Ron called after he discovered his wife’s affair on her phone’s chat app. Kay owned it, ended it and asked for forgiveness. But Ron told us during the phone assessment that, “I don’t think I can ever forgive her for this. I’ll never trust her again.”
During the Marriage Intensive, Ron and Kay discovered the journey ahead for both of them. They moved toward each other and are now on the long process of recovery.
The Truth About Affair Recovery
- Affair recovery is possible. We have worked with hundreds of couples in our marriage intensive, one couple at a time, who have moved through the recovery process and now have a stronger and better marriage.
- Affair recovery is a process, not an event. It will not happen all at once in a meeting. Forgiveness and reconciliation is not possible with a single conversation. There are no magic words, or magic pills, that will automatically bring trust back into the relationship.
- The affair recovery process takes time. Forgiveness and reconciliation will take an average of two to five years. Like any trauma, reactions to triggers will vary in length and intensity. Every data point related to the affair will serve as a possible trauma trigger.
Affair Recovery For The Betrayed Spouse
- Your Emotional Roller Coaster Is Normal – You have been through a major trauma event. Anyone who has ever been through a major traumatic event, like a car wreck or crime, rides the emotional ups and downs of recovery. Whatever you feel, it is a normal reaction to what you have been through. There is no correct way to
- Your Radar Detector Is Broken – God built your brain with a radar to assess any dangers in your environment. It has experienced a huge break in safety. It is now highly sensitive toward any possible indication of danger. It will tell you there is danger when there is none. You will perceive your spouse is lying, cheating, etc., when they are not.
- Trust And Forgiveness Are Processes – Trust and forgiveness are a process, not an event. You will not have a moment when all of a sudden you are done with them. They will not happen with a magic pill or words. They are both different and will both take time.
- Trust Takes Two – Trust building happens through interaction. It requires a fully transparent spouse, living with high integrity, interacting consistently with a spouse who is giving them room to show they are trustworthy. Your job is to trust, but verify. Your role is to give your spouse opportunities to show their trustworthiness. Demand full honesty at all times.
- Forgiveness Is About You – Holding onto bitterness, anger and resentment keeps you from having peace. Forgive for yourself, for your own sake. Forgive so that you can be open to feel something else, like peace, joy, happiness, love. Forgive whether you tell the betraying spouse or not. Forgive for your own health and well-being.
- Give Up Revenge – You will never make your betrayer suffer enough. You cannot give the betrayer the pain that was caused to you. You cannot “punish” this away. Give vengeance to God. Let God deal with your betrayer. Take all of that vengeful energy and use it to make yourself a better person. Let your living life healthy be its own way of vengeance.
- Forgiveness does not equal permission – You may be feeling like if you forgive, it means what the betrayer did was somehow OK. You may think that if you forgive, it gives permission for it to happen again. Neither is true. Untie forgiveness and trust. You can forgive without trusting. Forgive for you. Let trust build based upon your betrayer’s trustworthy actions.
What do you have to say?
We love to hear from readers. Do you buy the premise that forgiveness and trust are separate processes? If you have been through an affair, where are you in the recovery process? Do you know couples who have survived an affair? What other suggestions you would add to this article? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.