Updated: May 5
Recovering from infidelity is difficult but not impossible. It requires hard-work and commitment. Both you and your partner need to be honest with yourselves and with one another. If you were involved in the cheating, have you made the decision of whether you want to leave your partner?
If you haven’t then maybe you aren't ready or willing to restore your primary relationship. If you were betrayed, you may not believe that the relationship is salvageable and that's okay. It may also feel as though you need to make a decision as soon as you find out– that's not true either.
It's a difficult situation and it's important to be gentle, kind and graceful with yourself. Don’t pressure yourself into making the decision of whether or not to forgive and recover from the affair.
If you and your partner do decide to heal from the infidelity there are a few important steps to take. If you are the cheater, you want to try and remain patient and non-defensive with your partner. Try to take into consideration the difficulty that your partner is facing. Take a step back and connect to them, their feelings and what might be happening for them. It’s the perfect time to practice empathy. Your trust has been affected and a whirlwind of questions and doubts may be swirling through their head.
Even though it may be difficult, transparency is essential– your partner may want to know how it all began, what the relationship was like: emotional and/ or physical, etc. It's an uncomfortable and painful conversation but disclosure can be a part of the greater healing process. Having these difficult and painful discussions in the presence of a therapist will help ease the process and ensure the transparency is effective and efficient.
If you were the partner that was cheated on and you have decided to try and make the relationship work, you must embrace the process. However, take your time. If your partner is doing what they can to rebuild trust and you’re willing– you want to try and embrace forgiveness. Decide what works best for you.
Share with your partner those needs and wants. What are you needing from them now? Space, boundaries, communication, transparency, therapy, figure out what those needs are. It’s a difficult moment for both of you in the relationship. It may feel best to criticize and blame– but that only pushes you away from one another. It’s a difficult and painful process but you if both believe the relationship is salvageable you can rebuild and create a new relationship.
With the help our team, you and your partner may explore why the infidelity happened and most importantly what steps to take so you can recover and repair.
You want to create an understanding of how to avoid any future incidents. It’s important to create a space in which you can both be transparent about what has transpired. You want to work with a therapist in understanding why the boundary lines were crossed and why you still want to make the relationship work. It'll take time– but it's not impossible. You have the opportunity to recreate a new, loving relationship.
Co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute, Dr. Carolina Pataky is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Therapist. Recognized as one of South Florida’s leading authorities on intimacy, relationships and self-discovery. Her focus is to give individuals and couples of any sexual preference the tools to learn how to love themselves unconditionally, receive love, and create fulfilling and joyful relationships that will last a lifetime. Through private sessions, couples’ intensives and luxury retreats, she provides individual and couples coaching sessions, sex therapy, and psychotherapy practices that support clients through the journey of finding the right path to healthy love.
Visit her website www.lovediscovery.org or follow @carolinapataky