Marriage Counseling Guide
Infidelity counseling will help you save your marriage and restore trust. It is not the end, but it is the beginning of a stronger marriage.
Step 1. Stabilizing the Situation:
Our agency developed the following steps and guideline for infidelity counseling. These concepts were developed following our experience in dealing with infidelity as well as concepts derived from Dr. Terry Hargrave, to provide clients a road map to restore trust and reconciliation. The road map is necessary so that our clients can be assured that there will be a bright day to come following the emotionally turmoil that they are going through.
No more further damage. The damage was already done by affair, the person who had the affair should first acknowledge and accept that there is damage that is not erasable. Second, you should not create further damages by lying, minimizing the affair, and blaming your partner out of frustration, embarrassment, and anger. If conflict arises, follow the sixteen rules of fighting fairly. A Trust Bridge was already broken. In order to reestablish the trust bridge, you have to be 100 % honest and genuine to your partner.
Step 2: Your Spouse Needs to Have More Power.
The perpetrator of the affair will have to take a one down position in terms of power in the marriage. This one down position provide you an opportunity to prove that you are serious about saving the marriage and infuses an erratically emotional time with a sense of stability. What can you do?
- Totally cut off the affair.
- If the affair partner contacts you, you will immediately let your partner know.
- You are willing to be checked on at any time by your partner.
- You will answer all questions of the partner openly and honestly.
Step 3: Power Shift Again to Equality.
These are the opportunities that are given to you to prove that you are trustworthy.
“Questions of love are difficult after infidelity, but trust is the primary target of damage.”(p.32) The Trust Bridge will be reestablished based on reliability and responsibility. Whether or not your partner can 100% trust you is not the goal or aim. We all know people make mistakes and nobody is perfect. People will trust others based on the past behavior and your responsible current behavior.
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