We have blogged a few times about what the cheater needs to do to help with healing after an affair, and the book “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” by Linda J. MacDonald, M.S., LMFT has been recommended by readers in the past as well.
We finally bought a copy and certainly feel that it is a worthwhile book to have – both for the cheater and the betrayed. It’s a short book – only 96 pages – and a very easy read. It will not take a person long to read it at all.
We also realize that getting the cheater to read anything about affairs can be a challenge, so we’ve summarized the qualities of those who are most likely to be successful repairing their marriages after infidelity.
Here is a link to a PDF copy of the list that you can download and print out so the cheater can read it in less than 3 minutes!
The qualities of someone who helps their spouse with healing after an affair:
- They are non-defensive
- Examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses
- Accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners
- Do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner
- Show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done
- Make amends and apologize to loved ones
- Apologize often, especially the first two years
- Listen with patience and validate their spouse’s pain
- Allow their spouse a lot of room to express feelings
- Respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering
- Seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity
- Keep no secrets
- Do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair
- Are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities
- Frequently check in with their spouses as to how they are doing
- Are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair
- Are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair
- Don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children
- Commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth
We hope this is helpful, but there may be more that can be added to the list. If you can think of any other qualities for helping a spouse with healing after an affair, please mention them below in the comment section.