Tammy ‘Kaia’ Bruski, MS, LPC, CST
Rebuilding After Infidelity
When the truth of an affair comes to light in any relationship, the potential consequences for both the 'injured' and 'injuring' partner can feel devastating. The 'injured' partner's world may feel like it's falling apart, bereft with panicked thoughts of loss and abandonment. The 'injuring' partner also needs to face the painful reasons why they felt the need to look for sex, intimacy or love in secrecy.
An extramarital affair often points to a fracture in the relationship that needs healing. The pain involved on both sides can be complicated; however research has shown that relationships can survive infidelity. They can, in fact, become stronger than before the affair, if both are committed to healing their differences.
To rebuild the marriage, both people need to be willing to address their contribution to the breakdown. The 'injuring' partner must also be willing to be transparent about their daily activities and do what they can to rebuild trust and connection. The 'injured' partner needs the space to talk about how the infidelity has impacted the way they see themselves, their partner, and the lost safety of their relationship.
It's believed that over half of all couples experience some form of infidelity, which could include compulsive online sexting, outside emotional attachments or a physical relationship. Once a couple identifies the pieces of the puzzle that led them to where they are today, healing in their relationship can begin, giving each partner the space to express their individual needs and dreams that got buried somewhere along the way.
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