Finding out that your partner has been cheating on you is something nobody wants to discover.
It leads to heartache and grief that takes a long time, if ever to find relief. It can take years to recover trust. Doing the work of re-establishing trust can seem onerous for the partner who has done the cheating. However it is absolutely necessary if healing is to occur and the couple is to regain emotional and sexual intimacy.
It takes a strong and ongoing commitment by the primary couple to do the work of reconnection. There needs to be a daily commitment of demonstrating caring behaviours and planning fun, light-hearted activities together.
Basically there needs to be a new relationship established with new ground rules that may never have even been explored in the initial stages of relationship. This is necessary now. If one partner has certain expectations of how things are going to be played out while their partner has no idea, then things can go awry.
Most people aren’t psychic enough to figure out what their partner’s needs and wants are without being told. It is common however to hear, “He/she has known me long enough, he/she should know what I want without me having to say anything! Can’t they see the mess!”
Although it only takes one person to stray, cheating is a choice. It is a choice that is usually made when feeling disconnected from a partner without the knowledge or experience to handle things differently.
Feeling safe to communicate how you are feeling to your partner is important. The longer things are left to fester, the more distance is created and the gap gets wider over time.
There may be a reluctance to hurt a partner’s feelings by revealing the truth about frustrations or there may have been just too much conflict for self revelation to be a safe option.
This is where marriage counselling can help. During the counselling process the counsellor facilitates communication between the couple and coaches them how to stay safe even when feeling vulnerable with raw emotions.