o What do I have to do for my partner to love me again?
It is possible to have an affair and fall back in love with your partner. It is also possible for your partner to fall back in love with you. You must see adultery as a stress relieving and self- medicating high to avoid the real issues between you and your partner. Here is an exercise: Think of your lover negatively three times a day (i.e. reality check the idea that they are perfect etc) and think positively of your partner three times a day. Notice the things they do that make your life better that you took for granted. Your counsellor will help you to dialogue with empathy and validation, which are essential skills to save this relationship. If your lover contacts you, tell the betrayed immediately so trust can be rebuilt. Listen to her or his anger with help from the Imago therapist without losing your patience. Do not match their anger. An Imago therapist can guide your partner to express their feelings in a way which won't just trigger your reactions. Using the Imago dialogue you will be able to listen to them deeply instead, and understand their experience, and how to connect with them through that.
Will my partner ever trust me again?
Once trust has been violated in an emotionally intimate relationship, it takes time to heal. Your partner will test you in various ways to determine your faithfulness as they try to reestablish trust. Patience on your part is key in order to give the betrayed space to heal and learn to trust you again. The only way your partner can trust you again is if you give up the affair and authentically show remorse for your betrayal. Dialogue helps develop emotional intimacy by using empathetic validating as a way to listen to your partner’s feelings of anger, sadness, and fear. Your partner needs to know that you understand the effects of your betrayal. Check out the video clip from Brene Brown on our Facebook page - The Relate Project to learn about how trust is both gained and lost in small actions. Ruthless honesty is an essential component of trust recovery - while you do not want to flood your partner with intimate details your counsellor will help you share essential information to build the basis of a new relationship.
What do I have to do for my to partner forgive me?
First you must understand why you had an affair. With the help of an Imago therapist, you will be able to identify the underlying cause of your behavior. Once you have identified your unmet needs in the relationship or in your childhood, you can express them to your partner using Imago dialogue in the presence of your therapist. Imago dialogue is a form of communication that uses mirroring, understanding, validating and reinforcing each other’s feelings, which in turn develops emotional intimacy and empathy for each other. These dialogues are used without blaming, shaming, or projecting. Make a commitment to put your relationship first in all ways.
Should we just end our marriage?
Getting rid of a person doesn’t get rid of a problem. It is just a matter of time before you will be engaged in a power struggle with your lover, if you stay with him or her. In other words, ending your relationship with your partner won’t get rid of your problems.
It may seem that hope is lost for restoring your relationship. It is common for each party to blame the other for the affair. Many adulterers leave the relationship out of guilt not because they have fallen out of love. The way out of this power struggle of blame is to learn the Imago dialogue, which will help you fall back in love with each other.An affair can make your relationship stronger because it is a wake up call to learn communication skills so that you and your partner can have your needs met. After an affair most relationships not only survive, they get stronger with immediate and intense help.
Will I be forever punished for cheating?
If you use the Imago exercise for amends, you will not be punished forever.
Penance exercise: Go above and beyond normal behaviors like working less, give thoughtful gifts, and/or picking up more chores around the house.
This will help change the climate of the relationship by giving more attention and love to the betrayed and building deposits in their 'emotional bank account'. Let the betrayed know how sorry you are that you have hurt them. Take responsibility for the affair. Having an affair puts a relationship at risk for survival. Realizing the enormity of your actions will help you understand the time and effort that is needed to repair this relationship.
Will I always have to tell my partner where I am going, with whom, and when I will be home?
Yes, you may have to do this for the rest of your life, as the betrayed will forever worry that you will have another affair. It is a way of taking responsibility for the consequences of your behaviour and caring for your partner. Ironically as you willingly do this it creates safety for your partner and contributes to answering the first question.
It is better that you take control by telling him or her the details of your day rather than leave your whereabouts up to their imagination or nagging. This process of mistrust and “checking up on you” will ease up with time, but remember to Predict, Prevent, and Prepare. Call before you are late coming home from work. Deviation from your daily routine will trigger fear in the betrayed partner. Learn Imago Validation: walk in the shoes of the betrayed will help you understand and be thoughtful of his or her needs. One of the most important things is for you the adultery to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Remember, as we said before, most adulterer’s leave out of guilt, not from falling out of love.
One useful way to take responsibility is to initiate and support the therapy process - this communicates to your partner that you value them and the relationship enough to invest the time and money to make it work. Our Relationship Rescue gives you a longer initial session with one of our senior team and access to an intensive online questionaire developed by the Gottman Research institute to help more effectively assess and guide the therapy.
A great overview of affairs and some good tips about how to get through.
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