5 Tips To Enable Healing After An Affair
Repair After The Affair
For some people, affairs mean the end of a marriage. For others, the choice to abandon all they’ve built together is no choice at all but forgive they will not. They stay unhappy, but never leave…and that’s enough for them. But then, there are those that decide their marriage is worth the fight and are willing to face the realities of what that would mean head-on. This group of people make the decision to start from ground zero, build a marriage that’s different from their norm, richer, stronger and more fruitful. This is probably the hardest route but I would argue the most rewarding one too. It requires brutal honesty; a lot of reflection and an acceptance that it will take as long as it needs to.
So, if this is where you are, then allow me to give you some tools you can implement today to help you along on your journey.
Forgive not only your spouse but also the other person.
I kept myself in a place of bondage for a long time because my sole focus was forgiving my husband. This made sense to me because I wanted my marriage to work. Subconsciously, I had suppressed all my feelings towards her so much so that she was the last thing on my mind. It was not until I came face to face with my unforgiveness that I realised how much this was slowing down my healing process. Catherine Ponder puts it this way “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”. So, I urge you, choose freedom. Choose your marriage.
Delete all the evidence
What is your motive behind keeping the texts and the pictures? Are they your weapon of choice during every disagreement? Is it your way of keeping your partner in their place? Are these items serving you in any way? NO! All this ‘evidence’ is doing is keeping you stuck in the same place. It’s a continual reminder of a painful moment that you are trying to move on from. But every time you make two steps forward, there’s a sea of stuff within reach that you just have to open up and you’re right back there. Let It Go! Choose freedom, choose your marriage.
Reject all blame
If you are having thoughts like "If I just stop doing this, then that will stop them from doing that", then you, subconsciously or not, believe you had a part to play in the decision that was made by your spouse. Reject any sense of blame that you are carrying. Reject the need to know ‘why’ as though that will give you a tangible element you can work on to ensure this never happens again. The betrayer made the decision to cheat on their own accord. Take that responsibility off your shoulders and place it firmly on theirs. Say this with me…I Am Not To Blame!
Reject all shame
The embarrassment and humiliation of an affair can come with a lot of shame. You keep your head down, go into hiding and find it near impossible to look anyone in the face. But remember, you did nothing wrong! This has been done to you. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Shame is fear’s little sister so it will suck you dry of any hope and faith towards the future whilst having you bound. Hold your head up, show up and allow friends and family to journey this with you.
Give yourself time to grieve
This was a big one for me. The filter of what I thought was my happy marriage was lifted and I was faced with the reality of a crumbling one and I needed a second, or a few to grieve. I needed to understand what I was feeling, what was going on and mourn the loss of my marriage and my partnership. So, give yourself time to grieve, it is necessary, and it is healthy. Do not fall into the false sense of strength. There is nothing strong about ignoring the fact that you need healing. Take your time, do what is necessary for your healing journey.
An affair is devastating in a relationship, but it doesn’t have to define the relationship. It can be the opportunity you need to make wiser decisions and build a marriage full of honesty, and a love that’s sustainable.
Listen to my latest podcast episode to get more detail on each of these.