How To – Heal A Relationship After Cheating

Esther Perel is a Belgian psychotherapist and says that about 80% of people are affected by affairs in some way. Either in your own romantic relationship or your parents, siblings or friends have engaged in an affair. That means most of us have experienced the damage it has caused, but what about the healing? We may see the relationship after cheating survive, but we don’t experience all the work that went into it.  Clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D has said that “Despite the ambiguous statistics, it seems reasonable to speculate that more couples are staying together after infidelity than not”. The top resources are saying its possible, so let’s look at what it takes to heal a relationship after cheating.

Total Honesty – About Everything!

In the book Worthy of Her Trust, Stephen Arterburn and Jason Martinkus said “I’d rather lose you than lie to you.” They write, “A shift must occur in your paradigm of honesty that puts the truth in a place of utmost importance and highest priority.” “If your wife (or husband) catches you in a white lie, they will likely extrapolate that to the whole of your life. They will think that a little lie here equals big lies there.” Even though it might momentarily hurt your partners emotions when they ask you if you like their new outfit, and you don’t like it, its better to tell the truth.

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Rebuild Trust

Trust is not automatically restored when the cheating stops. It is gained through consistent truth-telling and accountability. A relationship after cheating takes a commitment to live differently, sticking to certain boundaries you both create and rigorous ongoing honesty about everything. The cheater needs to start telling the truth no matter what, even if it might emotionally upset their partner. Honesty is more about behaviours than their thoughts. If the cheater thinks about talking with the affair partner but doesn’t act on it they do not need to tell the partner, they need to talk with a therapist about it. If they actually do call the old affair partner, then they do need to tell the partner. Honesty builds trust.

Face Your Feelings and Fears

Both of you need to confront any fears you may be holding onto. Fear of losing the partner that cheated, fear of being trapped because you don’t want to be single even though you were cheated on and fear of infidelity happening again with the same partner, are all common fears. You need to have an open dialogue about whats going on in your heart and head. Tap into your feelings and thoughts, if your afraid let your partner know. Your hearts will already be feeling pain, any fear you might hang onto can be a weight on the shoulders creating a deeper feeling of pressure inside of you.

Cheater Needs To Take Full Responsibility

The cheater needs to take full responsibility for cheating. They may have many valid reasons why the relationship was not healthy but going behind the partners back and cheating has no excuse. Take responsibility for dishonesty and the inner fear of the truth, they wanted to act out and not deal with the unhealthy relationship in an honest way. Cheaters need to learn exactly why they cheated, there can be many reasons why people cheat, but the clarity is their responsibility to address and heal. Then together you can begin to heal any other baggage in the relationship and harvest healthy patterns. Both partners will need to show patience and understanding in order to heal a relationship after cheating.

Recreate The Relationship

You and your partner need to be willing to let go of any parts of themselves that were not working in the relationship and then move towards creating a new dynamic. Sometimes we emphasize parts of our personality, like being goal-driven into our relationship which can feel pushy or condescending to our partners. We both know which parts of our partner’s personalities need work, don’t change the personality just help them fine-tune its expression. You can emerge from an affair with a better sense of who you are and what you want from their relationship”

-The statistics show that a relationship after cheating can be healed and the healing process has the potential to bring the couple closer to each other and create a deeper understanding of who they are as individuals. This process can be beneficial in the end but you will likely endure uncomfortable feelings and a desire to end it quickly. Be sure of what you want, put in the work and stick it through.

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