The Three R's of Successful Rebuilders(2)

Author Linda J. MacDonald From How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair 6 years ago 9958

Sometimes the betrayal has caused so much damage (especially true when multiple lies and betrayals occurred), the hurt spouse wants no contact for a while.They allow offended partners the time they need to process their confused feelings. The hurt spouse may need to see whether the straying partner is committed to real recovery, apart from offering any assurance of reconciliation.


A trial separation, in agreed upon temporary quarters, is a wonderful opportunity for the betrayer to demonstrate genuine contrition and a willingness to deal with his/her own hang-ups that allowed the affair to happen in the first place. It often provides the solitude necessary for the strayer to reflect on his or her actions, undo the rationalizations used to justify the affair, and get a taste of what it would be like to live without the spouse. The more the offender seeks his/her own personal recovery without relying on the hurt spouse, the more likely the hurt spouse will trust the betrayer sincerity. Down the road, the offended partner may even relent and give the betrayer another chance.


Sometimes a temporary separation also helps betrayed partners regain a measure of dignity after the shame of intimate betrayal. It can serve as a tangible way for hurt spouses to protest a partner unfaithful choices and give them some space to sort their feelings and consider their options. Kicking the betrayer out of the house also allows faithful spouses to send a message to the betrayer, family, and a few close friends: infidelity is a severe offense to the marriage and a potential deal-breaker. It also underlines the fact that, after having no say about the offender outside trysts, wounded spouses get to set the terms for any possible reconciliation. Smart Rebuilders know they need to place themselves at the mercy of their hurt partners.


Successful Rebuilders do not let a time of separation sideline them from their road to recovery or give them an excuse to live the single lifestyle again. They remain steadfast in staying away from former lovers and refrain from other forms of sexual acting out. They demonstrate their commitment to love the hurt spouse and children, despite the inconvenience of living elsewhere. Rebuilders continue to pursue spiritually healthy friends, pastors, counseling, recovery groups, honest self-reflection, spiritual renewal part from the security of a restored marriage.


This is not to say that a trial separation should be automatic after betrayal. Sometimes a few days at a hotel or a friend house is enough of a brush-with- death to motivate a straying spouse to be totally broken and for the betrayed to regain enough equilibrium to tolerate closer proximity to the offending partner. Other betrayed spouses prefer to have a penitent spouse remain in the home to offer hugs and reassurances of love. They may choose this option in order to soothe their rattled nerves and calm fears of rejection.


One advantage of allowing sincerely remorseful partners back into the house is that they are forced to see the damage they have caused, up close and personal. Another benefit is that couples who learn to plow through the tremendous emotional swings while living together often reach a new high water mark in their ability to work through conflict. However this is difficult to accomplish if the betrayer is not sorry or without the aid of a well-trained therapist.


In addition to counseling, for persons of faith I especially like Drs. Earl and Sandy Wilson model of selecting a Spiritual Care support.


No matter what Rebuilders who wish to repair their marriages respect the rights of their betrayed spouses to choose the living arrangements in the aftermath of infidelity.

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