You’ve been caught in- or confessed to- an affair. And now, you’re sorry and ready to move forward on saving the relationship. But there’s a problem: your betrayed partner is devastated.
See, you’ve known about it for a while. You've had time to adjust to the presence of this other person. You’ve somehow justified or rationalized your actions and/or have grown accustomed to the guilt. Basically, you’ve had time to “process.” Your spouse or SO on the other hand, has not. He or she has just had the ground ripped out from underneath their feet. S/he is in a terrifying free-fall into the bottomless pit of eternal pain and suffering. S/he is not going to know up from down for a while- a long while- as s/he goes through the unwanted, yet necessary roller-coaster- like stages of grief.
How do you help- or at least avoid causing more damage? That’s a very complex question that certainly can’t be answered in one post. But I can tell you what certainly NOT to say. The following statements are commonly assumed (by the betrayer) to be helpful, but are actually not. Not even close. In fact, they are quite harmful, and may stall or terminate the healing process.
If you look closely, you may notice that these statements are more about you than about your injured partner. They are defensive in nature, and used to minimize, rationalize, deflect, and/or otherwise avoid the issue, rather than promote healing.
A Former Cheater Should Never Say...
Basically, it’s not about you right now. You’ve already had your time making it about you. That’s what got you into this mess, remember? Right now, and for a good long while, it is about your partner and his or her healing. If you are truly remorseful for the pain you've caused, avoiding these ugly statements should be at the top of your list.
Be true to yourself and to others, my friends, - M
photo credit: pixabay
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
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