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Betrayed Spouse 101

Rebuilding From The Ashes....Page 2

Full Disclosure First of all, that means the cheater turns over all access to email accounts, voice mail, etc. - basically allows the spouse 'open access' to any form of communication that might be used between the cheater and the former lover. Your spouse may balk at this. If they do, then I must emphatically say that they are not ready to do 'whatever is necessary' to heal your marriage, and they wouldn't have a problem with this if they have nothing to hide.

The second part of full disclosure is letting your spouse know if there has been any form of communication. Again, the words of Dr. Harley: "It is extremely likely that a commitment to remain separated from a lover will be broken unless extreme measures are taken to avoid it. Honesty is an extremely important element in reconciliation, and it should be understood that if the unfaithful spouse ever sees or communicates with the lover, he or she should immediately tell the spouse that it happened. They should then agree on a plan that would prevent a recurrence of contact in the future."

Affairs may or may not be about sex. They may or may not be about emotion. They are definitely about secrecy and intimacy. When you destroy the secrecy, you destroy the relationship. That's why trying to be 'just friends' doesn't work. No betrayed spouse in their right mind would accept the cheater and the Other Woman/Man being friends after the affair is over, so in order to do so, they must be secretive. This heightens the intimacy between them, maintaining the 'connection' and the euphoria of their limited contact. It also creates a no-win scenario at home, as no true rebuilding can occur until those bonds are completely severed.

I had a situation once where the former Other Woman contacted her Married Man via email months after the affair was over, to let him know she had been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. The wife learned of this, and agonized over how they would handle this. To ignore her seemed callous in the extreme. But to re-establish contact seemed detrimental. My answer to her was simple. If her husband felt that he must acknowledge her email, he should tell the Other Woman that he and his wife had read the email, and while they were sorry to hear her news and wished her godspeed in her healing, they had some 'healing' of their own to do, and therefore it would be best if she relied on other supportive friends to help her through this time. By making it clear that the wife knew about all communication between them, and that her 'private' email was being discussed between them, he shut down any thoughts she had about re-establishing intimacy and using him as her support system.

By eliminating the secrecy, and reaffirming again that they are committed to their spouse, the affair has nowhere to go, and the Other Woman/Man is put in the position of feeling 'betrayed' themself, when their attempts at intimacy are shared with another.

Affair-Proofing Your Marriage  This subject is so vast and complicated, I had to move on to a new page! Click HERE for all the tips, pointers and insights you'll need for this process. There is a link on the page to bring you right back here. Go on, go!

Oh, you're back already? What's that, you say? That was a dirty trick? Here you are, hungering for something, anything to save your ailing marriage. You need to pull out all the stops, learn some new funky sexual positions, make gourmet dinners, lose 40 pounds, right? WRONG. I'm not saying any of that is a bad thing, but don't get so hung up in making immediate, radical changes to your lifestyle. Talk to each other. Listen to each other. Really listen. If you can do that much, you'll work it through, gradually. I wish I could give you a simple formula. A list that says "Do this, and you'll get that". But the fact is, no one can predict what's going to work for you or your situation but you. I can tell you this much. If you're unhappy with yourself because you're overweight or clinically depressed or not doing what you want to be doing with your life, take care of it. But do it for you. And I guarantee, once you find a happy and fulfilled you, your spouse will sit up and take notice. Of course, there will be changes made in your marriage, and if you're smart, you'll make plenty of time for each other along the way. Re-establishing that love bond and the intimacy that goes with it happens in a thousand little ways. Yes, it can be flowers and 'date nights', gourmet dinners and wild sexual marathons. But it can also be the way your eyes meet over the head of your daughter, who just won her soccer game. It can be the way your legs tangle together in bed at night. It can be him introducing you as his 'beautiful wife' or her patting your butt in an elevator when nobody's looking. If you're both working toward it, you'll find your way.

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