Can Your Marriage Survive Multiple Affairs? My Answer Is Yes, If…
For several decades I owned and managed a thriving counseling practice with several locations while at the same time working full time as a Marriage and Family therapist. During all of those years, there were many times when I saw more couples who were victims of an affair than all of the rest of our clinical staff combined.
This was never purposely planned; it just had a way of working out that way. I usually did not even know why a couple was coming to my office before I met with them the first time – most folks did not want to reveal to the office staff that they were dealing with an affair.
I know that this was more than coincidence because I know that I am uniquely designed to help couples who find they are facing this particular issue. Don’t get me wrong, determining if a marriage can recover from multiple affairs is not easy work – in fact it is hard work, very hard work.
From my years of experience in helping couples recover from affairs, I know that it can be done. I know that certain factors must be true for this to happen. I know that your marriage can survive multiple affairs if the following factors are true:
I know that your marriage can survive multiple affairs if the following factors are true:
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If The Offender Stops The Behavior.
The affair or affairs MUST STOP. Your spouse is currently willing to work at having the marriage repaired, but the affair going on now MUST STOP. Enough damage has been done. If you want to have any hope of saving your marriage you have to determine that you are going to stop this behavior now. Now, I know that this can be difficult to do, AND, I know that your spouse has trouble understanding that this is difficult to do, but you have no choice!
In most of the cases I have dealt with, the offender almost always has some compelling reason why the affair (in their unique case) can’t be stopped, or why they cannot break off ALL contact with their affair partner. I am here to tell you that if you marriage has ANY chance of surviving multiple affairs – the offending behavior has to stop and it has to stop NOW. You may need to grieve the loss, and I can help you do that
And I can help your spouse to accept that you have to grieve the loss – even though the affair should not have happened in the first place. BUT it did happen and now we have to make it stop.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If The Faithful Spouse Knows And Believes The Behavior Has Stopped.
The behavior not only has to stop, and ALL contact with the affair partner has to be cut off completely. In addition, if your marriage is going to survive multiple affairs, your spouse has to KNOW that the behavior has stopped and that you no longer are in contact with the affair partner.
This is a difficult process to work through and you will have trouble navigating it alone. I can guide you through this over time. The faithful spouse has a broken trustometer and as the offending spouse, you have broken it many times. Your spouse wants to be able to trust you, but right now they can’t even trust their ability to trust you. You need my help with this and I will lead you through the process over time. This will take effort and will be frustrating to both of you at times, but my job is to lead you through it.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If Forgiveness Happens.
In order for a marriage to survive an affair or multiple affairs, there must be forgiveness. I want you to know that forgives is possible but that in the case of multiple affairs, forgiveness can be hard work and take time.
Forgiveness is a PROCESS and depending on the nature of the offense, it can take time and have multiple layers. Don’t get stuck here and think it can’t happen or it won’t happen in your case. It CAN happen but it is a process that takes time. It is also a process that can have many layers – sort of like an onion. We can deal with a layer and be in good shape and then something happens and we have another layer to deal with.
This is a natural and normal (and can also be a frustrating) part of the process. I have walked many couples through this process and I can help you with it too.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If Restitution Is Made.
If your marriage is the victim of multiple affairs and you want it to survive, as the offender you will have to discover how to make some form of restitution to your spouse. I am not talking here about crawling on your hands and knees over broken glass.
However, you are responsible for deeply wounding your spouse more than once. Chances are that you have not seen the depth of the wounds they are experiencing because – even though they need your help to heal, they don’t know if they can trust you with their hurt. As the person responsible for causing some of the deepest wounds your spouse has experienced, you are also the person who can help them the most. Neither one of you probably even knows how to get started on this, but I have experience in helping couples find the way. For every
For every couple, it is a unique pathway to healing. I know the path is there and I will help you to find it step by step.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If The offender Works At Rebuilding Trust.
As a couple who are in a marriage that is the victim of multiple affairs, one of the most difficult tasks you face is rebuilding trust. As the faithful spouse, you want to be in a position where you know you can trust your spouse. The problem is, you have no idea how to get there.
Currently, your spouse could be 1,000% trustworthy but you have no idea if you can trust your heart and your thoughts when they tell you that you should trust. As the offending spouse, you are likely experiencing tons of frustration. If you have ended the affair and have cut off all contact with the affair partner and are doing all that you can to let your spouse know that you can be trusted you feel stuck too. You can’t have a video camera on you 24/7, nor should you.
As the offending spouse, you are likely experiencing tons of frustration. If you have ended the affair and have cut off all contact with the affair partner and are doing all that you can to let your spouse know that you can be trusted you feel stuck too. You can’t have a video camera on you 24/7, nor should you.
You get frustrated when something unexpectedly happens that causes your spouse to spiral down into distrust, despair, hurt and anger. This is actually pretty normal and I would say is expected.
As the offending spouse, you at times feel like, “what’s the use, no matter how hard I try I am still not trusted.”
As the faithful spouse, you feel that you are back at ground zero and you don’t like it. You want to trust your spouse, you may even feel pretty confident that they can be trusted, but you just got sucked unexpectedly back down into the black hole of distrust and you need help get out again.
Now that both of you are so upset, it is difficult to climb out of the black hole – for both of you. This, unfortunately, seems to be a natural part of the process and although the two of you get stuck in it, I know the way out. Like other things I have talked about – this is a process, it takes time to overcome and I will help you to become better and better at it!
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If The Offender Accepts That Rebuilding Trust Is Hard Work And Will Often Be Frustrating.
As the offending spouse who has committed multiple affairs, you have to come to terms with the fact that you have completely destroyed the ability of your spouse to trust you. Your spouse wants to trust you but their “trustometer” is broken. That is their ability to trust their ability to trust you no longer works. They want to trust you and at times they feel like they trust you and THEN something inside of them tells them – whoa – you heard this before and you trusted it – remember what happened next – how do you know you can trust it this time.
As the offending spouse who wants to rebuild a marriage that is the victim of multiple affairs, you need to accept the fact that even though your spouse WANTS to trust you and even though you may be 1,000 % trustworthy ALL of the time, your spouse will still have trouble trusting you. This is a fact! This is a result of YOUR behavior. You have taught your spouse repeatedly over time that you can’t be trusted. You earned it and now you have to un-earn it. The best
The best thing you can do is be accepting of this as the truth. The harder you fight this, but more you are painting yourself into the corner of someone who can’t be trusted. Your job now is to prove to your spouse over time that you CAN be trusted. The best (and really only) way to do this is to tell the truth 100 % of the time. Never tell your spouse a lie again and in time they will learn that you can be trusted. Get caught in a lie or ½ truth once and you are at ground zero and must start all over again.
If you really do want to restore your marriage then come to terms with this truth right now. Resist the temptation to express undue anger and frustration about the struggles you spouse has with trust and it will help you to earn their trust over time. If you do not resist this temptation, you will lose trust almost every time even if you browbeat them into accepting your frustration.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If The Offender Learns To Help The Faithful Spouse With Their Pain.
As the offending spouse who has committed multiple affairs, you have inflicted untold pain on your spouse. Every time you get near that pain or hear about that pain or even see a little bit of that pain in your spouse you feel guilty and you want it to go away. If that is true, it is a sign that you are on track for a marriage that will recover from multiple affairs.
Here is another truth that you must come to terms with, and the sooner you learn how to cope with this, the faster your marriage will recover. You have hurt your spouse. You have hurt your spouse deeply. You have hurt your spouse more deeply possibly than any other hurt they have experienced and you did it more than once. That is the truth that is what you have done. Face that truth and decide if you want to help your spouse heal.
If the answer is YES, you want to help, you have a good chance of recovering from your multiple affairs. Helping your spouse with their pain is hard, it is painful, it is sad, it can be time-consuming, it will happen at inopportune times, it is a process and there is a tremendous payoff if you can wade in and do it. You will be wading into deep waters at times and you will be offering your spouse one of the most healing things that can be done given our circumstances. This area of the healing process can be pretty straight forward at times quite tricky at other times. I usually will know where you are likely to get stuck and will guide you through this part of the healing process when the time is right.
You will be wading into deep waters at times and you will be offering your spouse one of the most healing things that can be done given our circumstances. This area of the healing process can be pretty straight forward at times quite tricky at other times. I usually will know where you are likely to get stuck and will guide you through this part of the healing process when the time is right.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If Both Parties Comes To Terms With Why This Happened.
An important part of the healing process when a marriage has experienced multiple affairs is to determine the message of the affair or affairs. Why did this happen? This can be an arduous process to uncover but I find that it is vitally important to know for both of you.
For the faithful spouse, this can be a difficult and painful part of healing. If there are deficits in the marriage that the faithful spouse is responsible for, this will have to be acknowledged and addressed. This does not mean that the faithful spouse is responsible for the affair – it was not your fault.
Honestly, I personally have a difficult time coming up with a reason that to me would make it okay for one spouse to be unfaithful to the other. It is important though to understand why this happened. If you are going to recover from multiple affairs then you need to know why they are happening.
Once you know the answer to that question, you have all sorts of cues and clues on what to do to have a viable, fulfilling, intimate and meaningful marriage. Without the answer to that question, the faithful spouse will always be left wondering if it is going to happen again. This is another part of the recovery process that I will lead both of you through.
A Marriage Can Survive Multiple Affairs If Both Are Able To Live With A Wound That Will Never Totally Disappear.
If your marriage is the victim of multiple affairs you must come to terms with another truth. That truth is that you have one or more deep wounds. Wounds can heal if cared for properly. The deeper the wound, the more time and care it needs to heal.
Deep wounds leave scars. That your marriage is the victim of multiple is part of your lives, part of your story. While this is the truth and it is part of your story, it does not have to define either one of you or your marriage. It may for a while, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
The couples I have worked with who have been victims of multiple affairs who have moved beyond the affairs to legitimate healing have found a way to put the affairs behind them. There is a process I use in working with couples that is my “secret sauce” if you will. When the time is right we determine the ways that will work best for you to put the affairs behind you. You and only you will know when the time is right for this. The offending spouse usually wants this to happen as soon as possible, but the faithful spouse drives this one.
If infidelity has hurt your marriage, we can help put you back on a healing path. It’s hard to determine if your marriage can be saved, but this is the work that will get you that answer. If you’re ready, take the next step now and call 630-333-3202 for a free 15-20 minute phone/Skype consultation. We will tell you about how our process works and you will come away from that call with the information you need to make a decision about how we can best work together.
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