Can An LGBTQ Relationship Survive an Affair? A Video Blog

How to Repair After the Affair

Today, I want to talk to you about how you and your partner can repair after an affair. This is work we do all the time here at the Center. But this video is designed to give you some tips to pursue so perhaps you could do some of this work by yourself at home.

Let me give you some good news to start out.

Most couples will be able to repair after an affair.

That’s statistics. Of course, some of those couples will get back together and be miserable for a long period of time. But other couples are able to use this crisis to do the work to take their relationship to the next level. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today. In a nutshell, we’re really talking about a communication process.

That’s how humans heal, we communicate.

This process is going to be talking about your feelings on a deep level again, and again, and again. Let me walk through some guidelines for each member of a couple.

The partner who had the affair

Your job, of course, is to apologize again and again and again. Part of that process of apology is also trying to figure out why you had that affair.

There are reasons, and you may not know what they are right now. But with enough introspection, you’ll be able to figure that out, and then communicate that to your partner. That’s really important.

If your partner is going to be able to trust you again, you have to be predictable. This means that your partner has to know why you did it, so they can listen for the warning signs in case it might happen again. That’s going to give them a sense of safety. Part of the process is asking yourself what was going on for you and what your motivations were for the affair, so yo ucan share that with your partner.

However, the bulk of this work really for you is going to be a listening process.

And that’s not easy. It’s not easy to hear your partner talk about their feelings of betrayal. But essentially, that’s what’s going to get you out of this mess and onto a new platform with your partner.

Ultimately, you’re going to have to have an experience of empathy. This means you’re going to have to put your feet in your partner’s shoes, and get a felt sense, a visceral taste, of what betrayal feels like. That’s empathy.

That has to happen more than once. It’s not a situation where you can just do it once, and then you feel empathy, and then you can move on. This takes time.

This is stuff that you’re gonna have to do over and over again.

You’re going to get tired of it. Eventually, you’re going to say, I’ve heard it before, I’m tired of hearing this, and feel like I’m being punished. So this requires patience when you get to that level.

This is not easy work. It is slow work. It’s laborious work. However, this is the path, the way out.

The partner who experienced the betrayal

Your primary job is to keep identifying and then sharing your feelings. Again, and again, again, you want to go inside and explain the different phases of feeling betrayed. The little nuances. What it feels like to be betrayed.

This isn’t easy, especially for people who aren’t particularly experienced sharing their feelings, and especially sharing vulnerable feelings, like sadness, and loss, and hurt.

This isn’t about punishing your partner. Your job is not to seek revenge, or to express a lot of rage. Your primary job is to express the vulnerable,hurt feelings.

Just like your partner is going to get tired of this after a while, you’ll feel like, you’ve said it all before. And that’s the time to keep doing it. To keep sharing the feelings, because every time you share that feeling from an honest place, a deep place, and your partner hears it, and you know that he heard it, healing takes place.

We need that to happen again, and again, and again. If it happens enough times, the healing will be there, and you will feel closer together. So keep doing it even when it gets uncomfortable.

Essentially, we are in relationship because we want to be heard. So, this is a listening process.

Let me end with some positive news about this tough job. We see this happen all the time here, that couples come in because of a crisis like betrayal, and they use that as an opportunity to work on the relationship.

Nothing gets us motivated more than pain, unfortunately. That seems to be the human condition.

The pain of betrayal frequently allows a couple to focus on their relationship, to do the hard work that maybe was getting avoided before, and to learn to communicate and hear each other at a much deeper level, finish the process feeling much more connected, and stay more connected indefinitely.

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