Falling in love is one of the greatest feelings of all time.
From the first butterflies you feel to the commitment with your soulmate, you’re in total euphoria. Imagining life without your special someone seems nearly impossible. And the saying goes “You know when you know.” But, you probably didn’t believe it until it happened to you.
A few years later, the honeymoon phase is over and routine begins to set in. Your relationship is alive, yet the emotional connection is starting to drift to the wayside. The bedroom feels empty. And, your partner has officially become your roommate, no longer your lover.
You never thought in your wildest dreams it would come to this…After all your number one relationship value is loyalty.
The nightmare begins to replay on repeat as lay your head down on your white pillow. You find out your partner has been engaging in infidelity for the last eight months. You are completely devastated and shook by the betrayal. Your thoughts begin to race through your mind, leaving you to question everything.
“How could I have missed this?”
“Where did I go wrong to deserve this?”
“Who am I in love with?”
The truth is all romantic relationships take two to tango. Both partners are responsible for the disconnect in the relationship.
While you’re not responsible for the cheating, you are responsible for healing yourself.
…and both are responsible for saving the relationship, given you want to repair it.
Here Are 7 Ways To Take To Save Your Relationship:
1.Acknowledge Your Part In The Disconnect
Couples experience a level of comfortability after being committed overtime. Unfortunately, if you and your partner stop doing what you did at the beginning of the relationship, a disconnect starts to drive a wedge between you and your partner’s harmonious bond. While no relationship is perfect, taking your partner for granted thinking they will always be there is a foolish thing.
You begin to go through life like a drill and the relationship becomes an extension of your daily routine. While routine is typically effective for career success, not always for a relationship. Too much predictability can lead to stagnation which causes the relationship to lose its spark.
Acknowledging that you and your partner are no longer contributing to the emotional connection of the relationship, will help your process your feelings of moving forward.
2.Understand What Made Your Partner Cheat
Cheating is solely your partner’s responsibility. Those who engage in this type of behavior usually can pinpoint as to why they stepped out of the monogamous partnership. It is important to understand what drove them to take those actions as it can help rectify the issue and prevent future occurrences. Asking discovery questions can help get to the root of the disconnect.
Discovery Question examples:
What was your intent for cheating?
What are you not happy about in our relationship?
How would like you to make changes that support our connection?
When did you begin to feel your needs weren’t being met?
Can you help me understand what you gained by betraying my trust for you?
How come you aren’t honoring our relationship>
While these questions may be difficult to ask, gaining clarity will help you gain perspective on the reasons for your partner’s behavior. If you find these questions too difficult to get through on your own as a couple, then refer to number seven below. It’s important to understand your partner despite how painful their responses may be.
When asking questions refrain from comparing yourself to the person they had an affair with. Don’t ask “What does s/he have that I don’t?” Solely focus on the problems within the relationship.
3.Limit When You Talk About The Betrayal
Working through the discomfort and painful feelings isn’t going to be easy, but it also cannot become the main focus of conversation when repairing the relationship. The pluses have to far outweigh the negatives for your relationship to survive.
According to Gottam, “the marriage guru”, for every negative interaction, you need five positives to counterbalance it for a healthy relationship. To resolve the discord, you’ll want to set aside time for when you need to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Afterward, you’ll want to resume normal activity so you can begin discovering ways to reconnect as a couple. Whether it’s a weekly date night or starting a new hobby together, spending quality time together will be vital at this stage to bring intimacy back into your relationship.
4.Cut Off All Communication With The Fling
For healing to begin and cease the possibility of this happening again in the future, all communication and connections with the fling need to end. As a couple, blocking their phone number, email, and social media connections is crucial to gaining traction to support the foundation of your relationship. And, if it’s a work-related relationship then arrangements need to made to ensure there is zero contact or association during work hours.
A partner cannot forgive and work through their emotions around the betrayal if contact is still occurring with the fling. It will mostly continue to weigh on them and lead to continual discord due to a lack of trust.
Rebuilding trust is vital in the recovery of the relationship and this can only happen when respect is reinstated. Each partner will need to reciprocate open communication and transparency to cultivate a healthy connection. It will be both of your responsibility as working together is key to support each other’s needs.
5. Give Your Partner Time To Heal
Healing will take time and be a lengthy process for all. Everyone heals at different times, so having patience will be imperative. The partner who is hurt may experience a roller coaster of emotions throughout their days of healing. Some days will be good and other days something may drive them to feel pain, needing emotional support from their partner.
It will be up to the partner who cheated to reinstate trust, respect, safety and security within the relationship. You are more or less starting over from scratch in rebuilding a secure bond. Only through positive interactions will trust begin to be cultivated.
6.Be Honest With Your Partner
Dishonesty is what led to the relationship experiencing an impasse. The best way to restore trust is to begin by being honest about the affair. If your partner wants to know details then it’s best to be upfront about it because more than likely they are asking for a reason.
Being sneaky and hiding specific details will not allow for healing to begin or forgiveness to happen. Having full transparency with your partner means giving up some of the privacy that you once had in the relationship.
7.Seek Professional Help
Struggling to overcome it alone? This is very normal as you and your partner may not even know where to begin or how to repair the emotional damage. Blaming one another will leave you at an impasse causing no resolution to the matter.
As relationship coaches, we can give you the communication tools you need and exercises to implement that will begin restoring the faith in the relationship as well as working through the painful emotions associated with betrayal. It can take a few individual sessions for each partner along with couple coaching sessions to create a healthy relationship as the dynamic of your partnership needs to shift that supports both of your needs Restoring the WE begins with having self-awareness of the ME.