Rebuilding a relationship after infidelity is a very difficult thing to do. In order to be successful in moving the relationship forward there are six basic things that need to happen:

  1. Trust has to be re-established.
  2. The couple must discuss and deal with the issues that triggered the infidelity.
  3. In many situations, the faithful partner may need to know the details of the extra marital relationship. Knowing exactly what happened gives a sense of regaining control and enables him/her to feel that steps can be taken to prevent the situation from reoccurring. This may or may not be true, but the wronged partner is the only one who can decide when there has been enough disclosure. While full disclosure is not always necessary, it is the faithful partner that must make that determination.
  4. The faithful partner has to feel loved and cared about and believe that the changes the unfaithful partner is making are genuine and not an attempt to smooth things over.
  5. While faithful partners may believe logically that their partner is really working at the healing process, they will also have to deal with their own obsessing about the affair. In fact, additional difficulties in the relationship may develop if the “sufferer” is unable think of anything else, even after a significant period time has passed or conversations between partners continue to be focused primarily on the affair. As a general rule, couples should be particularly sensitive to potential problems if there continues to be an obsessive focus on the affair after 9 months of healing with a sympathetic, remorseful partner. This does not mean, however, that the sufferer no longer thinks about or struggles with the affair.
  6. The relationship has to be negotiated and redesigned. That is, partners must dramatically change their patterns of interaction. For more details see the article Five Stages of Relationships and Marriages – Stage 5, Rebirth.
  7. There must be significant together time and opportunity to share wishes, dreams, differences and concerns.

People whose marriages have suffered from infidelity often ask, “Do all relationships that are dealing with infidelity need to be in therapy?” The answer to this question is “yes.” It is difficult to have a positive relationship and accomplish the above seven tasks even when there is professional help. Not having the assistance of an outside, professionally trained third party, significantly lowers the probability of moving forward in a relationship.

Find out about: Dr. Marty’s Manual –Healing From The Trauma Of Infidelity”

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