Copyright 2013 Roberta Gallagher
Is it wise to take a chance on an unfaithful partner? Many a betrayed spouse has agonized over that question.
In a marriage or in a committed relationship infidelity is an emotional knife in the gut. Initially, you think forgiveness and relationship repair impossible. And you ask yourself — do I split up / divorce? Or do I work on healing the betrayal?
The answer is it all depends.
Most people want to live a life of integrity, but life presents hurdles and some of us run away. We excessively eat, gamble, drink and avoid the issues that are putting a wedge in our relationship.
Under these circumstances we are vulnerable to violate trust through parallel relationships, one night stands. Even — nowadays — internet companions.
So how can you decide? Here are my 5 tests for deciding to stay or go.
1. Spontaneous Confession
Your partner acknowledged their actions before you found out. The deeper hurts are the denial and lying that most people indulge in that digs a deeper hole.
2. Undefensive Transparency
Your partner becomes transparent. They agree to commit themselves to no passcodes on phones, and open access to their emails. They are willing to break it off on the phone with you there. It will take patience for your partner to not be defensive about being monitored.
3. Information Willingness
Absolutely watch all behavior for inconsistencies between word and deed. Your partner must be willing to non-defensively respond to your needs for information. Your partner has to right to decide that the gory details will be harmful.
4. Taking Responsibility
Your partner must take responsibility for their actions. They must not blame you and use excuses. At some time in the future it is necessary to be curious about what conditions existed in your relationship that influenced their straying.
5. Genuine Humility
For healing to happen, the transgressing partner must be consistently willing to talk about what happened without being defensive. Do you feel a sense of humility and genuine remorse coming from them?
Most important: is this a pattern and does it fall in the category of sex addiction or sense of entitlement. Those two are dealbreakers. It is then time to develop a getaway plan.
What I have seen in my practice is rather ironic. People tell me that the relationship they have developed has transformed into something better than they ever had before. There has been a deepening of love and trust.
Relationship repair is possible. I’ll help you heal and strengthen your partnership or marriage. Let’s get started.