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Affair Proofing Your Relationship Part 3: Relationship repair when a partner crosses the line

Posted at 1:32 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 15:32:39-04

Therapist Anastasia Pollock finishes our Affair Proofing Your Relationship series. In Part 1, we talked about the signs of danger, you can watch it here . In Part 2, we discussed taking an inventory of your relationship, you can watch that here.

Segment 3: Relationship repair when a partner crosses the line

Affair proofing applies even when one or both partners have crossed the line. It is possible to repair and affair proof against future discretions. Affairs change the landscape of a relationship but that change can actually be very good.

Talk about where things went wrong

Your relationship becomes vulnerable long before an affair is on the horizon. It is important for both partners to look at and acknowledge how and when the relationship started to struggle. Each should take accountability for their actions and lack of action that impacted the relationship. It is easy to point finger and blame but you will be more likely to successful if you look at where your behavior impacts the relationship so you can make changes.

Be patient with the healing process

People heal at different rates. One partner may want to move forward faster than the other, but healing shouldn’t be rushed.

Prepare to talk…A LOT

There may be a lot of questions and there should certainly be a lot of talking about how the relationship needs to change in order to prevent affairs in the future. This time does not have to be all negative. Although it is important to talk about what happened, a great deal of time should be spent reconnecting and getting to know each other again.

Renegotiate boundaries and expectations

When boundaries have been violated, it is necessary to talk about what boundaries need to look like in the aftermath of an indiscretion. Each partner should also talk about the expectations they will have of the relationship and each other.

Create and embrace a new normal

The best news in all of this is that it is possible to have a better relationship post-affair than you did pre-affair. Think of this as an opportunity to start over. Start dating each other again and giving your relationship the time you gave it when you first met.  An affair causes a relationship to crumble, but if affairs are taking place, the relationship likely didn’t have strong footing in the first place. Having the relationship crumble gives partners the chance to build a stronger, sturdier foundation upon which they can build a relationship that is stronger and better than ever.