Steps the betrayer can take to assist with their partners recovery.
I have noticed a common need among betrayed partners in order to feel confident in their decision to stay in the relationship. If you were to ask a betrayed partner “What would it take to ensure you can stay with your partner and rebuild safety and trust??” I can guarantee more than half of them are going to list at least one of the items below. If the adulterer is unwilling to do any of these things, it will be less likely the two will stay together for a significant period. Below is a list of the common needs that a betrayed spouse would want from their adulterer. The items are in not in any order, all these items can play a part on whether you will have a healthy future partnership together.
- Remove and block every contact of the opposite sex your partner does not know or there is, or has been inappropriate contact with. This includes your phone contact list, social media, apps, emails, etc. The betrayed partner feels safe to start the healing process when this has been done. Make sure your partner can see some form of physical evidence this has been done.
- Create a master list of all sites, social media, email accounts, apps, etc. On the master list there should be passwords provided. The list needs to be updated whenever there is a change. This is vital in making sure the betrayed partner can build trust again. One faulty item on the list, whether missing or wrong password is detrimental to rebuilding trust. Prompt attention to any “mistakes” makes all the difference. This is a really good thing to do in the first year of recovery. Overtime the betrayed partner should use this list less and less. The betrayed partner should also provide a list.
- Show empathy, remorse and compassion. This is HUGE! The betrayed partner wants to see you break down and cry. They want you to put yourself in their shoes and feel it. Take a lot of time (your partner is stuck with this for life” and put yourself in their shoes. Feel the emotions they feel and tell them how that made you feel. They want to be able to feel your guilt. If you are a person who has a problem expressing emotions, you could always write a letter. Never stop showing remorse!
- Answer ALL the questions your partner has about your affair activity. Answer them truthfully no matter how hard it is to tell them. The more truthful you are the more the betrayed spouse can regain trust. The more quickly you answer the better. If you hesitate your partner will use their imagination which is a lot worse than the truth. Be extra careful to not divulge certain information that could cause triggers for the betrayed spouse.
- One of the common sayings that come from the betrayed is “I just want the old them back.” In a way you can do this. Discuss with your partner exactly what it is that they consider the old you. Ask them if there is anything you could do to help them. Deep down the betrayed know you or your relationship will never be the same but to have you care about being “you” before the affair is important to them.
- Check in on your partners happiness level. Let them know yours. Every……single…… day. Make a conscious decision to do this. Once a day is good but do realize your partner may wake up happy and go to bed angry. Checking in often lets your partner know you are empathetic to their feelings.
- Release all info about the mistresses. If you hide a single thing and the betrayed partner finds out it can be detrimental to healing for the betrayed partner. Only offer information your partner asks for. Be careful giving names especially if there are multiples. You would be surprised how a name can trigger (refer to article) you at the strangest times and can last years after the discovery. Only offer names if the betrayed partner asks.
- SEEK HELP FOR YOURSELF! Both the betrayer and the betrayed need to seek medical help. If nothing else see a family physician and let them know what happened. You may need to get tested for STD’s. You may feel mentally great at first and then suddenly 3 months down the road you take a nosedive. If one partner does not seek medical help this is certain sign a partnership will not last. If you are not finding what you need from professionals then seek different kind of help. Keep searching, do not give up the search. There is someone out there that fits you and can help you through this.
- Allow the betrayed spouse all the time in the world to heal. Healing takes place over a long period of time. Even 2 years after the discovery the betrayed spouse may have a trigger. The discovery day may always be recognized by them. The healing from this can take up to 3 years in some cases more. Your partner will never forget your affair/s but they will forgive.
- Never stop telling the truth, EVER. Keep up with the honesty. This is a simple thing you can do to rebuild trust. This is a great way to rebuild yourself as well.
- Tell ALL! The betrayed partner wants to hear it all no matter how small of an event or thought it was. If they were to find out down the road it may be considered hiding information which is the same as lying. If you were at the store and your mistress was there, you should immediately tell your partner.
- Do not expect your partner to “Pretend Normal.” I can be detrimental to your partner if they are expected to act as if nothing happened.
- You need to accept your character defects. You will not be safe for your partner if you cannot accept your character defects. You need to accept your personal reality no matter how tough it is. Do not underplay what you did. Own up to it. Become a person YOU can respect.
- Talk kindly of your partner. Your partner is listening to all your words. Example: If you are on the phone with a friend and this friend asks you to come over and hang out do not say “I have to check with the boss first.”
ALL THE ABOVE STEPS ARE GREAT ONES TO TAKE. YOU MAY NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN BUT YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE BETTER.