So the media will be keeping a beady eye on Tiger Woods and John Terry from now on, but if you don’t have that option, then what guarantees do you have that your partner will not be unfaithful again?
Sorry – How Much Does That Mean?
There is no doubt that the ‘injured’ party will need to hear the word ‘sorry’ from their partner, along with huge piles of remorse and possibly some explanations. Some people find going to counselling is helpful, because it gives an opportunity to get all the anger out in a ‘safe’ scenario, with a mediator. I must admit this is not my favourite method of dealing with problems, but for some people it would definitely be a good starting point. (At some stage though, it is likely to be necessary to go for something more practical or involved, like relationship coaching, or the methods that I am trained in: The Demartini Method).
However, ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean ‘I won’t do it again’. Being willing to say it, and to listen to the hurt of their partner, definitely is a step in the right direction. But it mainly means ‘I’m making an initial effort’ or ‘Sorry I got caught’ or ‘I’m feeling really guilty’.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
It’s great if your unfaithful partner is saying all the right things, but more important that they are backing it up with actions. For instance, being willing to listen to your hurts (not for 20yrs, but for a reasonable while). Potentially cutting off all contact with the ‘other person’. Maybe even going as far as changing mobile numbers, and blocking people from their email accounts. They might need to invest time in some relationship coaching or counselling, to show how important a change is to them.
Be warned, that many people would love to be totally faithful, and definitely mean it when they say that they will be. BUT, they may not know themselves very well, or have realistic expectations of themselves. So they are not purposely misleading you, they are just falling foul of romantic conceptions of what they are capable of. Hence, the importance of them managing to show with their actions, over a prolonged period of time, that there is a change in their psyche. (Mind you there are some people who are very manipulative and will be purposely misleading you, but I’m assuming that you’ll know if you have one of those!).
Collapse of Infatuation
Many of us have never been taught how to tackle the ‘grass is greener’ temptation, or how to reduce an infatuation (I will blog about this when I get a chance) and give it a breath of reality. Hence, we actually have to experience the infatuation, and then get threatened with the loss of what we weren’t appreciating, in order to regain our perspective. you might think that this is very ‘stupid’, however, it is the way that many of us work.
So, are there obvious signs that your partner’s infatuation with being with someone else has been well and truly broken? Can you now see that they had problems with taking responsibility for their lives and the bits that they didn’t like about it? This often translates to thinking that it is the partner’s fault that they are in a job that they don’t like, or having to do boring jobs around the house. Basically, they will blame everyone else and feel victimised for their ‘tough’ lives! So have they gotten over it? Do they now appreciate their lives more, and realise that no one else is making them do anything?
A Willingness To Wait For Trust To Be Rebuilt
The person who was unfaithful needs to have a reality check about how long it will take for their partner to rebuild their trust levels, plus the price that they will probably have to pay. There will be instances when their partner will become insecure and need additional support. Plus there maybe times when the infidelity will be thrown into their faces in arguments. I recommend that their partner attempts to get assistance to work through their issues, so that this doesn’t go on for the rest of their lives, however it would be unreasonable to expect it to never happen.
However, there is another side to the story of trust. We may trust our partners implicitly, but many of us have no idea of the amount of temptation out there, because it might just not be in our value or belief systems to consider getting involved in a relationship with someone else’s partner. You don’t have to be Tiger Woods or John Terry to be attractive to another woman. I’m going to write another blog as soon as I get a chance on the different reasons why the ‘other woman’ gets involved, but in the meantime, here is a little reality check; trusting your partner is fine and it avoids suffocating them. However there is a fine line between ‘trusting’ and ‘taking for granted’. Plus there is a fine line between reasonable and unreasonable expectations. For example, put me in a room of chocolate for a day and you won’t be able to trust me not to eat some. I’d probably be able to last 30 minutes, but not much longer! I’m one of those people who need serious closeness with someone before I can get jiggy, so I’d be very trustworthy on a night out alone. However, goodness knows what I would do if Hugh Jackman told me I was sexy and started stalking me! Maybe it’s just a typical Leo’s reaction to protecting her family, but I wouldn’t be putting my husband into temptations way purposely.
How Long Can You Wait?
There is also another perspective. How long can you wait, until they become trustworthy, and what kind of trustworthy are you looking for? Have you got to know them so well, that you know that in their current job or at their current age, they are very unlikely to be able to resist temptation? However, you know that you can trust them to love you, and wish to remain with you forever? If you can manage to separate out the two sides to your partner, and maintain your confidence levels, then possibly it is worth considering waiting. A great example of this is Sharon Osbourne, who is obviously loved deeply by Ozzy, and he is now definitely faithful, but she did have to wait a while! Potentially, depending on who you are, and what kind of life you would love to have, it might be worth playing the waiting game. A controversial thought I know, but if you would love to stay and are sure that you can count on their commitment to you (if not sexual faithfulness), then don’t cut off your nose to spite your face just because society says you should.
Note: Affairs are obviously a controversial and painful subject and this is just a quick blog post. I recommend that if you are interested, you take some time to read my other posts, and subscribe to this blog, so that you know when I have written more.