As our discussion this week we wanted to report back to you the result of our healing from infidelity survey that we conducted the other day.

I can’t  really say that the results were surprising as it seems that rebuilding trust is always the number one issue that folks have.   What was a bit surprising to me is that only 24.9% of you thought that negotiating and redesigning your relationship was the most important element. Perhaps that indicates that most of you are not quite to that point yet in your affair recovery and healing process. Thoughts??

We asked the following question:

What is the most important element(s) that you require to help you with healing from infidelity?

And here are the results:

Rebuilding trust                                                                                                    71.7%

Better communication about the affair and/or relationship             53.7%

Dealing with your own obsessing about the affair                                  51.7%

Getting the cheater to put the required work in to help healing      49.3%

Reconnecting on an emotional and intimate level                                43.9%

Negotiating and redesigning your relationship                                      24.9%

Guidance about divorce and/or separation                                               3.9%


Other elements that were mentioned:

  •  Re-establishing self-esteem and self-worth
  • Getting the cheater to stop lying
  • Rediscovering and rebuilding oneself
  • Obsessive thoughts of the cheater and the affair partner together
  • Needing time to process the events of the affair
  • How to reconnect when emotionally your heart and soul have died
  • Getting the  affair partner to stay out of the picture
  • Dealing with spouse’s obsessing about the affair partner
  • Getting the cheater to come clean and admit to what he/she did
  • For the cheater to be transparent and honest and putting the effort into improving the relationship
  • Seeing true remorse and sorrow in the cheater
  • Leaving the past behind
  • Mourning everything you had before the affair
  • Learning how to process, then grieve, then move away from the triggers
  • Arriving at some decision about what direction we are going after 16 months of limbo
See also  Discussion – We Need Some Affair Recovery Success Stories

For discussion purposes we can also try and offer some advice or comment on some of these additional issues that people are struggling with.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to take the survey and for all of you who offer such wonderful comments and words of wisdom!  We know that people appreciate it and benefit a great deal.

Take care!

Linda & Doug


    11 replies to "Discussion – Thoughts on Our Healing From Infidelity Survey"

    • chiffchaff

      Negotiating and redesigning our relationship has been an important part of the recent discussions my H and I have had since new year. We’ve based alot of it on the ILYB… book, which was a book suggested by my H (which in itself I took as a good sign, before then self-help books were only to be sniffed at). This book helped us realise that the problems we had before his PA were due to us not being able to argue, which at the time we thought was a good thing but now don’t.
      As a result of working on how to argue I’m now able to say what I need my H to do at the moment, and he’s been able to tell me what he needs me to do.
      So, we are redesigning our relationship and I do feel like allowing myself to be closer to him on occasion.
      One serious issue I still have is the images I have of him and the OW together. His OW sent alot of photos of herself to him and in response he wrote her some fairly explicit emails about what he was imagining doing to her. I find these so hard to get out of my head that I’m not sure I could ever be intimate with my H again. It’s a comparison thing, the OW is petite, slim, plastic surgery enhanced and slapped on the make-up. I am none of those things and worry that if we ever become intimate he will be comparing me with the OW. How do you deal with this?

    • E

      I think the thing that is needed most could depend on the stage of recovery that we are in. For me, 4 – 6 months ago I could have said those alternate answers myself – such as getting my H to realize the damage he did, getting him to decide once and for all what he wanted instead of saying things like “I’m confused”, getting him to stop contact, etc. Trust was actually the last thing on my mind at that time. Now that I believe he is remorseful and being honest about what he wants (me, our marriage) I am stuck on trust.

    • Marriage Dr

      This is a pretty comprehensive list that includes most things I hear (and work on with couples) in therapy. One thing that is crucially important that I also hear a lot of couples talk about is how to find a good therapist. A good therapist can make the difference between healing and a bitter divorce. A lot of couples express concern about finding the right therapist.has anyone else experienced this? I’d love to hear how othersfound a good therapist oe otherwise solved this dillemma.

    • mamak

      We are about 10 months since D-Day #1 and trust is still one of our number one things. Not only are we working on rebuilding the trust, but it’s causing additional issues since my husband is feeling like it’s been long enough of him proving he’s no longer having any communication with the OW that he should have a little more freedom then I am comfortable giving. I let him do things, go out and have fun – but I ask a lot of questions before and after and still occasionally check in to make sure he’s being honest (a FB post on the wall of someone he was supposedly out with, a mention of a night out to a friend when I see them etc). It’s gotten a lot better, but still isn’t there.

      The other big thing is still me getting all of my questions answered. My husband feels like talking about the details or specifics of his affair won’t help me, but hurt me all over again so he is very leery of discussing things and is very careful with his words. This makes me question his honesty and thus raises more questions….it’s a terrible circle to be in. He finds it easier for me to email him questions so he can take his time to answer them. Yes, this gets me my answers but it isn’t opening the doors of communication for us. It’s something we’re working on.

      We are working hard at rebuilding our relationship though, and this has made a HUGE difference. As parents to a 6 year old and 7 month old finding time for us is hard. We have made it a point that regardless of anything else, we will spend at least 30 minutes together doing something or nothing on Thursday nights. We both look forward to this time together – no matter how much of it we get. This step has made us think about the time we’re spending together, plan special things, pick up a treat or dinner for just us etc. I think we’re both thinking about this time together more then just on the day it’s happening which is pulling thoughts of us and our relationship out into our daily lives which is helping.

    • jewel

      TRUST. I don’t have any. REMORSE, he doesn’t show any. I think he doesn’t really think he’s done wrong. I don’t think he has any idea of the scope of pain I am in. It’s all about him. How do we move on from this? Yesterday he said he didn’t believe that i wanted to be in this marriage. 2 d-days, 6 months of work and supporting him, working on myself, getting fit….saying i want to be here. He says, that’s just words, he isn’t getting the same ‘feeling’ to back up the words. Holy crap, can’t he see how hard it is to GIVE to him and still protect myself? I’m so confused. I don’t know if i believe myself after that. and yet, here i am. I want to be in this marriage, I just don’t want to be in this place of pain, suspicion and mistrust. this sucks.

    • Michael's Wife

      I just about agree with everyone, Jewel Remorse is big for me as the one who did the EA cheating. I feel very remorseful but don’t really know how to show it. I mean how many times can you truly say your sorry, not enough I think in reading what everyone has to say. Trust is also big in our realationship I don’t think we have enough. Mamak I dont know if this helps you or not, but I have not been on Facebook since the EA. I just keep myself away from that, and I too have not answered all my H questions about the EA. I feel the same way your husband feels, which in turn makes my husband expect the worst. So I guess it’s safe to say that me and your husband need to open up and talk, I’m learning how to do that with each ady I post and read others posts. Thanks for letting me share

    • mamak

      Michael’s Wife – I find it refreshing to read your post/s, knowing you were the one who did the cheating, and are out looking for help to fix things. My husband will listen when I share what I find, but will not do anything on his own to learn about the process. I hope that you can find it in you to answer all of your husband’s questions – if he’s anything like me, he’ll appreciate the answers even if they hurt to hear. He may need time to cope with new information or hearing details; but if you can be there to support him through it I think you’ll come out better on the other end. Good luck!

    • D

      Jewel, stop whatever you’re doing to prove anything to him. You have nothing to prove. He’s responsible for his actions, for your pain, and by trying to please him you’re only allowing him to avoid taking responsibility. If anything his words and actions should be convincing you he’s committed. Sounds like you’ve put up with a lot and done a lot of work for the both of you. Time to rest and let him carry the load.

    • Still struggling

      Michaels wife as a bs I would like to share that remorse comes through your actions not your words. For me my h can say over and over how sorry he is but the words are not enough. It’s what he does and how transparent he is that helps me feel his remorse.

    • aida

      Hi guys…. great stuff here. my heart goes out to all the BS who are facing trust issues and the ones trying to rebuild their marriage together with their husbands.

      for me, it’s been a long 10 year journey from the 1st affair and to be honest, the 2nd affair is literally the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      the first time, it was because “you didn’t do your share of the housework, I was lonely, etc.” and I changed – slowly but surely.

      but after DD #1, his wall was already up to ‘protect him against my verbal attacks’ — and until now, he has reinforced it with steel and concrete. to make matters worse, he’s got a 7 year affair with AP who would quite honestly die for him , and i know she wants marriage …”After this we can discuss the future….” and he replied “Yes”.

      So, all in my sacrifices to change and do lots of other stuff? DOWN THE DRAIN, not worth a single cent.

    • aida

      A thought to follow up since my 8 Feb 2012 post. I think in the end, my H is like HUGGY BEAR :

      Newsletter: May 19, 2009
      by Janet Pfeiffer

      Huggy Bear was an adorable Great Dane. Charcoal black with big floppy ears and oversized paws, he was a typical puppy: loveable, playful, clumsy, and sometimes mischievous. His mellow disposition made him a perfect companion for young children.

      At three months of age, he displayed difficulty standing up. Sometimes while walking, his legs would buckle, causing him to fall. He needed assistance getting to his feet but reacted by growling and baring his teeth. Something was definitely wrong.

      A veterinarian confirmed he had a rare bone disorder causing him severe pain. He became fearful of human contact because any touch hurt. Medical treatment helped and eventually his body healed. But the fear of being hurt didn’t. The growling progressed to biting. Huggy Bear become dangerous to keep. For safety reasons, I got rid of him.*

      Huggy Bear wasn’t a bad dog. He was a frightened puppy. He learned to protect himself by becoming vicious and maintained that behavior even after the source of pain was gone. Biting was a learned response, which sadly, he was not able to unlearn.

      So it is with humans. People aren’t bad. They’re not evil. They’re troubled. They’re hurting. They’re scared. Sometimes they do bad things. But intrinsically all human life is sacred. It’s just that we’ve all had painful experiences and are afraid of being hurt again. Each of us struggles with unresolved issues. Past experiences leave us defensive and believing that aggressive behavior will protect us from those who can harm us.

      One’s behavior is not who they are. Behavior is an external expression of internal issues. It’s something that’s learned. It’s imperative that adults address and resolve their issues and learn more appropriate methods of behaving.

      If you are witnessing another’s bad behavior, it is critical not to judge and label them harshly. You need not be privy to their struggles. You only need to understand that there are underlying issues and respond with compassion and understanding. When necessary, one can set boundaries to ensure they are being treated properly.** In some cases, you may need to remove yourself (either temporarily or permanently) from the other’s presence. But that can be done without animosity, bitterness, resentment, or hostility. Judging and labeling others is cruel, unfair, unkind and arrogant. And, it benefits no one.

      Be kind in your assessment of others. It’s the way you’d want them to assess you.

      *Huggy Bear was given to a priest who used him as a guard dog at his parish. He lived a long and comfortable life.

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