healing infidelity

One of the key elements of healing infidelity for many is open communication regarding the affair.  If you were injured in the affair and feel that you can’t move on until your partner answers your questions, then you should initiate a conversation with him or her.  

However, be careful what you wish for and be aware of your feelings before you initiate any discussions.  After all, you might get information you don’t want to know, and once you have that information you can never give it back.  Do not convince yourself that you need to discuss the affair when you really don’t feel that you need to.

Remember that you aren’t going to begin healing from infidelity and work through the pain that the affair has caused by working out every detail of the affair. However, you probably do need to get enough information to know that your partner is now being honest and loyal to you.  You may need just enough information to know the extent of their relationship so that you can completely come to terms with your own feelings about it.

Beware that when you talk to your spouse about the affair, you risk all the emotions resurfacing. This is not necessarily a reason to avoid the discussion, but be aware and expect it to happen.  If both of you are wanting to work on your relationship and get past this, then the result will more than likely be a stronger bond.

Healing Infidelity and Talking About the Affair

Here are some guidelines from How to Survive an Affair that Dr. Frank Gunzburg suggests you follow as you discuss the affair:

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The injured person should initiate the conversation. In the case of a discussion about the affair, the cheater’s needs matter little. If they feel they need to discuss the affair, they should do that with a therapist or other neutral party. This conversation is totally up to what the injured person needs.

The injured person should be in control of the conversation. Gunzburg  recommends running the conversation as a question and answer session in which the injured asks questions and the cheater answers. The cheater should not give more information than the injured asks because they might not want to know certain things.  The cheater must honestly and directly answer the questions asked as this is a good opportunity for the cheater to show that they have become truly transparent and honest and have recommitted their loyalty to their partner.

Be careful what you ask for. If you are the injured person and you are asking the questions about the affair, remember to think about what you want to ask. Don’t ask about anything you don’t want to know about.  Gunzburg recommends not asking any comparative questions, particularly about physical attributes, sexual prowess, and personality. These kinds of questions don’t serve any real purpose in terms of the healing infidelity process and usually just amplify the pain and jealousy the injured partner feels.

If as the injured person you are able to get the information you need to heal and avoid questions that will unnecessarily hurt you or further damage your relationship, this interaction can be a powerful and positive experience. It is an opportunity for the injured partner to work through some of the pain they have been experiencing, and it can be an excellent opportunity for the cheater to prove their transparency and that their loyalty is firmly with their partner.

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Do not mar this possibility by believing that you need to work out every sordid detail of the affair before you can heal. That isn’t true. True healing infidelity is predicated on the energy you both put into healing your relationship. This conversation might be important for you, or you might not need it. Remember, this is about you as a couple. Stay with that, and you can succeed in overcoming the pain.

For more information about healing infidelity, please check out How to Survive an Affair.


    2 replies to "Healing Infidelity: Talking About the Affair"

    • ruth

      Ok, so my husband has not opened up about his affair and he would get very upset when I would bring it up even though I wanted some questions answered. I have notice that he hasn’t had contact with her since March of this year, but once or twic a week he would try to contact her online but the fool had the wrong user name on his account. Then I am sitting at work and my boss brings in a news paper from the town she lives in and low and belowed she is in there. She is going to trial for her 3rd DWI and she broad sided another person which she is also being charged with assualt. She can get up to a 7yr prison sentence. So, I bring the article home and set it in front of my husband and he seems shocked and started to talk. He really had no idea she had this kind of past also she has been married 2x. I asked him, is this what you want in your life over your family. Needless to say I was shocked that he would be involved with someone like this but then he kept telling me when he was with her that I was not fun and was a goody two shoes. But at least he has finally seeing the light and now maybe he will really open up and realise that I was never the one who put him in that situation. I have forgiven him the minute he told me and I feel honestly that he is sorry. For the first time in 2 years I really feel hope. I believe he does love me but he did admit he was in love with her and addicted to her as she was to him. I still dont trust him but hopefully that will come in time. I know that we have a brighter future with her out of the way. I know it may sound mean but I hope they lock her up and throw away the key. I know its not all her fault but hey she knew he was married right from the beginning. As happy as I am today I do know that something will trigger me tomorrow and I will start to cry and be sad. My choice is to keep thinking about happy time to get through the bad ones. Yes today I am haveing a great day!

      • admin

        Ruth, glad to hear things are looking up for you. Getting past those triggers is tough isn’t it?

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