Having sex with someone other than your marriage partner is the distinguishing factor that makes an affair a
betrayal. A betrayal of the heart is devastating. The secrecy of an affair makes honesty impossible.
An affair is often only the tip of the iceberg. There are problems below the surface that you must be
committed to work on TOGETHER. It's a complex and painful situation to be in. If there is a desire for BOTH
love partners to move through it, you must work together to resolve the anguish of betrayal, to rebuild trust,
to agree to change problematic behavioral patterns and to discover TOGETHER the real issues that caused the
affair in the first place. Each love partner must agree to openly discuss the deep-seated and potentially
explosive issues that are a result of affairs.
Surviving the emotional crash of an affair IS possible!
In her book, "After the Affair: Healing the Pain
and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful Janis Abrahms Spring says: "Trust CAN be
restored and the relationship saved IF 3 things exist: #1. Unfaithful partners have to be able to experience
compassion for the harm they have caused and be able to feel remorse and apologize; #2. Unfaithful partners
have to be able to look honestly and deeply into themselves and understand WHY they strayed; #3. Unfaithful
partners have to be willing to do the work necessary to EARN back trust (and be patient with their partner
while they do)!
The betrayed partner has to be willing to FORGIVE! If you think you CANNOT forgive, then recovery may not
Learning to trust again takes time; lots of time, perhaps even years. Talking with your partner about the
affair when the need to talk surfaces is another important factor of healing the relationship. Your partner
MUST learn to listen and offer whatever support you need without becoming defensive or angry. The guilty
partner needs to know that patience is a virtue that MUST be practiced for the relationship to heal.
Effective communication is a requirement of a healthy, wholesome, happy and successful relationship! There
is no other way. TRUST is the very foundation of a healthy love relationship! There can be no trust without
conversation; no genuine intimacy without trust.
When you are getting your needs met in your own relationship, most people agree that you are seldom
tempted to look elsewhere! The 3 most primary needs for a woman are affection, understanding and, most of
all, RESPECT! The 3 most primary needs for a man are appreciation, acceptance and trust. There are many
others, AND when you are not getting your needs met, some people go where they can. This is NEVER a good
idea while you are still in the relationship!
You BOTH need to look at what was missing in your relationship that caused this to happen.
An affair doesn't have to signal the end of a relationship. In fact, if BOTH love partners are willing
to work hard, an affair can bring problems that were lurking in the depths of the relationship up to the
surface for the purpose of healing. It can also be the means for drawing the couple closer together.
For the relationship to go forward, however, saying "I'm sorry" isn't enough. Just because your
husband is no longer cheating doesn't mean the problem has disappeared. If he wants another chance,
he must immediately break off ALL contact with the other woman; no phone calls, no letters, no e-mail,
nothing! He also needs to explore, both in his own mind and in discussions with you, WHY he had the
affair. "I don't know!" is NEVER a good answer. Saying "I don't know!" stops the inquiry!
While you may "feel" that you want to know all the details, that would be a mistake. That would not
assist you in completion, but only open up the wound again.
You only NEED to know two things: (1) what caused the affair, and (2) what assurance you have that it
will NEVER happen again! Although the one betrayed may think they need to know ALL the details, they don't.
This is NEVER a good idea! That would only cause deeper feelings of hurt.
By the way, an affair is seldom, if ever, only ONE partner's fault! Always remember, relationship
problems are SHARED problems! Each partner must take their share of the responsibility for what happened!
If the betrayed love partner really loves the other and is willing to work through the pain of a changing
relationship, the other partner hopefully will thank their lucky stars that their partner is willing to give
them another chance and MUST work their butt off to earn forgiveness, respect and trust that the relationship
must have to survive. BOTH partners need to set new goals for your relationship and develop new ways to
There is nothing that cannot be forgiven. Nothing! Read:
"Forgiveness. . . What's it For?" to better understand
the truth of this statement. I suggest that you focus your attention on forgiving him rather than anguishing
over knowing the details. Remember, forgiveness is for YOU. The hurts won't heal until you forgive!
Another recommendation. . . stop drinking! PERIOD. That will only make it worse.
I also suggest that you seek out some referrals in your city for therapy. Some churches and counseling
centers offer counseling to those who cannot pay. Look around. You cannot afford not to BOTH work together
to rebuild your relationship.