As a couple's therapist of course I work with many couples who want to start over after a recent betrayal or years of disappointment or distance. I believe we can get a fresh start but it takes a commitment to forgive and to develop new patterns and new memories together. Here are key emotional steps to take to "Unbreak your heart" and have a new beginning in relationship.
1) Identify what you value about the relationship. When we are hurt it is tempting to focus on the difficult and less-than-appealing elements of our partners and our relationship. But couples who work through difficult times keep their eyes on the positives and can clearly say why they want to stay with this person and what they love about them. This step can also give you clarity. If the only reason you can think of to stay together is that you dread the task of separating, that may not be enough to get you through. By clarifying what has worked in your relationship, you can build on those things and stay motivated to do the repair work needed.
2) Get support for the relationship. If it was easy to just press the reset button and get over the hurt, you would just do that. The truth is if your friends and family have heard you complain about your partner month after month, they may support you but find it hard to support the relationship. Also if you and your partner are trying to be the only support for each other, you may find yourselves in a pattern of constantly having difficult talks about past hurts and how you are feeling. Therapy is great because it gives you an unbiased, experienced support person and it allows you and your partner to focus time together outside of therapy on having fun together again, which is critical. Keep reading...
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