STEP THREE- HAVE THE BALLS (INTEGRITY AND CONVICTION) TO FIND OUT HOW COME THE INFIDELITY HAPPENED
At this step Mike goes willingly into therapy because Mike wants to know how he caused the infidelity. Therapy will also be the place to work on his feelings of guilt and shame. Don't be sharing your guilt and shame with your partner. Remember she is the injured party.
This isn't rocket science at this step. The obvious question the infidelity poses to Mike is "If I don't know how this occurred for me then I pretty much am going to repeat my behavior. Just a matter of time and when. The same goes for you. You want to know how come this happened. Otherwise you're highly susceptible to repeat your behavior.
Conviction is the key here for Mike. The conviction and resolve to know even if you lose your relationship. That's right even if I lose the relationship.
The insight here is that Mike can't make a change within himself if he doesn't know what to change.
STEP FOUR-COMMIT TO CHANGE FOR YOURSELF
As Mike has been acquiring insight into how come he committed the infidelity; he now has to begin the process of change.
Mike (you) now has to commit to wanting to make changes for himself (yourself). He see's the benefit of change for himself. This is the only way he will begin to have the change or changes stick or integrate into his person. If Mike only changes to please his partner; get her off his back; out of guilt. Then none of these changes will be permanent. Mike (we) will backslide into old behavior. Just a matter of time.
Some of these changes could include the following:
- better communication skills with Jessica (your partner)
- being emotionally honest, self-initiated sharing of his feelings ( this means you share your feelings without her having to pry it out of you);
-improved empathy when listening to Jessica/your partner ( this means more than "u-huh, I understand...and all that bullshit we say when
we're not listening);
-learning to not be afraid of emotional conflict
-learning the skills to resolving emotional conflict
-practicing a greater sense of other
It's important to realize that these changes are not easy and don't happen overnight. Remember, change is an ongoing process and these changes occur during therapy; yes, I said therapy. This is a process that must happen in order to heal and recover trust in your relationship; and if not this relationship, save yourself from making the same mistake over again.
Addendum: What Is A Greater Sense of Other?