“He had an affair. Now what?”
I received an email from a woman who recently discovered her husband was fooling around. According to her, it may have just been an accident. And she wants to know what to do next.
There may be other women going through the same ordeal right now, so this email is for each of you. Whether it was truly unintentional or not, this is my advice.
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Infidelity doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. We all make mistakes. Before going nuts and doing something you will regret, take a deep breath and read this ten times: As far as his affair, remember that he’s also going through a tremendous loss. If he did have a heart connection and it’s now been broken, he is going through loss, grief, disillusionment, guilt, and many more painful emotions in addition to letting you down.
His infidelity feels like a mortal wound to you… and in this case, he feels like part of himself has been ripped away because he made a mistake. The part of him that was your loyal husband… And he knows his actions permanently altered his commitment to you for so long.
You’re hurting. He’s hurting. And you’re in this together. So here’s what I want you to do.
Bring your compassionate heart to your life partner. It happens, honey. It happens all the time. Nurture him through it. And nurture yourself through the heartbreak.
Together, you can get through this cheating and betrayal too.
Listen, he didn’t do it TO YOU. It had little to nothing to do WITH you. He fell in love with someone else. It’s ok. His heart will heal. Continue to love him through the healing, baby. It is what we do for our life partners.
Now, of course, you have to establish new rules. The affair should stop, and they should cease communication. And you should make sure he’s fully committed to rebuilding your relationship.
However, aside from simply laying down new rules, you should also build new communication channels between you two.
Most affairs happen because one person’s desires aren’t met. And that usually occurs when lovers don’t openly discuss their needs and desires as they should.
My Relationship Magic couple’s exercise will help you both put into words what you want out of your relationship together going forward.
Use the workbook to embark on a new open, accessible, radically honest, and guilt-free communication agreement. You should be able to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner without worrying about negative feedback, friction, or judgment. And your partner must also have that freedom with you.
When bitterness comes up, forgive your husband and his paramour and let it go. Move your mind to where you’re going as a reunited, recommitted couple.
You control your mind. Don’t let it control you.
This, too, shall pass.
You will start a new life together.
You’re in the early steps of a new level of love and appreciation for each other. And in the initial stages of falling in love all over again.
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Tim and I have made it through an affair situation and an open relationship that went too far. I promise this, too, shall pass and make you stronger together if you allow that as an option.
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I can not believe you suggest to give the bustard the time of day.
That will give out only one message: do what you like to me, I will forgive.
If he is verbally disabled not to say whats wrong, tough.
I think you missed her point entirely…but I understand how this subject can make you very angry, especially if you are going through this either now or in the near past.
I am a man…and trust me, what she says is absolutely true. When I was married, I had an affair, and I confessed it to my wife…to be clear, I wasn’t caught…I confessed because I felt terrible. In hindsight, I wish I had the wisdom to just walk away from the affair without feeling the need to confess it to my wife. I thought I would get some understanding and trust from my wife by being truthful, but I only got bitterness, and a complete lack of empathy. Again to be clear, I was 100% wrong for having an affair. That was on me. However, I did not have an affair because I didn’t love my wife. I didn’t do it to her. I made a mistake that impacted her and my family deeply. She never really forgave me (though she says she did), and ultimately our marriage didn’t survive it, even after 4 years of trying after the affair.
I think Susan’s point, which I appreciate and can speak to first hand, is that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and when we do, most of the time the person making the mistake is hurting too. The road back to a good relationship takes acknowledgement of the mistake, repentance, empathy, and forgiveness. Not just punishment.
Well Mary, as a man who has cheated on his spouse before we were married and now my wife going through a mid life crisis because she is almost 50 and it scares the shit out of her she is doing the same to me right now, and let me tell you it’s not easy to deal with but I still love her with my entire soul and she still loves me as much. We will get through this together I am not leaving her I’m sticking by her side as she did me when I went through my mid life crisis. Still no excuse but we will work it out and be stronger by the grace of God. So don’t be a Debbie downer and make ridiculous comments when you don’t know the whole situation.