Steps to take so you can find each other again...
by Jennifer Good
Can the heart ever trust again after it has been crushed? Can a couple look at this time as a way of becoming even closer than they had ever been? Can there be romance after an affair? If both parties concerned are willing to work it out, the answers to these questions are, "Yes!" In an age where the chances of getting a divorce are higher than staying together, the likelihood of infidelity is greater than ever. But why become a statistic, when there is the chance of recovering what once was and possibly finding something even greater? Below are a few steps and ideas to help you make sense of your situation and find your way back to each other.
First Step: Getting The Facts
You will need to share with each other the truth about the events that have happened. Don't go into explicit details; just stick to the general facts. If you do not tell the entire truth to your partner about events surrounding the affair, your chances of repairing your relationship are greatly diminished. This step is very important if for no other reason than it helps you both get everything off your chest. You can finally release all the fear of discovery or other emotions you may be feeling. Sometimes the challenge of trying to tell your partner face-to-face about the events can seem too difficult to confront. If this is the case, try exchanging letters to each other instead. Make sure you set a specific time to exchange the letters, read them and then talk about them directly afterwards.
Second Step: Acknowledging Each Other
By now your emotions are probably at an all-time high. The road of infidelity is not an easy one to cross. If you can recognize, understand and acknowledge what each other is feeling and going through, your path will become a lot easier. Again this step can be done face-to-face, or through a letter exchange. You'll want to make sure you let each other know that, while things are far from perfect, you're both willing and wanting to make this relationship work.
Third Step: Moving On
I think the most important step regarding moving on is to realize that things will never go back to the way they used to be. The reward for moving on is not getting back what once was, but rather finding something even more special and rewarding. Another point to remember is that many couples never find their way through this type of betrayal. It takes a special bond and inner strength as a couple to get through it. Neither person can do it alone. To get yourselves on the right path you will need to make some kind of agreement about your future actions, like a couple's mission statement or doctrine. For instance, on separate sheets of paper for each person write what you will promise to do and not do. Share your papers and add and remove statements as needed. Finally, create one inclusive list of what you both will agree to adhere to.
Fourth Step: Letting Go
It is important to remember that because a partner may have wronged you, they do not owe you anything. Likewise, if you have committed the infidelity, you cannot expect your partner to have instant faith in you. Your faith in each other will have to be earned. Forgiveness and understanding are crucial elements to recovering your faith. Holding onto negative emotions from the past doesn't help safeguard your heart against another possible act of infidelity. In reality, it creates a larger gap in a relationship that at this time more than ever needs unconditional affection and love.