Did you know that it actually takes 3 separate phases to healthily heal a broken relationship? Below I will outline the 3 phases you need to follow to heal your self, and most importantly, heal your marriage.
The 3 phases are:
#1. Healing of the Self
#2. Healing of the Relationship
#3. Healing of the Marriage
Alright guys, there’s just one last thing that I have to do before we can get started on this healing process.
To Avoid Plagiarism I have to confess something…I wouldn’t know any of this stuff without the help of Dr. Frank Gunzburg (thanks Frank!), and it was largely due to his How to Survive an Affair program, that my and Mary’s marriage has healed to where it is.
That being said, if you don’t have the money for an ebook I think you should still have the opportunity to heal your affair, so what I’ll do is in each section I’ll tell you where you can get more information inside Dr. Gunzburg’s book, but I’ll still give you what you need to know.
Phase 1: “Heal Yourself First, I Say!”
Let me be very frank with you right now:
It is totally pointless to attempt healing your relationship without first healing yourself.
Are You Jealous? The road will be most difficult for you. Jealousy is an extremely powerful enemy to have to overcome, however, in order for your relationship to move forward you’re going to have to face yourself and find out why you’re reaction was jealousy.
You need to try and take a step back and analyze why you got jealous. Most of the time it’s because there’s some self-esteem issue or lack of self-trust that results in your feeling of jealousy.
Are You Angry? What you’re going to have to do is realize that if you’re serious about fixing your relationship and recovering from this affair, at some point you’re going to have to let go of your anger.
No, I don’t mean your spouse (or whoever cheated) will have to apologize, then let go of your anger. I don’t mean you’re going to get revenge then stop being angry. Because ultimately, you’re going to stay angry even if you get revenge, or even if they do apologize.
There comes a point where if you’re serious about healing, you’ll jut have to let it go.
Are You Guilty? It’s important that you come to terms with your innocence. Is you’re spouse blaming you for the affair? Don’t listen. None of it was your fault.
Don’t believe me? Well, did you know that recent statistics have shown that there’s at least one affair in 40% of all marriages? It has nothing to do, your partner who cheated on you bears the full responsibility for giving in and making your marriage fall into the 40% of marriages with an affair.
The only reason your partner is blaming you (if they are) is because they don’t know how to deal with their own weaknesses, so they take it out on you. It’s important for you to realize this, and react accordingly. Chances are that you’re going to end up needing to be the strong one if your partner is blaming you.
Recognize your guilt for what it is, and move on.
Are You Vengeful? Can I tell you something right now?
If you get revenge on your spouse for cheating on you, you may as well kiss your relationship goodbye.
Yea, I know it sucks that you can’t have it, but revenge is the worst thing you can do, and it WILL tear your relationship apart.
Just like if you’re angry, you’re responsibility is going to be to address the issues that are giving you this vengeful feeling, and do your best to let go of them.
Eventually there will come a point when you just have to let it go.
Need More Information? Check out page 38 of Dr. Gunzburg’s ebook (How to Survive an Affair) where he talks about the “8 Heart-Wrenching Emotions” that come from an affair. Also on page 22 he has a list of 12 questions to ask yourself to help work through your emotions (highly recommended)
Phase 2: “Heal Your Relationship”
The most difficult part of this healing process is finding a way to communicate effectively. Many couples don’t have the ability to calmly and effectively communicate without becoming angry or letting their judgment become clouded. Below I’ll list 3 questions you should both figure out together before attempting to heal your marriage.
This is actually two questions in one.
Firstly, you need to both figure out why cheaters cheat. As I said above, many times affairs happen because the cheating party is dealing with some inner issue; lack of confidence is the biggest one.
The other part of this question is identifying what’s wrong with the relationship that caused the affair. It’s important that both you and your wife or husband sit down and discuss what exactly caused the affair. You should both have an opportunity to speak freely and calmly to the other. It’s important to not get too worked up, no matter what they say.
Without identifying why the affair happened you’re greatly increasing the risk that there will be another affair down the road.
I suggest you check out page 94 of Dr. Gunzburg’s ebook, he has a great strategy for promoting honesty for this question.
“What Are the Problems in Our Relationship?”
You’re going to need to approach this one at a time, and, I’ll just warn you now, it’s going to be difficult not to get worked up while answering this question.
Again, both of you should sit down together and have a nice long discussion about this. My suggestion is to whip out a piece of paper, divide it up into two columns (one for each of you) and take turns writing one problem in the relationship.
For each problem take some time for each of you to respond to it, and see if you can’t fix your relationship 1 step at a time. This is going to be a lengthy process, and it will take patience on both sides.
Check out page 99 of Dr. Gunzburg’s ebook. Here he talks about the best way to keep this discussion fair, and how to address both you and your spouse’s needs.
“Understand When to End a Conversation”
There will be times during this healing process where you question whether or not it’s worth it to continue trying to heal your relationship. There will be times when you both get into huge fights, and there will be times when communication seems totally frozen.
One thing you can do to keep things from ever getting to bad is both agreeing on a system for when to stop a conversation before it becomes overly painful for one or the other spouse.
One thing that Frank talks about in his ebook is destructive mistakes that he sees people make all the time when trying to repair the trust and communication lost through an affair. On page 173 he talks specifically about avoiding destructive conversations, and how you can fix them when they do happen.
Phase 3: “Heal Your Marriage”
You have one goal in Phase 3 and one goal only: Rebuild your marriage. In order for that to happen, 3 other things need to happen first:
You Need to Rebuild a Transparent Relationship
I’ve already said that you should take care of yourself before you take care of the marriage. One way you’ll know that you’re really ready to begin rebuilding your marriage is if you finally feel comfortable with your spouse. The only way that’s going to happen is if you have a 100% transparent relationship, or in other words, total honesty.
There’s no way that you’re going to make any headway in this marriage if you can’t first know that you’re not going to look like an idiot for trusting your spouse again. Dr. Gunzburg has a great system for this that he outlines on page 192 of How to Survive an Affair.
You Need to Identify When You Trust Again
Rebuilding a transparent and trusting relationship doesn’t do any good for you if you don’t have the ability to recognize that trust and move forward with it.
Once you know for a fact that you trust the other person again, I think that you’ll be surprised at how quickly that emotional commitment comes back. It just proves one thing:
Trust is The Key to Marriage!
Once you have trust again, the rest will follow. Slowly your communication will improve, until eventually you’re ready. Dr. Gunzburg calls it “crossing the bridge” and on page 212 he goes into detail on how to know to know when you’re ready for the next step.
Ready for what? Well, the last thing that needs to happen before you can say that your marriage is totally healed is:
Are You Ready to Have Sex Again?
Ok, this is where I draw the line for the advice that I feel comfortable giving. There are two reasons that I can’t write anymore:
#1. I really don’t trust myself to totally fix your marriage, especially for something as important as having sex again. I’m not a professional, and I wouldn’t be able to bear thinking about accidently ruining someone’s relationship just because I didn’t know any better.
#2. I’m in danger of committing plagiarism. Out of fairness to Dr. Gunzenburg (who makes his living from the How to Survive an Affair program, where I learned everything I know), it’s unfair for me to reveal all the techniques that he’s compiled in his program. Really, I’ve already given away more than I should.
Don’t worry though, there’s tons of information in Dr. Gunzburg’s free report for you to check out.
Anyways, that concludes the 5 step C.A.T.C.H. program to getting through an affair! Congratulations! You now have all the skills and knowledge necessary to catch, heal and grow your marriage or relationship!
Step 4: Confront <==|
How We've Been Found:
- how to help your spouse heal from your affair (22)
- how to heal from an affair (17)
- Phases of an Affair (14)