Relationship Advice for Making Changes After the Affair

Have you ever wanted to change or improve your love relationship in some way but your partner seems to drag his or her feet about making any changes or even acknowledging that there is a problem to begin with?

This can be quite frustrating. After all, the proverbial “two-way street” is what being in a relationship is all about and how can significant changes happen when the other person always seems to resist?

Is it possible to change a relationship pattern that doesn’t serve either of you when you’re the only one working to make a change?

Perhaps you are the only one to see the habit or tendency as a problem. We all know you can’t force another to change. It’s kind of like standing in the ocean, feeling the tide pulling you in one direction, and attempting to change the tide. It really can’t be done– at least not without some high-tech gadget yet to be invented or supernatural powers!

On a different scale, you also cannot force your partner or anyone else but you, yourself to change.

Sheri knows that she and her husband Pete have trust issues. He had an affair several years ago and, as much as she’s tried, she just can’t seem to put the past behind her.

She owns up to her suspicious mind and is reading books about forgiveness and rebuilding trust, but she also notices Pete being just as secretive as he was during the time when he was cheating on her.

Whenever she brings this dynamic up, he refuses to talk about it and accuses her of holding his past mistakes over his head.

Pete believes that time will heal the wounds of the affair and that trust will either happen again or it won’t. There’s really nothing he or she can do about it, according to Pete.  He’s refused to read relationship books with her and won’t consider working with a relationship coach. Sheri wonders if the whole situation is hopeless and doomed to fail.

When your partner seems as stubborn and resistant to the changes you want to make as the ocean tides, what can you do?

*You can change your own direction and focus.

Sheri is beginning to change her direction and focus by using tools like books on how to rebuild trust after an affair. There is plenty of internal work she can do that does not have to directly involve Pete.  She has started journaling about forgiveness and is beginning to feel better about her sense of self-worth which has been an issue in the past and was compounded upon discovering the affair.

It would be a potentially healing experience for Pete to read the same books and perhaps work with a coach or counselor but, since he is unwilling, Sheri can benefit from these activities on her own.

Become more aware of your direction and focus. If you are primarily focused on how stubborn your partner is being, make a shift.

It won’t help either of you to hone in on how difficult and closed your mate appears to be.

In fact, it will probably get in the way of your making the changes you want. Giving most of your attention to what your partner is not doing, also often means that you are not seeing the potentially helpful things he or she is doing and, conversely, the potentially distancing things you are contributing.

*You can share your intentions with your partner.

As Sheri gets more and more excited by the discoveries she’s making about herself and the healing that’s taking place within for her, she might choose to share this with Pete. She may start out by letting him know that she understands he doesn’t want to read the relationship books, but that she’d like him to know what she’s learning about herself and how she’s processing what she’s learning.

When Pete doesn’t feel pressured to take part in the trust-building activities Sheri is choosing, he may feel more open to listening.

In fact, he may decide to– in his own way– engage in more trust-building practices himself. With this growing sense of openness between them, Sheri and Pete can more clearly and connectingly share with one another their intentions for their relationship.

Allowing your partner to approach and make changes in his or her way could end up enhancing the changes you are moving towards.

You might find that you two are moving in different directions, but you might also find that your paths come together in surprising ways that end up with you two closer than before.  For rebuilding trust after it’s been broken, go to

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