healing your relationship after an affair

If your relationship has ever suffered the trauma of infidelity, you will be painfully aware of the damage it can cause, and how difficult it can be for relationships to recover. Dr Shirley Glass offers these facts about infidelity and love, and tips about how to innoculate your relationship against infidelity, as well as how to heal.

Seven Facts You Need to Know About Infidelity

A happy marriage is not a vaccine against infidelity.

The person having the affair may not be giving enough at home rather than not getting enough.

It is normal to be attracted to another person, but fantasizing about what it would be like to be with that other person is a danger sign.

Flirting is crossing the line because it is an invitation that indicates receptivity.

Infidelity is not only about love or sex--it's about maintaining appropriate boundaries with others and being open and honest in your committed relationship.

You do not have to have sexual intercourse to be unfaithful. Passionate kissing or oral sex is a violation of your commitment to your partner.

Emotional affairs are characterized by secrecy, emotional intimacy, and sexual chemistry. Emotional affairs can be more threatening than brief sexual flings.

What You Need to Know About Love

People compare and confuse the intensity of being "in love" during an affair with the secure, comfortable feeling of reality based "loving" that occurs in long term relationships.

The feeling of being "in love" is linked to idealization, passion and infatuation.

True love, which you grow into, is characterized by acceptance, understanding, and compassion. That is why so few people end up marrying their affair partners, and those who do have an extremely high probability of divorce.

Once the affair is no longer the forbidden relationship that takes place in a golden bubble, the cold light of day soon bursts the romantic fantasies.

Seven Tips for Preventing Infidelity

Maintain appropriate walls and windows. Keep the windows open at home. Put up privacy walls with others who could threaten your marriage.

Recognize that work can be a danger zone. Don't lunch alone or take coffee breaks with the same person all the time. When you travel with a co-worker, meet in public rooms, not in a room with a bed.

Avoid emotional intimacy with attractive alternatives to your committed relationship. Resist the desire to rescue an unhappy soul who pours his or her heart out to you.

Protect your marriage by discussing relationship issues at home. If you do need to talk to someone else about your marriage, be sure that person is a friend of the marriage. If the friend disparages marriage, respond with something positive about your own relationship.

Keep old flames from re-igniting. If a former lover is coming to the class reunion, invite your partner to come along. If you value your marriage, think twice about having lunch with an old flame.

Don't go over the line when you're On-Line with Internet friends. Discuss your online friendships with your partner and show him/her your e-mail if he/she is interested. Invite your partner to join in your correspondence so your Internet friend won't get any wrong ideas. Don't exchange sexual fantasies online.

Make sure your social network is supportive of your marriage. Surround yourself with friends who are happily married and who don't believe in fooling around.

Critical Elements for Healing the Trauma of Infidelity

Recovery requires reversing the walls and windows in the extramarital triangle to place the betrayed partner inside and the affair partner outside.

Healing cannot begin without safety. The first step in establishing safety is to stop all contact with the affair partner.

Rebuilding trust after deception and lying is achieved by complete honesty about the infidelity. Voluntarily sharing all unavoidable encounters with the affair partner is an essential trust-builder.

Discussing the story of the affair is crucial for understanding the meaning of the infidelity.

To read more from Dr Shirley Glass, go to http://www.shirleyglass.com/afterword.htm


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