Betrayed spouses usually have 1 question “How could you do this?” Unfortunately, at the point of discovery few wayward spouses know the actual reasons why. Affairs are all consuming, so most cheating spouses only think about consequences and motive when exposed. Be prepared to wait for the truth. Affair fog does impact rational thinking.
Although challenging, affair discovery is an ideal time to revive a relationship. With commitment and forgiveness marriages can move past an affair. However, some partners see an affair as the chance to brand their partner a sex addict, narcissist or worse. While there are people out there with personality disorders, spouses using the internet to back up their assumptions does make recovery more difficult. Couples who want to avoid running in circles should leave personality disorder diagnosis to qualified professionals.
Every affair is different. But, relationships affected by affairs usually share some common flaws. By replacing judgement with curiosity, couples can learn what is missing and then start doing the right things to heal and protect their marriage.
Honest communication is the cornerstone of great relationships. Whether it is before or after an affair, open communication is the key to understanding and respect. Everyone knows that infidelity thrives in the shadows, few realise that silence provides the shade.
Because most spouses don’t ask outright if their partner is cheating. Wayward spouses are lulled into the belief that they are not lying. In relationships understatement or omission are as serious as blatant lies. Telling the truth removes the need to have a good memory.
Communication in a relationship allows couples get to know each other. Unfortunately, many couples overlook the need to talk, often citing a lack of time, or saying “we always talk”. While discussing risks in a good relationship seems strange, it is the best way to protect a marriage. Couples who take the time to discuss their relationship avoid crisis. Simply because they know what is really going on in the relationship.
Boundaries can be introduced at any time. Yet, most couples find it easier to not discuss limits. Usually because this type of conversation can be difficult.
In its place couples decide that affairs happen to other people. Especially those in “bad” relationships. Despite being concerned for these unfortunate people, the belief that their relationship is safe leaves many couples vulnerable to risk.
Talking about boundaries can feel restricting. However, without boundaries, couples lack a common understanding on how to handle risk or even what constitutes cheating. Chats about boundaries build respect and trust. They are also a great excuse to spend time talking about how tomorrow can be even better.
Missing the Bigger Picture
Wayward spouses believe their affair partner completes them. Yet in reality, affair partners usually meet a single unfulfilled need. Unfortunately, the fulfilment of the all other needs is overlooked, because all focus is on the single unmet need.
Marriages rely on couples working together towards a shared future. In contrast affairs are commitment free with no obligation. Affair partners have an easy life, for satisfying a single need allows all their failing to be overlooked. Simply because those abilities are irrelevant to the affair fantasy.
To protect a marriage both spouses need to recognise and communicate their needs. When a couple share their needs, the bigger picture of a combined future comes into focus.
Understanding the reasons why
Affairs are not as clear cut as most people think. This is why understanding the real reasons for the betrayal is key for both spouses. Knowing why brings closure to an affair, it also protects marriages against future affairs.
Replacing judgement with curiosity heals relationships. Taking the time to understand one another also makes relationship more exciting. It is never too late to curiosity
Start appreciating the good things your spouse does. Remember, your marriage doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be real.