Once both of you have started coming to terms with the emotions that have come up because of the cheating and extramarital affair, you will need to begin communicating about and exploring rebuilding your relationship.
This is often difficult and the truth is that it isn’t always easy. But there is a way you can do it.
According to marriage and family counsellor Dr. Frank Ginzburg, the cornerstone of rebuilding your relationship is one simple concept communication.
Intimate relationships are built on communication. Talking to one another is one of the main ways we come to know each other. If you don’t talk to your partner, there is no way to know how they think or feel. There is no way to know what they want. In essence, there is no foundation on which to build a lasting relationship.
This means that if you want to completely heal from the destruction the affair has caused, you are going to need to talk with your partner about your relationship. And you are going to need to talk with them a lot.
Together you will need to explore every aspect of your relationship. And you will need to agree on ways that you can start building your relationship into what you always wanted it to be.
When couples start talking again, one of the first questions that comes up is whether or not they should discuss the affair.
According to Dr. Gunzburg, a lot of people seem to think that they should talk about the extramarital affair or infidelity if they are going to move forward. But the truth is that this isn’t always necessary. You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to talk about affair in order to heal from the pain you are feeling and create a relationship that is better than ever.
Remember, when you are healing from an affair, the process is about what you need. There are no right or wrong answers. You don’t have to do anything. Listen to your inner voice. Pay attention to your own needs. You know what you need better than anyone.
If you do choose to talk about the affair, Dr. Gunzburg gives some Tips for Talking about the extramarital affair or infidelity. Here are a few of his ideas:
1. The first thing you want to do if you are going to discuss the affair is request complete honesty from your partner. If you decide that you need to hear about the details of the affair, then you can’t expect your partner to hold back or to tell you what you want to hear.
2. That being said, a discussion about the affair should always be initiated by the injured partner, and it should be structured as a question and answer session where the injured partner asks questions and the cheater answers those questions.
This is not a place for the cheater to vent about the affair or to share details about it that the injured has not specifically asked for. The cheater should show some restraint. They should not expand their answers beyond what the injured has asked, and they should not offer information that wasn’t specifically requested.
This means that you should be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. If you request complete honesty from your partner, expect them to give it to you. That means you should be really careful in choosing which questions you want to ask.
Don’t jump the gun and ask for information you will later regret. I specifically suggest you stay away from questions that are comparative in nature. These are questions like: Was she a better lover than me? Did she do things in bed that I don’t do? Do you enjoy spending time with her more than me?
Questions like this tend to go nowhere. They don’t resolve any real issues and they just build up resentment. If you have any doubt about the question you are considering, I recommend writing it down and carrying it around with you for a while. This way you have the time to consider whether or not it is a question you truly need an answer to.
To find out more about how to communicate after the affair, we invite you to sign up for a free email course by marriage and family counsellor Dr. Frank Gunzburg PhD who has specialized in helping couples heal their relationship from an affair since 1978.
“Restoring Trust After An Extramarital Affair or Infidelity Might Sound Like An Empty Promise Or Too Good To Be True, But It Is Possible.” – Dr. Frank Gunzburg
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