Infidelity Recovery for a Relationship: A HUGE Problem
By Dr. Bob Huizenga
There is much information out there about the skills you need during infidelity recovery to rebuild a relationship after an extramarital affair or other crisis.
But, there’s a prior concern. Powerful emotional and cognitive (thinking) barriers exist that get in the way of using those skills.
Your intentions may be good, but eye-ball to eye-ball reality usually brings tension during infidelity recovery. The use of your new found skills evaporates and you shrink back to the negative patterns that create mistrust and distance.
Here’s the problem: “How in the world do you and your partner get on the same page and begin remaking your relationship after the ton of hurt and distance you have experienced through the extramarital affair or other crisis?
I asked my clients to list 3-4 barriers that keep the two of you apart and stall the healing process in infidelity recovery.
I had over 9 pages of barriers that they listed. But, from that long I clearly was able to discern recurring themes. Below are listed 3 HUGE problems:
1. You try (very hard) but you don’t get much. You ask questions. You probe. You want to know where he/she stands. You want more information. You want and need reassurance…but you don’t get it. It seems that the more you try, the more He/she pulls away in his/her typical manner.
2. You back off. You are scared. You are cautious about what to say and do. You don’t want to incite him/her. You feel like you are walking on egg shells. You watch and hope for some sort of indication that he/she wants the relationship. But… you are never sure. And you feel the pain and tension internally. That’s where it stays during infidelity recovery. You suffer quietly and alone.
3. Your eye is on the other person. You give him/her exorbitant power. You feel powerless to a greater or lesser degree. You hate this! You want to be your “self.” But feel stifled, unsure, broken and don’t know what to say or do to break through the impasse you are going through in infidelity recovery. If only he/she would do something!
Does one of these make sense for you? Can you see yourself in this role?
Here’s a simple exercise to help you move through this dilemma.
List 3 or 4 meanings that your partner’s affair or crisis has for you. That is to say, what impact is the crisis and the infidelity recovery having upon YOU? For example, how has is changed what you think about? How you spend your time? How you think of yourself?
If you can begin sharing the personal impact of the crisis with your partner, you might experience less tension and begin seeing more progress in your infidelity recovery.