Recovering from Emotional Infidelity
You have both decided that you want to repair your marriage and that the damage of the emotional infidelity is not so great that you cannot recover. Forgiveness will take some time, and it may not be possible ever to forget, but with hard work on both sides, emotional affair recovery is possible. There is, however, one cardinal rule; absolute transparency in all that you do and say. The betrayed spouse is only too aware of emotional affair signs and will instantly know when their partner is withdrawing from them, or sharing with somebody else. In fact, their senses will be so attuned to possible betrayal that they are likely to accuse their partner of emotional infidelity when there is none because they feel very insecure. Patience is required on both sides, and a lot of talking will be needed, a few guidelines to help are set out below.
• It is strongly advisable to get some marriage counseling, as a third party who is neutral can be very beneficial
• Do not blame either party; take your own responsibility for the actions that contributed to the marriage being in trouble
• Accept that trust has been lost, do not dismiss the significance of needing to reassure regularly
• The third party in this MUST be made aware that the emotional infidelity cannot continue and that the focus for the betrayer is repairing their marriage
• If it is a husband’s emotional affair, the wife may feel she needs to talk to the third party to understand what the attraction was; take advice on this, sometimes it helps but it will depend on how hurt and angry is the other person
• Take your time, healing after betrayal cannot be rushed, and trying to do so will derail the process
• You are reconciling, not getting your own back on each other for perceived mistakes or faults. There is no place for revenge in the emotional affair recovery process • Do not worry about what other people think or say; this is your marriage not theirs, and their opinions will cloud your thinking!
• Do not resent the fact that from now on you will have to tell each other everything, where you are, what you are doing, why you will be late from work; transparency is necessary for trust to return
• Realize that you both need praise, thanks, appreciation for efforts made to repair the marriage
• This will be hard work and will take time; more importantly it requires effort from both parties one person cannot save a marriage alone. Research shows that it can take up to two years for a couple to re-establish trust, so do not set unrealistically short time frames to recover after the affair.
An important aspect of recovering from emotional infidelity is the rebuilding of the emotional bonds that have been broken. The pain of an affair can overwhelm you, but it helps to focus on some small kindnesses and appreciation of each others’ efforts. So, say thank you, make your partner breakfast, always say goodbye when you part; it is important to show that you are acknowledging that the other person matters. Spend quality time with each other rebuilding your emotional connections. Above all, do not take the other person for granted, take your time and you will recover from emotional infidelity.