Is It Possible To Overcome Betrayal?

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With the split of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore hitting the newswire it brings up the question ...

With the split of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore hitting the newswire it brings up the question: Can a couple overcome betrayal?

We believe it's possible to come out of the other side better and stronger as a couple, however, dramatic changes need to happen in order for the relationship to survive. This is not something that can change quickly or without effort. There’s a shift that must take place for both parties to rectify and move on — togetherYour (Incorrect) Concept Of 'Soul Mate' Is Keeping You Single

Here are some key things to ponder if you're going to make a go at your relationship after an affair:

1. Do not rush to forgiveness.

It is very common to want to avoid conflict and that may cause us to rush to forgiveness. Expressing our emotions is a way of valuing ourselves and falling into sacrifice. It is imperative to express how we feel in the moment.

If we rush to forgiveness, we are devaluing ourselves and our feelings. This will deny your own feelings in order to keep the relationship going and is a recipe for anger and resentment. To Argue Or Not To Argue? Is That The Question?

When there has been a betrayal it is very easy to stumble into blaming language, so be sure to take responsibility for your own feelings and express yourself with "I" statements. 

2. Take some space.

One of you needs to check into a hotel or stay with a friend. It is important to take some time away from each other. You may be worried that this will allow a separation easier to occur, however, this is not the case. The 5 'Golden Rules' Of A Trial Separation

Having time away from each other to process your own feelings can only happen if you're not in each other's space and will allow an opportunity to see if you both want to do the work to re-engineer the relationship.

If you're going to "lose" him, that will happen regardless of your requests and your actions. Giving him space to decide what he truly desires will ease your fears that he isn't committed to creating this new relationship, because he's made that decision on his own.

3. Honor how you feel.

Take the time to feel the full gamut of emotions that you will surely feel. Work your way into and through every emotion. Take good care of yourself by doing things that allow you to feel whatever you are feeling in the moment. Take a bubble bath, hikes, walks, listen to music … just be with yourself and allow those feeling to flow through you. 5 Great Tips For Improving Communication

It may feel overwhelming at times, but you are capable of handling much more than you know. When you try to avoid your feelings and keep things under control then you are going to have trouble moving on from this event. If you want to save the relationship, or if you want to be able to move on to another relationship, then you have to process your feelings around this event. 

The goal is to move through your emotions — not gloss over them.

4. Start practicing forgiveness.

Now that you've given yourself time to move through your emotions, you can start opening your heart to forgiveness. Start having some conversations with him and express how you are feeling in the moment (not about what was, but what is right now).

If he wants to make a go of it and you agree to do that (here is the very important part) — Really forgive him and move on. To be in forgiveness means that it's behind you. Open your heart to your man, see him for who he is, and think of how you feel when you spend time together. How Compassion Facilitates Forgiveness

Trust is not on a dimmer switch. Either we trust someone, or we do not. So if you're going to go for it, jump in with both feet and trust!

If worry is something that comes up for you and it is making you anxious, work with a professional to get support for yourself. It is important to have an outlet to discuss your worry (and let's be honest, if this is where you are getting stuck than this pattern of worry has been holding you back in all areas of your life — and this is a great opportunity to release this old pattern that is not serving you). 9 Steps To Setting And Reaching Relationship Goals

5. Set up the rules for moving forward.

Ask for what you need. Tell the truth. It's perfectly okay to say, "If this ever happens again, you will not have another chance. We will be done." Spell it out in your words, in your way (and here is the very hard part) — honor that agreement!

What often happens is that we pick up where we left off in the relationship in a few months … and old habits are difficult to break, but not impossible. Honor yourself by not falling into sacrifice in the relationship. Know what your needs are, express them, and expect him to meet your needs. Got Closure? How to Move Forward

6. Clearly explain what you expect from each other.

He needs to take action to earn your trust. Whether it is in learning to express his feelings and ask for what he needs, wanting him to seek help, or if  both of you want to seek help, it is ok to ask that he take certain actions to show his desire to repair the relationship.

Hold him to these agreements. Be clear on what your deal breakers are and stick to them. It is important for him to know that there are consequences for his actions. What Does “Learn a Lesson” In Relationships Mean?

When you do this then there is no need to be snooping for things, or to be worried about what he may or may not do. Be clear on what you are doing and how you are feeling when you spend time with him. If he requests that you make some changes and you agree, be sure to honor those agreements 100%. You much each participate in the restructuring of the relationship so that old patterns die off.

Know the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" This is most certainly true in relationships. This could be an amazing opportunity to re-engineer the relationship and create something fabulous!