Can a relationship recover after infidelity?
Dear Unruly Woman,
Yes, a relationship can recover after infidelity. Plain and simple: Yes, you can do this. But YOU means both of you and no one person is “enough” to heal this kind of betrayal on their own.
Deep down in the core of my being, I believe that two people who are in love and want to be together can heal any wounds that have come between them. You two will need to listen like you’ve never listened to one another before. You’ll need new tools. You’ll need radical honesty. You’ll both need to fight for your future.
(You’ll may even need professional support. I’m here.)
You’ll need to open your heart and share all of what you left unspoken in the past, the very things that left your relationship vulnerable to The Other One is now what you most need to share.
This affair — whether it was a one time sex act, an emotional betrayal, or a full-on scandalous affair — is not The Problem. And although it certainly feels like it, The Other One is not actually The Problem either.
The Other One simply occupied space that appeared between you and your beloved. The space is The Problem. Your sleeping-bags-zipped-together-in-a-cozy-tent-for-two partnership changed over time. It’s not a crime. All relationships evolve, because the people in them evolve, and if we are not careful, we grow apart while we’re growing up.
The untended heartbreaks and unresolved conflicts left you two feeling cautious, retreating from the battle lines and into the safety of your own inner worlds. Instead growing up together, you pulled away a little at a time and soon home had two distinctly different sides. Retreating cultivates more conflict, which all too often makes you want to retreat even further from the one you love.
Infidelity can be the thing you blame for destroying your relationship but it can also be a wake up call, the life-altering reality check you needed to heal the old wounds. The Other One can be the final grain of sand tumbling into the lower half of the hourglass to tell you that it is time to flip your relationship on its head and begin again.
Again, the space is The Problem that exists between the two of you and The Other One is but a mere distraction. If both you and your beloved want to have a future together, evict the distraction and get busy building a new life.
This is a deeply shattering time. Allow yourselves and your old broken relationship to be completely destroyed. And then, be bold enough to bring your true self to the table and brave enough to allow your partner to do the same. Speak the unspeakable. Forgive like you want to be forgiven. Open your heart and invite the love of your life to enter once more. Touch. Look into one another’s eyes like there is no such thing as time.
Say yes to today, to a beautiful new way of being together, and then recommit to your togetherness every morning when you rise. And if you rise and yes doesn’t feel true for you, you owe it to one another to speak into it. Yes, ask every single day. If you both choose to embrace this invitation, you can give birth to a brand new love.
Love and truth to you, —Christy (The Unruly Woman)
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