April 12th, 2012
An Affair - Is the relationship over?
I have had many clients who have come in for counselling after discovering that their spouse is having an affair. Typically they feel devastated and hopeless and wonder whether there is any purpose in trying to save the relationship.
In fact, an affair, or a crisis in a relationship can offer many gifts to both parties. It can certainly bring to light the underlying lack of communication between partners. An affair does not happen in a vacuum. Often, one or both people are feeling as though they are not getting their needs met and they are unable to get their message across in a calm and constructive manner. An affair can push people into getting help and this can actually increase communication and connection so that the relationship is in a better place than it was before.
After being married for a long time we can tend to take our partners for granted and someone else can take on a rosy glow. If a relationship undergoes a crisis, and both people decide to stay in, then this commitment to the relationship can result in renewed enthusiasm and love and cooperation between partners.
Trust can be the tricky aspect in this scenario. Are they going to do it again? Can I trust them? Can I trust myself to love the other and not get hurt?
How do we know? How can we know?
We can´t. Sometimes you have to just take a leap of faith and trust that this person is with you and made a mistake and is now deciding to stay within the relationship. A quote I use regularly with clients is, "Trust would settle every problem now." So true. What would it cost you to trust each other? What would is cost you to trust yourself and know that you will be OK no matter what happens?
The choice to stay or go is very individual and has to be based on what will bring you long term peace of mind. It may take a little time and effort but a relationship can rise from the ashes, as the mythological phoenix, and can grow and develop into a magnificant relationship.
It all starts with a choice. Your choice. What will you choose?
If this is a difficult choice please contact me for a 20 minute complimentary consultation.