You CAN repair the damage and re-connect with your partner after a big blow up or betrayal.
It might have been a huge blow-up where you and your partner both said awful, hurtful words. It could have been a slow-building tension that brought coldness and distance.
The effects are the same...your relationship feels like it has collapsed.
The strong foundation of trust, communication, respect and even love has been shaken and maybe feels destroyed. You're wondering if it is even possible for you two to repair the damage and rebuild your connection.
You might be very upset, not sleeping or eating well and fearful about your future. You may also be feeling justified about what you've said or done. After all, your partner did _____ !
When your relationship feels like it's broken and in pieces, try this:
#1: Be honest with yourself about what happened.
The first thing we recommend you do after a relationship collapse is to assess the state of your relationship. If your mind racing ahead to what you think the future might hold or to what you guess your partner will do next, stop. If you are re-playing in your mind your version of what went down between you two, stop.
Slow down your thinking and, instead, get very clear about literally what happened.
This is going to be your biased perspective, so be as choosy as you can about what you believe is true. Think about what was actually said and the actions that really happened. Go with observations and verifiable information when at all possible.
If, for example, you are “sure” about your partner's intentions or even feelings, ask yourself if you can really know this. Keep returning to what was said, what was done and how you feel about it. This is a time to know, with as much certainty as you can, the place where you stand.
#2: Be honest with yourself about what is in your best interest.
Next, we invite you to consider the wisdom of repairing your relationship. We do NOT think that people should throw away a perfectly good relationship just because mistakes (even big mistakes) were made or an argument happened.
But, we also know how important it is to make conscious choices about one's life...this includes the conscious choice to stay in or to leave the relationship.
Think about what is in your best interest. Think about where you stand right now with your partner and also about where you want to go in the future. Remind yourself that you deserve to have the kind of relationship you truly want.
It's also helpful to review what you know about your partner's actions and stated intentions. For instance, if your partner had (or is having) an affair, get clear about whether or not the affair has actually ended. If it hasn't, do you have any indication that your mate is planning to stop cheating? If he or she has vowed to end the affair but has done nothing to follow through, consider that as well.
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