Finding out about your partner’s infidelity can cause shocks that can at least temporarily break all trust. In some cases, PTSD-like symptoms can emerge. The natural thing to do is follow up with frequent checks of your partner’s email, internet history, phone bills, etc. Whether this is a good idea depends on your unique situation and cannot be simply answered through a blog.
That being said, the betrayed partner needs to be able to ask questions about what happened. This is often the most helpful and least conflictual in therapy. For the person who has been betrayed, there may be a need to keep asking these questions. The partner who committed the affair may want to answer questions once and then move on. If the partner who committed infidelity is not entirely truthful at first, that is normal (not saying it is right, but it is typical).
Dr. Shirley Glass, author of “Not ‘Just Friends'” admittedly recommends that some form of hypervigilance may be necessary and helpful (2007). However, she is also quick to point out that many marriage and family therapists disagree with her. What does seem to make sense is that this hypervigilance is best when both partners are aware of what is happening. For example, both partners may agree to share account passwords after an affair. This decision can also best be discussed in therapy.
Rebuilding Trust After an Affair is Essential
Rebuilding trust can take time. It is never too late if you have committed an affair to come clean. Not to sound like a broken record, but this can often be best accomplished through therapy. Most betrayed partners are more interested in knowing the truth about what happened than actually what happened (not that what happened doesn’t matter). If the relationship is to work in the long run, trust is often the key.
The Gottman’s point out that the relationship often needs to be rebuilt after an affair. The key pieces may still be there, but they need to be put back together. Therapy is not about judging what happened in the past, but looking at ways to make things better in the future. Therapy for infidelity can be admittedly uncomfortable at times but is an important step toward rebuilding your relationship. Read more about interesting facts about affairs.
Glass, S. (2007). Not” just friends”: rebuilding trust and recovering your sanity after infidelity. Simon and Schuster.