Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

They sat on my couch, locked in a painful silence;  tears coursing down her face, a stony set to his mouth. She had found out about the texts and meetups last week. Devastated, scared, and hurt, she insisted it was finally time to go to couples’ therapy, because there was nowhere else to turn.

One of the most painful experiences humans can have is when their loved one mentally, emotionally, and then physically turns away. Infidelity can be the most hurtful expression of this kind of separation (I probably don’t have to tell you that) because it can feel like a 100% confirmation that “I don’t matter to you”, “I’m not on your list of priorities”, “I’m not enough for you”, “You are not there for me”. You know how big of a blow an affair can deal to a committed relationship, and you know many couples don’t choose to remain together.

The story I am sharing is created by me; it’s a combination of many pieces of couples’ sessions with me when they come in post affair. Here’s a common next step that some couples take:

Ultimately they began to realize the affair was a symptom, not an isolated event. Over time, he could hear the accusation, anger, and sadness in her voice as a result of many moments of feeling unheard and unseen. She could see the way she had taken her understandable frustration out on him, bringing out all too familiar feelings of being a disappointment to her and the kids.

The more they shared the deeper vulnerabilities, the more they saw how they had gotten stuck and emotionally separated. They saw how jobs, family, and parenting carved away at their shared interests and time. They kept trying. At their next session they talked about hope for the future, and then she said: “I’m just not sure I forgive you”.

Forgiveness does not come all at once, or at all easily. Forgiveness is slowly developed at each session, with each new moment of hard fought and hard won acceptance, understanding, set backs. It is embedded in the slow process of reconstructing a life together. Forgiveness is like the sun peeking out at a couple through the clouds of the affair, coming out and warming them equally. To understand this a bit more, let’s talk about what forgiveness is NOT, what it IS, and the two types of forgiveness.

What Forgiveness is NOT:

  • Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending it didn’t happen. When we have been hurt in an uncontrollable and terrifying way, we may tell ourselves the only way to move on is to stop acknowledging it or refusing to bring it up in between sessions or when therapy is over. Infidelity or an affair of any form becomes the point of entry into when, why, and how we feel insecure in our marriage or partnership. Unfortunately it must become a regular and frequent couples’ conversation so that you can move forward into the future by recognizing the meaning of the affair and understand how to not repeat it.
  • Forgiveness is not excusing or accepting the affair. You can forgive the person for making a mistake (or the same mistake over and over) but this does not mean you accept the choices of betrayal, secrets, and hiding as a part of your intimate relationship.
  • Forgiveness is not possible without a commitment to healing.  Your process, timing, and readiness to forgive is personal and permitted. You can function, you can stay together, you can even recover from an affair without full forgiveness.

What Forgiveness IS:

  • Forgiveness is an agreed upon and sanctioned process between you and your spouse. It is a choice, and most often one that is made over and over, to open to the possibility that yours and your partner’s humanity and pain led you to where you are now, and only you and your partner can safely practice forgiveness as defined and experienced by you alone.
  • Forgiveness is a choice. Authentic forgiveness accepts the deep pain of betrayal and accepts that you are willing to relearn trust with this person.
  • Forgiveness is letting go of the urge to punish or obsess about the behavior. You commit to living in the self created environment of solutions, not mistakes,

The Two Types of Forgiveness

Letting go of Anger. We don’t forget what happened or the pain the affair caused; we let go of anger to be free from the mental and emotional energy suck of vindictiveness and blame so that the corrosive nature of anger is no longer part of your healing. There is a time for this and it can’t be rushed.

Trusting Your Partner Again: When the depth of emotions and the list of painful losses have been seen, named, recognized and expressed, there is the possibility of creating a new kind of trust with each other:

He turned to her and reached out his hand. “I know how much I hurt you, and I can’t ask you to forgive everything all at once; no one can do that. I do ask that I can keep being a part of your walk, hear how you are feeling, so that you don’t have to do it alone. Even though I caused you so much pain, I want to be the one who comforts you. I hope that we build a new kind of trust now, one based on truth.”

Psychologists Kristina Gordon and Donald Baucom found that forgiveness develops in sequential stages after infidelity. Spouses who were “true” forgivers felt much closer to each other than spouses who forgave too soon or did not forgive.

If you are struggling with infidelity or the pain of any kind of betrayal, stay tuned in here for more guidance and caring conversation about how to make your love make sense again. Or, contact me for a 20 minute free consultation to talk more at 775-450-8339

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.Restoring relationships
Tuition Centre

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.

Healing from Infidelity

Healing from Infidelity

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important aspects of my venture is the emphasis on “My Business Local”. The concept of local business is not only about the physical location or geographical boundaries, but it’s also about the community that I serve and the relationships that I build within that community. My Business Local is an ethos, a strategy, and a mission statement rolled into one.