honestly. If you want your relationship to have a chance to recover completely, you need to share everything. By doing so, you’ll show that you’re ready to move on, as well as that you’re ready to start reestablishing openness and trust.
- Failing to Come Up With A Plan
The biggest mistake couples can make after infidelity is to simply reconcile without a solid plan that has accountability. What do you need your partner to do in order to feel secure? What do they need to say, or get off their chest? And how do you plan to support each other, so this doesn’t happen again?
Once you can start a conversation and come up with a solid plan for the future,
it’ll be so much easier to move on. Make an Appointment Today at Embrace New Life.
We are expert at helping couples heal from infidelity.