There was an Affair. Can We Heal?

Yes.

But.

In my experience, at minimum it requires 4 things:

  1. Desire – You must BOTH want to. There is very good reason NOT to try and heal this breach of trust.
  2. Understanding – The affair was the unfortunate “solution” to a bigger problem – the ongoing, unconscious destructive pattern of disconnection and mutual pain that hijacked your relationship. This cycle deeply hurt both of you AND preceded the choice to exit the relationship.
  3. Responsibility – The one who exited must be able to own his or her destructive decision to “solve” the deeper problem by exiting as well as the deep feelings of pain, rejection and unworthiness that preceded the decision. This recognition as well as the remorse and shame that comes with it must be owned and shared with the betrayed partner, more than once.
  4. Time – This differs from couple to couple but enough work must be put in so that enough muscle memory can be rebuilt to continue to move forward together in a bond of renewed (and even strengthened) trust. This takes time.
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