So often, we (unconsciously) deal with pain by trying to show the other person what it felt like to be hurt – and we do so by acting hurtful. This doesn’t work… at all.
Instead of allowing each other explain how an affair made you feel (and sitting and truly listening when your spouse is sharing), too many couples fall into “payback” and “tit for tat” ways of showing each other that they’ve been hurt. It creates a cycle of cruelty that keeps you apart.
Excuses, explanations, finger pointing, etc. have no place here – this is about understanding how your spouse felt during a truly difficult time.
It’s important to let your spouse get their words out, and to just absorb what they have to say. Not arguing back or defending yourself is NOT the same as admitting guilt and taking all the blame. This isn’t the arena to defend yourself. The purpose is understand the pain your spouse went through – and they should be willing to do the same for you.
In the video below, Dr. Dana discusses this very topic with a real couple finding ways to overcome their difficulties and move forward with a stronger, healthier marriage.
Recovering from an affair is no easy process. It takes time, it hurts a ton, and ultimately, it requires you and your spouse to both face some troubling realities about the marriage, where it went wrong, and how you can get things back on track… With that in mind, there are some very straightforward facts […]
Affairs hurt – there’s no denying that. When we feel emotional pain, we want others (especially the person that hurt us) to know how we feel. Unfortunately, people often try to achieve this by hurting the other person! They might not mean to, but because of anger and pain, they lash out, insult, or even […]
Infidelity is one of the most damaging things that can happen in a marriage. It doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship, but before you can repair the damage, address the issues that led to an affair, and move forward… You have to get things out in the open. Because infidelity is generally […]
So, your marriage has survived an affair – that’s an incredible accomplishment! It’s important to acknowledge that you’ve made a difficult choice to rebuild your marriage and stay connected to the person you love, even in the face of such a major obstacle. But as you’re beginning to mend the damage done by infidelity, you’ll […]