Monthly Archives: January 2013

What Should You Do To Rebuild Your Marriage After Having An Affair?

Discovery of an affair can devastate a marriage. The betrayed spouse will be going through absolute turmoil, switching from anxiety to guilt to fear to anger all in the space of a day. The betrayer will also be going through light emotions – grievance over ending a relationship, and guilt at how their actions have affected their spouse. A marriage is a safe haven away from the world, but after the discovery of an affair, it can feel like a war zone.

How you handle telling your spouse about the affair and everything that occurs afterwards will have a huge impact on how you’ll move forward from the affair and rebuild your marriage. While each individual will react differently to the discovery of an affair, there are some steps that you can take to increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to move on from the affair towards a happier, healthier marriage.

Tell Your Spouse About the Affair Before They Find Out

If the betrayed spouse discovers the affair on their own, either through actually catching their spouse in the act, through discovering an illicit email or text but due to becoming suspicious of the infidelity, it will hurt them all the more than if the betrayer tells their spouse of the affair, without them having to find out.

If the betrayer tells their spouse about the affair, it shows that they are actively trying to be more trustworthy, despite the fact that they have behaved in an untrustworthy way. The betrayed spouse will obviously be hurt, goal they will have to accept that their partner has had the decency to tell them about their actions, and that their partner wants to work on rebuilding the marriage.

Alternatively, if the betrayed spouse finds out about the affair of their own agreement, the hurt that they feel will be tenfold. They will constantly wonder whether or not their spouse would ever have told them about the affair and they will always wonder how long their spouse would have kept up the betrayal, had they not discovered the affair. Bottom line – if the betrayer owns up to their actions and admits what they did wrong, the betrayed spouse will find it easier to forgive them.

Show Shame and Remorse for Your Actions

A betrayer that shows shame and remorse for their actions will always be more forgivable than a spouse that is defensive and aggressive when they are found out. When a spouse discovers that their partner has been having an affair, if their spouse seems to show sadness, shame and remorse for their actions, it can make them feel a little bit better – despite the hurt that they feel seilersee. A betrayer that is humble, apologetic for their actions and deeply sorry for what they have done will be more likely to succeed in rebuilding their marriage.

On the other hand, if a betrayer becomes defensive and angry when their spouse discovers their affair, instead of holding their hands up and bar to what they’ve done, the betrayed spouse can find it very difficult to forgive and forget – especially if the betrayer lays blame on the spouse for their own actions, i.e. “I never would have had the affair if you had done x”.

Be Open and Honest with Your Spouse

Often, a betrayed spouse may have an inkling that something is going on in their marriage – that everything is not as it seems. They may even suspect outright their spouse of cheating, and they may ask their spouse if they are being unfaithful, however they may question where their spouse has been, what their spouse has been doing and who they have been spending time with, only to be met with flat instances of cheating and outright lies.

Later, when the betrayed spouse finds out about the affair, they will not only be hurt by the betrayal itself, but also by the lies told to them by their spouse before they discovered the affair. The more open and honest the betrayer is with their spouse before they révisées the affair, as well as after the discovery of the affair, the more likely it is that the betrayed spouse will be able to forgive them and move towards rebuilding their marriage.

The betrayer also needs to accept that in the weeks and months following the discovery of the affair, they will need to be completely honest with their spouse at all times about where they are going and who they are seeing – and if they lie to their spouse, even once, about the smallest of things, it can throw any fragile trust that their spouse may have developed towards them out of the window.

Cut Off All Contact

For a marriage to successfully move on following year affair, the betrayer needs to cut off all contact with their lover – and they need to do so willingly. Crossing the boundary of friendship into becoming lovers when married means that the betrayer loses all rights to “staying friends” with their lover when the affair is over. To prove that they truly want to rebuild their marriage, the betrayer needs to cut off all contact – including texts, emails and phone calls – so that the betrayed spouse can feel like their marriage is a safe haven once again.

If the betrayer’s lover was a family member or work colleague, this still applies – otherwise, every single bit of contact the betrayer has with their lover, even if it is completely platonic, will feel like a fresh betrayal. The betrayed spouse should know that their partner is cutting ties with their lover completely willingly – if they feel like they are pushing their spouse into cutting off contact with their lover, it can mean that they will be less likely to readily forgive their spouse.

Finally, the betrayer needs to let their spouse know that they will do whatever it takes to get the relationship back on track – and that they accept full responsibility for their actions. Navigating the emotional turmoil left behind after an affair can be difficult, goal treating your spouse with love, care and affection and letting them know that you will do whatever you can to put their mind at rest will go some way in rebuilding your marriage.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act:There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make safe you and your partner are on the same pageI can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.

Should You Tell Your Family About Your Spouse’s Affair?

It can be very tempting to discuss your spouse’s affair with your family and friends – after all, an affair can devastate your relationship with the person closest to you, so it’s natural to want to seek support from elsewhere. Often, telling other people about your spouse’s affair can have a detrimental effect on any reconciliation.

Your friends and family will naturally want to stick up for you and they may well hold the affair against your spouse forever – which can make it very difficult for a reconciliation to work, especially if your family are totally against the idea. So should you tell your family, friends or children about the affair?

Family

Generally speaking, you should tread very, very carefully when it comes to telling your family about your spouse’s affair – because it can be very difficult for them to come to terms with how your spouse betrayed you. Your family have your best interests at heart, and they will always stick up for you.

While this righteous support can feel good when you’ve only just found out about the affair, as time goes on and you start to come to terms with the affair and make the first steps towards reconciling with your spouse, it can be very difficult to hear phrases like “Once a cheater, always a cheater” and “People always disappoint you”.

While your family might think this type of support is helpful, it will just make it all the more difficult to stay with your spouse. It can also make it incredibly awkward in the future at family events, especially if your family have decided that they loathe your spouse.

If you want to tell your family about your spouse’s affair, you should always keep in mind how they will react. Their reaction, if it is negative, could have a huge impact on you and your spouse’s ability to stay together and move forward in your relationship. It may be more sensible to confide in one or two family members that you know will support you in whatever choices you make when it comes to your relationship.

You don’t have to tell everyone – after all, your relationship is private and what goes on in your relationship is private, so not everyone needs to know the gory details. But you should confide in someone that you trust, so that you can have a friendly ear to use as a sounding board if you want to talk things through.

Family – In Laws

If you are trying to reconcile, whether or not you tell your in laws about your spouse’s affair is really up to your spouse. You might want to tell your in laws in an effort to get them to guilt-trip your spouse into ending the affair – but in reality, this could have the opposite effect and could actually push your spouse and the “other person” closer together. Your spouse will feel that you’ve gone behind their back, even if you wanted to tell your in laws so that you could get their support.

Your spouse cheated – but in most cases, your in laws will want to support your spouse and the decisions that they make, no matter how close they are to you. If you tell your in laws about the affair, be prepared for them to think that you are being sneaky and that you are trying to go behind your spouse’s back. Equally, if your spouse chooses to tell them about the affair, be prepared for them to be non-judgemental and supportive of your spouse, rather than supportive of you.

Friends

It may be very helpful for you to confide in a friend about your spouse’s affair – but be sure to choose the right friend. As with family, some of your friends will be very judgemental about your spouse and your decision to reconcile, which can make it difficult for you all to spend time together, especially if you are all mutual friends.

If you want to confide in someone, make it a friend that is your friend, rather than a mutual friend – and ideally, make it a friend that rarely sees your spouse. That way, they can be more impartial and they can offer you advice without being overly judgemental towards your spouse. If you have a co-worker who you are close friends with, they might be just the right person to confide in.

Children

Your children will know that there is something wrong in you and your spouse’s relationship, especially if they’ve heard you arguing, or if you have asked your spouse to leave. While they may blame you or your spouse for the problems in your relationship and the problems at home, the best way to approach this is to not attribute any blame to either person.

If you’ve asked your spouse to leave and your children are upset with you, you do not need to tell them about your spouse’s affair in an effort to explain your actions. Remember that your children are also your spouse’s children and no matter what happens, that will always be the case – it’s not worth destroying their feelings towards your spouse just to prove that it is their fault that you are having relationship problems.

When you do choose to confide in someone about the affair, you should always let them know what you need in terms of support – and you should also let them know when you need them to back off. If you want advice, let them know – and if you don’t want any advice and all you want is someone to talk through your feelings with, let them know!

Remember that every person needs support when they go through something upsetting or trying, so you should embrace the friends and family you have when you go through something like an affair, even if you don’t explicitly tell them about your spouse’s affair.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act: There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.

How to Recover From an Affair When Contact With the Affair Partner Is Unavoidable

In most cases after the discovery of the affair, it’s usually preferable that the wayward spouse cuts off all contact with the affair partner in order to move on and recover from the affair. This is one of the steps usually recommended by relationship experts in order for the straying spouse to prove to the betrayed spouse that they are serious about moving on from the affair and that they are serious about rebuilding the marriage.

But sometimes, contact with the affair partner is completely unavoidable – perhaps if the straying spouse works with their affair partner. This unavoidable contact can really cause problems in the relationship if the straying spouse doesn’t handle the situation properly. However, there are a number of things that the wayward spouse can do to help the betrayed spouse feel more comfortable with the situation, and some of these are mentioned below.

Change the parameters of the relationship

When a wayward spouse embarks on an affair, they view their affair partner as a number of things – lover, confidante, friend – sometimes even a “soul mate”. But when the affair is discovered and the straying spouse makes a choice to end the affair and stay in their marriage, the parameters of their relationship with the affair partner must change. Firstly, contact with the affair partner should be limited to business only – no discussions about children, life outside of work, or gossip about friends.

There is no need to go out for coffee or for lunch – business discussions can take place in the office and there is no need for them to take place anywhere else. If conversations start to steer into more intimate waters, it is important that the wayward spouse clearly states that they are unhappy with the conversation and that the boundaries of their relationship with their affair partner have changed. It’s important that the affair partner knows that the parameters of the relationship have changed and that certain topics are now off limit.

Secondly, the affair partner needs to make sure that their affair partner knows that conversations about the state of their marriage are strictly off limits. It’s not for the affair partner to know how the marriage is working out, and refusal to talk about it reinforces the idea that the marriage is strong and that the straying spouse is trying their hardest to rebuild it. This step helps to enforce the idea of intimacy and helps to reinforce the “we” in the marriage – rather than the “I”.

Discuss encounters with the affair partner

One way to rebuild trust in a relationship where the wayward spouse still has contact with their affair partner is for them to openly discuss these encounters with their spouse. Even in cases where the betrayed spouse would never have known that the straying spouse had contact with the affair partner, it is still important for them to disclose that information. It might be an unpleasant conversation to initiate, and it might even cause an argument – but in the long run, the betrayed spouse will be much more likely to trust a straying spouse that is willing to volunteer information.

It’s also worth remembering that the discovery of the affair was more than likely down to the betrayed spouse finding out about it – rather than the straying spouse disclosing that they were having an affair. A betrayed spouse can end up feeling like they have to dig for any information about the affair – so if the straying spouse actually discloses any information about encounters with the affair partner without it having to be nagged out of them, it will go some way in building trust in the relationship. It will also reassure the betrayed spouse that the straying spouse has nothing to hide, because they are actively disclosing information without hiding it.

Be willing to prove trustworthiness

Often, a betrayed spouse can feel the need to “check up” on their spouse after the discovery of an affair – especially if their spouse is still in contact with the affair partner. While the straying spouse might view this as their spouse trying to control them, in actual fact, it is just the betrayed spouse trying to reassure themselves that their spouse is remaining faithful to them so that they can start to trust them again.

The straying spouse should turn this information over to their spouse – without them having to ask. The mentality should be “I will help you check up on me” rather than “I don’t want you to snoop on me”. The straying spouse should be willing to show their spouse any texts or emails sent from the affair partner, especially if they are still working with the affair partner. If the straying spouse insists on privacy, it will only cause the betrayed spouse to feel paranoid and even a little jealous – which is not good for anyone trying to rebuild their marriage.

Be accountable for their actions

A straying spouse will have to be accountable for their actions for a number of months or even years following the affair. They broke the boundaries, rules and trust of the marriage and as such, it can take a long time to rebuild the marriage – and one of the most important steps in rebuilding a marriage is for the straying spouse to be fully accountable for their actions. This means letting their spouse know where they are, who they are with, whether they are going to be late etc.

If the straying spouse looks at it from the betrayed spouse’s point of view – such as “Last time they were this late home they were cheating on me”, or “Last time they didn’t answer their phone when I called they were with their lover” – it is much, much easier to see why it is so important for them to be accountable for their actions.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act: There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.

Warning Signs of an Emotional Affair

An emotional affair is perhaps one of the most devastating types of affairs, as it involves feelings and wants and desires – which can sometimes be more damaging than a purely sexual encounter where there are no feelings involved. The trouble with emotional affairs is that the spouse involved in the affair can feel like they are doing nothing wrong – after all, there is no physical contact involved, and it may never have entered their mind to make the jump from “just friends” to “lovers”. But the spouse’s partner can feel just as betrayed, hurt and cheated in the wake of an emotional affair as they would in the wake of a sexual affair.

As with any affair, an emotional affair carries its own warning signs. If you recognise your behaviour in the list mentioned below, it could indicate that you are engaged in an emotional affair.

You Say Things to Your Friend That You Wouldn’t if Your Spouse Were There

This is probably the biggest indicator that you are involved in an emotional affair. If you repeatedly hold conversations with your friend that would not be appropriate in front of your partner, or if you are flirty with the friend, but you wouldn’t be willing to act in the same way if you were in front of your partner, it could mean that there is more going on between you and your friend than you might be willing to admit.

You Become Your “Best You” Around Your Friend

If you always make sure that you look your very best to see your friend, it could mean that you are more invested in that friendship than you should be. Being your “best you” doesn’t always mean the most attractive you, either – if you go out of your way to show your friend how sympathetic, funny, wise, kind or charming you are, it could again indicate that you are involved in an emotional affair.

You Anticipate Spending Time with Your Friend

If you become excited at the thought of spending time with your friend – or if you long to see them, it could mean that you are involved in an emotional affair. Equally, if you find yourself wanting to tell your friend small details about your day – such as a compliment your boss gave about your work, or to tell them about a brilliant new book you think they should read, and you neglect to share that information with your spouse in the same way, it could mean that you are involved in an emotional affair with that friend.

You Share Your Marital Problems with Your Friend

An emotional affair can cause an individual to move away from their spouse in terms of both physical and emotional intimacy. It can cause the individual involved in the affair to believe that their marriage isn’t up to scratch – and they then start to talk about those marital problems with their friend. They may talk about how bad their marriage is and how unhappy it is making them.

Their friend may also start to talk about their own relationship difficulties. If you find yourself spending more and more time talking about your marital problems with your friend, rather than trying to work on those marital problems with your spouse, it could mean that you are involved in an emotional affair.

You Keep the Time Spent with Your Friend a Secret

You might rationalise spending time with your friend as just spending time with another friend. Because of this, you might feel that you don’t actually need to tell your spouse the details about the time spent with your friend – you might write it off as an entirely platonic friendship that you don’t need to share the details of. But if your spouse asks you questions about where you are going or what you are doing and you say “just seeing a friend” – without specifying the sex or any other details, it could mean that there is more to you and your friend’s relationship than you might be willing to admit.

You Make Sacrifices to Speak to Your Friend

If you’re involved in an emotional affair, you could find yourself sacrificing other things in your life – such as time spent with your partner, time spent with your family, having drinks with your friends, in order to spend time with your friend. You might stay up and speak to your friend online when your spouse has gone to sleep, or you might turn down a lunch with your friends in favour of meeting your other friend for a drink. If you find yourself wanting to spend more and more time with your friend, and sacrificing other things in your life in order to do so, it could mean that you’re involved in an emotional affair.

If You Suspect Your Spouse is Having an Emotional Affair

Your spouse could be involved in an emotional affair if they suddenly become much friendlier with someone of the opposite sex. They might not share any information about their friend, or they may seem unwilling for the two of you to meet. They could also seem a little bit distant and unresponsive, both emotionally and physically.

Your spouse may not have mentioned a new friend, but if they spend more and more time emailing or texting and are reluctant to tell you who they are speaking to you, consistently have to go on long lunches or work late at the office when they have never had to do so in the past and are picky, aggressive, cold or distant and reluctant to engage in conversations with you, it could mean that they are involved in an emotional or even a physical affair.

Although an emotional affair can be devastating, you can recover from it. An emotional affair can be a symptom of a bigger problem within a relationship, and if one occurs, it can be the push that both individuals within the marriage need to put more time, energy and effort into their relationship.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act: There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.

How to survive an affair: guidelines for the betrayed spouse

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To the Betrayed Spouse

You’re unbelievably hurt and angry. Your world is shattered. Everything you once thought was infallible and true is now called into question. The one person you thought you could trust is now someone you don’t even know at all.

You’re the victim of infidelity. And your life will never be the same.

How you cope with these feelings and find your way through the maelstrom will be a pivotal journey not just for your marriage or committed relationship, but also for you as a person. Hope and light, however, can be found at the end of the tunnel, and this article will direct your footsteps along the treacherous way.

Now that You Know

You may have been suspicious of infidelity for a long time. Possibly you acted on your suspicions and caught your partner red-handed. Possibly someone else alerted you to the truth. In America, about 20,000 partners are discovered in an affair every single day. Those with wayward partners who divulged the affair voluntarily are slightly better-off; at least they’ll be able, in the future, to them give points for coming clean on their own.

Taking care of yourself

The period immediately following the devastating discovery that your partner has betrayed you is fraught with danger for you, the betrayed. Marriage counselors see the same kinds of deleterious responses over and over again, and warn those who are going through this stage to be aware of them.

Finding help

Support can come in the most unlikely forms. It is, in fact, all around us, but when we are experiencing an encompassing darkness, it can be hard to even open our eyes and look for the light. Several ideas that may help inspire you in such a time of need are given in the box below.

Now is not the time to be shy. Find someone you trust and pour your heart out to them. A professional counselor is usually the most helpful choice, but if you feel that’s not right for you, the confidant may be a friend, a priest, a family member, an online forum, a support group, or any combination of the above.

The qualities of a good counselor or confidant include:

– Someone who is a good listener, and who does not interrupt.

– Someone who is compassionate, kind, and patient.

– Someone who offers suggestions without trying to fix things.

– One who can offer asylum, whether it be psychic or physical.

– One who is comfortable with periods of silence

– One who can keep a secret

Gathering your Information

Talking the deception talk

During times of tribulation such as those moments, days, and sleepless nights after an affair has come to light, it’s utterly tempting for both partners to do nothing but feel the pain that envelops them. There’s a time for that, of course. And it’s possible that you, as the betrayed party, may adopt an attitude of, “You broke it, you fix it” toward the partner who deceived you.

This is, however, not helpful, and if the couple in trouble due to deception does not somehow confront the problem and talk about it in a healthy manner, there is great danger that the relationship will never again be one which is truly authentic.

Depending on the inner strength of both parties, the deception talk may be short, long, or prolonged. It may take many such honest confrontations for both parties to feel they can try to move on and renew the loving relationship they once enjoyed. Professional guidance during this time, in the form of couples’ therapy, is highly recommended, to see you through the naturally occurring pitfalls and obstacles along the way.

Compounding Threats to your Psyche, Spirit and Relationship after Discovery

While there is, as you now realize, nothing in the world that can help you prepare for the depth and breadth of damage an affair can cause, experts advocate that the betrayed party remain on the lookout for these signs of fraying around the edges:

Feelings of despair, hopelessness, or chronic fatigue

These sensations are profoundly telling and also extremely common. They can represent a deep depression, which may be seen as anger turned in upon yourself. When we can’t or won’t confront or handle such an epic situation, we sometimes give up and sink into the subtle comfort of helplessness. The universal recommendation at this point is for the sufferer to see a professional psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor immediately. These responses, while they may seem quite natural, all point to a risk of suicide, and can be dealt with by experts who do so with their patients on a regular basis.

Uncontrolled outbursts of anger

The most normal reaction in the world is to hurt back when we’ve been hurt. While anger and aggression on the part of the wounded spouse may also seem very understandable, they can easily escalate into physical acts or destructive emotional attacks you can never take back. Unchecked hostility can actually cause more lasting damage to your relationship than the affair, which brought it on, creating a never-ending circle of resentments and lashing out on both sides. Get help from a neutral professional or confidant.

If it’s not feasible to work with a professional at this time, exercise, hobbies, and attentive self-care in the form of eating and sleeping right can provide enough help to get you back on an even keel, from which position you will be better able to handle the problems that must be addressed. Avoid self-medicating with chemicals, liquor, and other temporary fixes.

Your heart of hearts

While no one made your partner decide to have an affair and put your relationship in danger, there are usually mitigating circumstances that lead up to such a drastic step. Take time to have the talk with yourself, too, about whether you may have contributed reasons for your partner to draw away from you and your marriage or committed relationship.

WARNING: It’s important at this juncture, say the experts, not to use these mitigating reasons as an excuse to release your betrayer from the responsibility that comes with the act of betrayal. As we have seen, while an attitude of withdrawal is easier, it is not helpful and can seriously erode an emotional partnership. Just so, the tendency to do the easy thing by precipitously releasing the partner from repentance and restitution is an approach that will do nothing for the healthy resuscitation of your broken relationship, and made indeed do it much harm in the years to come.

Walking the Rebuilding Walk

In taking the first halting steps toward rebuilding a shattered relationship, you are encouraged to go slowly and carefully. The most important tool in your rebuilding arsenal will be trust. You, as the injured party who was deceived, will eventually have to find a way to trust your partner again, and it’s up to the wayward partner to somehow show you they can be trusted. But if, while you are both walking through this harrowing process, you can provide an environment of safety for your partner, it will make it easier for them to stay honest with you. Your ability to turn from your baser instincts of retribution will be of immense import at this point.

Making up your Mind to Rebuild

No professional marriage counselor will tell you that it’s either right or wrong to stay in a broken marriage or leave it. You must decide for yourself, as with all of life’s landmark decisions. And there are never any guarantees, in life or in a relationship.

It’s best to make this important decision after a short period of time has passed and you are feeling at least somewhat balanced. One very good rule is “When in doubt… don’t.” This single, easy-to-remember admonition has saved countless relationships. Wait to make life-changing decisions until there is no doubt in your mind or heart, and use the time wisely while you wait.

Identify the Pros and Cons

1. Make a list. To help clarify, write out two lists with all the negative and positive aspects of your relationship on it. Consider both the long- and the short-term advantages and drawbacks. Include pros and cons regarding yourself, your health, your family, your finances, your career, and your heart. Really think about these things and take sufficient time with this list to be very thorough, possibly creating it over a few days.

2. Assign values to each item on your list in the following way:

– Every item that has its foundation in love gets ten points.

– Every item that has its foundation in fear gets five points.

It is wise and reasonable that your loving motives receive more weight than your fearful ones. Any relationship built on fear is a weak one and will not weather future storms well. An example of a love-inspired item on your list of pros and cons might be, “I believe everyone deserves a second chance.” And an example of a fear-inspired item might be, “I’ll never be able to trust him again.”

Reconciliation, Forgiveness, and Moving On

Once you’ve talked it out with your partner and decided that, for whatever reasons, you both want to try to pick up the pieces and rebuild a relationship, whether you’re working with a professional counselor or not, there are certain attitudes both you and your partner can embrace that will make the process worthwhile and, possibly, enlightening:

a. Both parties can take an active, positive approach toward rejuvenating the love you once had through the cultivation of honesty and trust. A passive manner only prolongs the pain, delays the possible renewal of the relationship, or sets the scene for an irreparably inauthentic relationship not based on the truth, but based on fear.

b. An attitude of mutual respect will go far to avoid the usual pitfalls of retribution, gamey behavior, and unproductive regret.

c. Both members in the relationship should remember that there can be no guaranteed positive outcome, just as there was no guarantee when you first tied the knot.

Guidelines for Redeeming a Relationship Threatened by Infidelity

Even though the onus falls on the partner who betrayed to stop the affair completely, make amends, and go the extra mile to show the wounded partner they can be trusted, your relationship will be much easier to rebuild if you both follow the guidelines below.

– Be honest about your feelings

– Try not to lash out in your pain

– Avoid withdrawal

– Be as objective as possible

– Be fearless, but not brutal

– Be realistic, but not hurtful

– Don’t rush the process

– Don’t run and hide from the process

As you can see, each stage along the way is liable to take a while, depending on the extent of the damage. And, just as there are no guarantees that your newly burgeoning relationship will work, there are also no guarantees that turning your back on it entirely will have a better outcome. Forgiveness and renewed trust are the ultimate goals, and they are achievable, when both partners are willing to make the journey, feeling the pain along the way, and helping each other over the hard places and obstacles along the path.

Where are you in the stages of rebuilding your life after it was shattered? Can you look through the list of stages below and then, somehow, look forward to a brighter day?

Marriages fail for a myriad of reasons. Those couples who succeed in facing dire relationship problems such as infidelity inevitably look back in wonder and surprise, one day in the future, and notice how much stronger the experience made them, both as individuals and as a unit.

Maturity comes through the tempering of a willing spirit. There is no other way. Could this be another phase of your life journey that you can use to bring yourself to a new level of maturity and so realize the potential of your mind and spirit? If both partners can embrace this way of thinking, they have an excellent chance of helping each other find their ways back home.

The Stages of your Progress

The universally accepted stages of recovery after infidelity breaks your heart and your relationship are:

1. Exploring the reasons behind the affair

2. Grief and/or denial

3. Halting steps on the journey back

4. Arriving at a threshold of breaking down and breaking through

5. Acceptance of the other

6. Forgiveness

7. Renewed trust

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act: There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.

I Just Want To Get Away From My Spouse And His Affair

I sometimes hear from people who are overwhelmed to learn that their spouse has been unfaithful. Sometimes, they just can not picture any scenario in which things could ever be right again. They can’t imagine what life will be like now. And many see just taking flight as an attractive option.

I heard from a woman who said: “I feel so humiliated right now. I found out two days ago that my husband has been cheating on me with his assistant. And now I’ve just talked to one of my husband’s coworkers who admitted to me that everyone at the office knew about the affair and that it had been going on for months. I feel like an idiot because I had no idea. I didn’t have any suspicions whatsoever. I thought we were happy. Although I don’t work in my husband’s office, I do go by there all of the time. I’m very involved with what is going on there. Many of my friends work with my husband. I’m embarrassed that all of my friends know about this. And, if I’m being honest, I feel like just packing my bags and leaving it all behind. Before my husband and I were married, I lived in a different part of the country where I was very happy. I had a job that I loved and I had lots of friends. When we got married, I left to live with my husband in our current city. Now that I see that my marriage has been a farce, I’m tempted to buy a plane ticket and go back to where I belong. I know I could get my old job and my old apartment back. I told a couple of my friends about this and they say that I am making a snap decision that I might later regret. Am I wrong to just want to run away?”

Believe me when I say that I understand the inclination to want to get away. Especially when the infidelity is fresh, it can feel as if your whole life is ruined and that you will need to start completely over in order to begin to rebuild. And, sometimes, getting some distance does help. With that said though, I don’t think that running away is always the best decision. I will tell you why in the following article.

If You Run Away, You Can’t Get Closure And You Close Off The Possibility Of Rehabilitation: I understand believing that your marriage can’t ever recover. Many people feel very strongly that infidelity is a deal breaker. I initially felt the same way. I did end up saving my marriage, but in the beginning I didn’t want anything to do with my husband.

The point that I’m trying to make is that sometimes in the early stages, it’s very hard to envision a future where things are better. But, even if you chose to leave your husband and to rebuild your life, you will need healing and you will need closure. If you just run away and you don’t have the opportunity to discuss this any further or to get the answers that you need, then you can’t possibly get this needed closure and peace of mind. And you may well take this pain and this injury into your future relationships.

Temporarily Getting Away Can Be A Good Idea: I didn’t want to discourage this woman from going to where she would feel supported and loved. I felt it might be healthy to go back to where she had friends and supportive people who loved her. There is nothing wrong with taking refuge to where you feel best. Buying a plane ticket and spending time with friends and loved ones wasn’t a bad idea. This might have given her some distance and perspective and she could certainly use the support.

But making a huge life decision like moving your entire life and cutting off all ties with your current friends and your support group is very drastic. It’s not a decision that should be made lightly or in only one day. So while I advocate taking some time away. I’m not sure I would advocate uprooting your whole life so suddenly.

Sure, you may eventually decide to move away and to start over, after you’ve had enough time to evaluate all factors. But how can you know that this is the right decision until you have the time to process this? I believe that knee jerk responses carry some risk. And that appeared to be the case here.

So to answer the concern posed, I understand just wanting to run away. But I don’t think it’s always the best idea, at least initially. While getting away for a little while can offer some relief and some perspective, I think that running away is a rushed decision that could prevent you from getting the closure that you might eventually need so that the pain of this doesn’t end up following you to where you think you’re running to.

Believe me when I say that I wanted to flee after my husband’s affair. I guess what was different in my case was the community in which my children were members. I didn’t want to uproot my kids. I did stay with family for a while but eventually, it became clear that I belonged in the place where my children lived their lives. We did eventually save our marriage but this is a very personal decision and it’s not he right decision for every one. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Husband Thinks I Only Let Him Come Back Home After His Affair To Punish Him

I sometimes hear from folks who are really struggling with their marriage after infidelity. Often, despite their best efforts, there are leftover issues that are whittling away at the marriage. It’s normal for the faithful spouse to still feel angry and resentful. Unfortunately, this can make the cheating spouse feel as if they will never be able to make up for the infidelity no matter what they do.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with a mutual female friend of ours. To say that I was furious was an understatement. At first, I kicked my husband out of the house and I cut off all contact with him. I didn’t want anything to do with him whatsoever. He made a huge pest of himself, calling and coming by and begging me to give him one more chance. This went on for months. I finally relented mostly because of my children. Slowly, I began to talk to him. And eventually, I let him move back in. I can’t say that our marriage is a good one. I’m still very angry and it certainly shows. I find myself making negative and nasty comments about my husband. I find myself thwarting his advances. My children have relationships with him but I really don’t. Our sex life in nonexistent. The other day, my husband asked me why I took him back if I don’t want a real marriage. He said that he thinks I allowed him to come back just to seek revenge on him. He said that he thinks that my real goal is to just make him miserable and to make him pay. He says it’s clear that his future life is going to be unhappy because I am going to make it so. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I can’t deny that I am not even remotely pleasant to him, but he doesn’t deserve my kindness and I’m still very angry. I don’t consciously feel like I’m trying to punish him or to seek revenge but I certainly don’t go out of my way to make things good between us. Is it possible that I only took him back to seek revenge? Because at this point, I don’t know what to think or to feel.”

As a wife who struggled to recover after her husband’s affair, I know that it’s very common to have underlying anger and resentment, even when you don’t mean to. You’re constantly on the look out for his flaws. You’re constantly waiting for him to mess up. And sometimes, you’re almost hoping that he does so that you can lash out at him. I am not sure why this happens, except for the fact that it’s probable that you still have some healing to do. But I do know that this type of situation is not healthy for you. It may seem as if he is the one being punished, but in actuality, living with this type of anger and negative outlook actually hurts you too.

Why Negative Pay Backs Hurt You As Much As They Hurt Him: It’s totally normal to want revenge. When someone hurts you very badly, it’s just human nature to want to strike back and to make them feel what you feel. But you need to be aware that when you do this, all that you are really doing is unleashing negativity that hurts you too. You are flinging the pain right back onto yourself. I know that you might doubt this. But I know from experience that it is true.

Once I turned my attention away from negative feelings of anger and revenge and turned it toward my own healing, I began to feel much better. Sometimes, you literally have to force yourself to do this. When you begin to feel anger toward him, you have to literally and consciously direct yourself to do something conductive that will help you rather than to hurt him. If you can make a habit of doing this, then I’m relatively certain that you will begin to feel your anger diminish.

Backing Off Of Trying To Make Him Sorry Will Actually Make Him More Remorseful: I honestly think that somewhere inside of us, we want to make him miserable because we want him to be sorry or to be remorseful. But when we are nasty or vengeful, we actually make this less likely. He will have an easier time justifying his actions because of our behavior and he will think things like “no wonder I had to cheat on her because she’s so negative and abrasive to me.” This makes it easier for him to justify his actions. I’m not saying that you don’t have the right to be angry or to want revenge. You do. But I am also telling you that obviously seeking revenge makes you less likely to get what you really want.

I’d strongly suggest focusing on your own healing to see if this lessens your need for revenge. Often, when you begin to feel better, you will no longer worry so much about punishing him and you will realize that moving forward is more beneficial to you than revenge would ever be.

Finally, sometimes you’ll find that you just aren’t sure if you’re ready to let go of your anger. In that case, you have to realize that the anger hurts you so much more than it helps you. It may feel as if it’s insulating you from the pain or is acting as protective barrier, but it’s actually just the opposite. Because most of the time, the anger is what is keeping you from true and lasting recovery.

Believe me when I saw that I’m not being judgmental. I completely understand the anger and the lashing out.  But I know from experience that it keeps you stuck and it slows your healing.  And when this happens, you’re can’t move forward and the anger will remain. It’s a vicious cycle that it’s your interest to end.  Once I realize this, things changed for me.  If it helps, you can read that story on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com/

Don’t Let Old Flames Enflame Your Marriage: 5 Guidelines for Social Networking

There’s something about the holiday season and the January blues that stirs the desire to connect with old friends and lovers. In the olden days of the 1990′s, the desire remained in the imagination or found occasional outlets by flipping through college alumni directories or white pages. But with today’s social networking, the desire to connect can so easily be fulfilled.

“I feel like a computer widow.”

“What do you do in your room with the door closed all evening?”

“You say you aren’t having an affair, but it sure feels like one to me.”

“You’re on your iPhone all the time. If you have nothing to hide, why do you always go in the other room?”

I hear comments like these far too often as couples sit in my office – weepy, screaming, or stony-faced. As fun as social networking can be, it has side effects that can be fatal to marriages.

If you have a solid marriage, if you enjoy spending time with your spouse and children, you wouldn’t be sitting in another room with the door closed, or turning away while texting someone. Your spouse wouldn’t be feeling neglected.

If you have a solid marriage, you would be spending some time in the evenings together, maybe even sharing with your spouse information about the people you are contacting, funny stories you are hearing from them, and other tidbits.

Social networking doesn’t have to be a threat to a marriage. The difference between social networking being a nice way to reconnect with old friends and social networking becoming an emotional affair is your intent and how you use it. And this is even truer when you are connecting with a former romantic partner. Here, it is most important to be clear with yourself as well as your spouse why you want this contact.

Anisha was excited when she found Neil, a lover from two decades ago, on Facebook. Anisha had married a few years after he left her, but later divorced. She has not remarried and was not in a serious relationship when she decided to contact Neil to get closure – why he broke up with her. She was also curious if had he taken that job he was so excited about back then. While she didn’t verbalize this, she was interested in filling in information from her past; she was not thinking about Neil in her present.

He wrote her back explaining why he needed to walk out on her, and yes he did get the job. This started a series of exchanges that over the next few months increased to several times a day. Neil shared feeling unappreciated at work and his doubts about whether this was the right field for him. Because Anisha was a compassionate listener and supportive, he soon shared his doubts about his marriage.

As she felt closer to him because of his sharing, she began talking about the awful dates she was having. She was so impressed when he was bold enough to ask if she was lonely. Clearly he understood her.

In time, the closeness they both felt, fueled by the frequency of their contacts and what they were sharing, intensified to the extent that they decided to get together in person. What started as an innocent effort to get closure on a past relationship had evolved into Anisha considering an affair with Neil, who was considering divorce. An innocent beginning led to what would become a disastrous and painful outcome.

They would have been protected if they had known about the five guidelines for using social networking to protecting a marriage or relationship.

5 Guidelines

1. Be clear about your agenda

Although, Anisha was initially clear about her reason for contacting Neil, he had given no thought to what it might mean. They had innocently slipped into something that violated their values, and ended up causing a lot of disruption to their lives.

This might have been avoided if both of them were clearer about the reason for their reconnecting.

2. Consider the frequency of your contacts

One way to keep the agenda clear is to limit the frequency of the contact. Writing once every week or two allows you to hear from each other, but prevents the intensity from building. With their contact increasing to several times a day, it was easy for Anisha and Neil to slip into sharing more personal feelings.

3. Be cautious about sharing much personal information

It’s important to limit the amount of personal information you share. Telling someone about your feelings increases intimacy. That’s what should be happening within a marriage. It becomes dangerous when it is shared outside the marriage. Neil clearly needed to talk about his feelings, but it should have been to his wife or a marriage therapist. Focusing on their relationship would have given them time to see if their marriage could be improved or if they needed to separate. Then, and only then, would it have been safe to get emotionally involved with someone else.

4. Be sure to keep your spouse informed

As long as you are letting your spouse know whom are you are contacting and leaving her an option to see the emails, both spouses are safe. This eliminates secrecy which leads to jealousy and suspicion, and it increases the couple’s confidence in each other. The social networking then becomes a part of the marriage, where they can talk about the people in their cyberspace lives.

5. Do not meet in person – unless with your spouse

If your agenda is clear, contact is infrequent, the information exchanged not intimate, and your spouse aware of your connections, you have just another friend. So, if you want to get together with that friend, there is no reason the spouse shouldn’t be a part of that meeting.

What happened with Anisha and Neil, while exciting at first, became horribly disruptive. They met secretly. But, a relationship built on secrets does not have a solid foundation. Because they had a history together, they assumed they could quickly forge a future. What they hadn’t counted on was how different they had become over the years. Once they openly announced their affections, Neil’s wife immediately started divorce proceedings. His children were furious and would not talk with him.

Anisha and Neil become closer as she was supportive to him, but their relationship had become one-sided, with her doing a lot of hand-holding while he was trying to handle a divorce and reach out to his rejecting children.

When Anisha realized how little she was getting from him, she left. As she later said, “It was like I was on a moving train, starting slowly from the station and then speeding ahead – faster than I had intended. The longer we were together, the more I saw who he really was, not the fantasy from my youth. I was getting discouraged, but I felt I had to stay because he was in such pain.”

When You Receive the Contact

Anisha was the one to initiate contact. But, what about when an old flame contacts you? A good first question is to ponder why the person might be writing you, and why now? What is that person’s underlying intent? Is that person trying to escape from a bad marriage? Does that person long for emotional closeness? You probably would not ask these questions, but they could be in the forefront of your thoughts.

What could Neil have done to protect himself? First, he could have been clear of his own agenda in writing back. Then, following the other guidelines, he could have limited the frequency and the intensity of their exchanges. And, he could have been clear with his wife. If their marriage was in trouble, he could have taken steps to fix that first.

Protecting Yourself

Regardless whether you are the initiator or responder in the social networking, you need to protect yourself with these 5 guidelines. Without that, and especially if you are in a fragile marriage, you are vulnerable to seeking happiness elsewhere. So, what may start out as an innocent curiosity, may turn into a nightmare – for you, your spouse (and children), and the other person. Fantasies of how this old flame could reignite your lost passion, your desire for emotional closeness, could lead you to sharing unhappiness as you “innocently” write back and forth about “How are you? “What are you doing in your life now?”

Don’t avoid the great potential of social networking, but like any new appliance, gadget, or technology, use it wisely.

This holiday season, next year, forever – protect yourself and your marriage. Use social networking in ways that provide fun and contact, include your spouse, and see how much closer (and safer) you feel with your on-line friends and your marriage.

Dr. Karen Gail Lewis has been a relationship therapist for 42 years, practicing in Cincinnati and Washington, DC area. To learn more about relationships from her, including articles and free videos, go to http://www.secretstoasolidrelationship.com/

I found out that my Ex Girlfriend cheated on me – a few tips on how to deal with

No matter who you are, know that woman you wrong is a pill hard to swallow. It can make you feel like less of a man, and it can make you feel totally cheated. What if you discovered that it was your ex girlfriend who had cheated on you? Which can be also difficult to deal in some respects, because it can always be something that really stings your ego.

Here are some tips on what you can do if you discovered that your ex girlfriend has cheated on you:

1 Be happy that she is your ex girlfriend and not your course.

Always find this grey button and it is its location. While it might hurt a lot to find out that your ex girlfriend has cheated on you, you might want to take some comfort in the fact that it is now your ex girlfriend and not the woman you are currently attending. Admittedly, it would be much more difficult to have to deal with, if it is still the woman that you have right now.

2 Learn from this experience in looking back on the clues that she cheated.

In many situations of this kind, you look back and realize that there were many signs that your ex girlfriend cheated on you and even though it would not feel a bit like an idiot for not to see it when it’s gone – you should be able to look back and learn from it. You can learn from this experience and use it in the future, you’ll be much more likely to see the signs when they are there, if that ever happens to you again.

3. Do not think that the next woman will certainly be a cheater so.

While you don’t want to be naive and I think that this can not happen to you, you also don’t want to assume that it will be. This is something that you should be able to treat, because it’s easy to start thinking that all women will eventually cheat on you, just because we got to do it for you. It is good to be on the lookout for signs that it might happen, but not good to assume that this certainly happen for you.

So, you have discovered that she has slept with someone else. Go to: my Ex Girlfriend is dating and relationship advice.

What are the obstacles to rebuilding your marriage after the case?

Discovery of an affair is incredibly tough on any marriage, and even if both partners are willing to put the time and effort into rebuilding their marriage, it could still be incredibly difficult to fully repair the relationship. There are a number of barriers and stumbling blocks that may have to be navigated in order to rebuild the relationship.

Here are a few common barriers to rebuilding your marriage after the affair and how to overcome them.

The straying spouse is unsure of their spouse’s love

Oftentimes, the straying spouse may choose to remain in contact with their lover as they are unsure of whether or not their spouse has forgiven them or whether or not their spouse still loves them. Because they are unsure of their spouse’s love, they might choose to hang on to the contact with their lover to have a type of “insurance policy”.

They might still text and email their lover, and even if the betrayed spouse does not know about their spouse’s ongoing contact with their lover, they will instinctively know that there is something not quite right in their relationship. No. matter how unsure the straying spouse is of their spouse’s love, in order to properly work towards rebuilding their marriage, they should cut off all contact with their lover – cold turkey. If they will be too tempted to contact their lover, they should delete their lover’s phone number and block their email address.

The straying spouse believes that their spouse will not be able to meet their needs

Having an affair gives a straying spouse a different viewpoint on life. It shows what else is out there, in terms of love, sex and relationships, but it also shows that there are other options aside from their primary relationship. A straying spouse also has some of their needs met by someone other than their married spouse, and this can leave them thinking that their spouse will not be able to meet their needs.

In order to rebuild the marriage, the straying spouse needs to learn – and appreciate – that their spouse will not be able to meet all of their needs. One person cannot have all of their needs met by just one other person. The straying spouse needs to create stronger relationships between themselves and their friends and family – this way, they will come to realise that they can have a happy and healthy relationship with their spouse, while also getting some of their emotional needs met by others in their life, without having to seek solace in the arms of a lover.

The straying spouse finds it difficult to accept full responsibility for their actions

An affair is a symptom of a bigger problem within a marriage – it would be very rare for a spouse to stray with the sole intent of trying to hurt or upset their partner. Usually, an affair occurs for a very specific reason, perhaps because the primary relationship is breaking down or because the betrayed spouse is not meeting all of the straying spouse’s needs. The straying spouse may believe that the affair was not all their fault – that it was equally their partner’s fault. This belief can make it very difficult for both parties to move on from the affair towards a happier marriage.

To rebuild the marriage, the straying spouse does need to accept full responsibility for their actions. Yes, there may have been bigger problems within the marriage – and yes, the betrayed spouse may have been behaving in such a way that caused problems within the relationship – but the betrayed spouse did not go out and cheat. The straying spouse cheated, and they thing to cross the boundary into actually cheating on their partner.

Because they thing to do that rather than fix their relationship by communicating with their spouse, they need to accept full responsibility for the fact that they broke the rules of their marriage. Once the straying spouse accepts responsibility for their actions – and demonstrates that they are truly sorry for their actions – both parties can start to move on.

The straying spouse believes that their marriage is “dull”

Once an individual has a taste of something illicit – something new, exciting and a little bit dangerous, it can make everything else in their life seem incredibly dull by comparison. An affair is just that – something new, exciting and dangerous, and when the affair is over the straying spouse can feel like their marriage is very dull. The marriage is safe and secure – and most of the time, a marriage stays pretty consistent in terms of what happens in the relationship, and as such, when a straying spouse returns to their marriage, they can view it as a dull and boring.

A straying spouse that bonds with a lover tend to view their marriage in an even more miserable light in an effort to justify their actions to themselves. To successfully rebuild a marriage after an affair, a straying spouse has to put in every effort to remind themselves of why they are in the marriage in the first place.

They need to reconnect with their spouse and remind themselves of why they decided to marry their spouse in the first place – and why they stayed with their spouse through any marriage problems instead of cutting their losses and leaving. Excitement and danger can be fun – but safety, fun and laughter in a long-term committed relationship can be equally as fun.

Finally, a straying spouse may feel sorry for their lover – and because they feel sorry for their lover, they may still hold their spouse at arm’s length so that they can comfort their lover. This will only spell disaster for the marriage and it will make it even more difficult for both partners to move on.

The most important thing about rebuilding a marriage after an affair is that both parties must be totally willing and ready to work on their relationship, to make it as strong as possible. If one or both of the parties is not totally ready to work on the marriage, it will be almost impossible to successfully rebuild it.

What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?

Time To Act:There is hope.

An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.

Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make safe you and your partner are on the same pageI can help you.

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To FREE TIPS On How To Survive an Affair.