Can Cheating Help Your Marriage? Follow the steps and find out.

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Can Cheating Help Your Marriage? Follow the steps and find out.
Sometimes an affair can be a wakeup call for a relationship. Follow these steps and find out if it can happen for you.

Can infidelity ever be positive? Isn’t cheating a way to kill a marriage? Doesnt betrayal breaks up even the strongest relationships?

For many that is exactly what happens. The pain and betrayal of infidelity sometimes cannot be healed. An affair can mean the end of a marriage or committed partnership, and for some couples it should be the end. Affairs can be devastating and harmful to everyone involved. Many times the upheaval to the children and the spouse is not worth the price of staying together.

 

But for some couples, an affair can be a wake up call.

The disclosure of an affair can mean that a relationship has reached its breaking point. The crisis can facilitate a new direction in the relationship. For some marriages this can be a positive development.

Chris and Ann, married 20 years, agree.

"We NEVER would have made it for the long haul if it hadnt been for Chris's affair! I know it sounds crazy," Ann says, "But its the best thing that ever happened to us. I realized after I found out he was cheating that I had to change, and fast, if I wanted to make our marriage work. It wasnt just Chris who had drifted, I was so far out of the marriage that it was no surprise that this is where it led. One of us was bound to cheat eventually. Now we are talking more, spending more time together and making room in our lives for our intimate needs. I wouldnt wish this on anyone, but I am glad in a way that it happened when it did. We are choosing to stay together and make things work. We are the lucky ones."

Some couples swear that cheating was a the wake up call that they needed in their marriage. It is a shock to a system that may bring it back to life. The only way to take advantage of this shocking revelation, however, is to follow the steps of recovery.

The first step to recovery is to talk. And not about the details of the affair.

Can infidelity ever be positive? Isn’t cheating a way to kill a marriage? Doesnt betrayal breaks up even the strongest relationships? For many that is exactly what happens. The pain and betrayal of infidelity sometimes cannot be healed. An affair can mean the end of a marriage or committed partnership, and for some couples it should be the end. Affairs can be devastating and harmful to everyone involved. Many times the upheaval to the children and the spouse is not worth the price of staying together. But for some couples, an affair can be a wake up call. The disclosure of an affair can mean that a relationship has reached its breaking point. The crisis can facilitate a new direction in the relationship. For some marriages this can be a positive development. Chris and Ann, married 20 years, agree. "We NEVER would have made it for the long haul if it hadnt been for Chris's affair! I know it sounds crazy," Ann says, "But its the best thing that ever happened to us. I realized after I found out he was cheating that I had to change, and fast, if I wanted to make our marriage work. It wasnt just Chris who had drifted, I was so far out of the marriage that it was no surprise that this is where it led. One of us was bound to cheat eventually. Now we are talking more, spending more time together and making room in our lives for our intimate needs. I wouldnt wish this on anyone, but I am glad in a way that it happened when it did. We are choosing to stay together and make things work. We are the lucky ones." Some couples swear that cheating was a the wake up call that they needed in their marriage. It is a shock to a system that may bring it back to life. The only way to take advantage of this shocking revelation, however, is to follow the steps of recovery. The first step to recovery is to talk. And not about the details of the affair. In the end, they dont matter as much as the feelings that were happening for both of you at the time the affair occurred. Try to remember everything you were experiencing about your marriage or relationship at the time the affair began - BOTH of you. And talk about these feelings to each other. But remember, talking about emotions means stick to how you feel. Try not to point out what your partner was doing wrong during this time, or what you felt was lacking that drove you to cheat. This is not a feeling. This is an accusation. Dont blame the victim for your behavior. If both of you are honest and talk about what the emotional state of your marriage contained when the exit occurred, you will feel less traumatized by the affair. The second step is to recognize, together, that this is YOUR affair. Not his affair, or her affair. This affair happened to the both of you. And the one who had the affair got to have all the fun, while the partner who is just learning about the affair has to catch up to the information. They are a little behind and are experiencing a wide range of feelings and it will take time to process everything that is happening. Remind yourselves that you will both be in different stages of post-affair disclosure for a while. It can take weeks, months or even years, to catch up to each other. The third step is to focus on the vision of your life together going forward. What is it you want to create now, in your new relationship? Because going back to what WAS will only get you what you have NOW.

Next: Reinventing Your Marriage

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tammy Nelson

Counselor/Therapist

Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC http://www.drtammynelson.com/ email me at tammy@drtammynelson.com

Location: Ridgefield, CT
Credentials: LPC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Sex Therapy
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