|The impact of infidelity on most relationships is very painful. Crisis typically ensues and the betrayed partner’s sense of emotional security and safety is shattered. To regain some stability, many betrayed, hurt and confused partners try to “piece” together what happened. In the moment, it feels like knowing EVERYTHING is what’s best for your relationship. The participating partner has an opportunity to be transparent and honest and the betrayed partner seems to calm down momentarily as they gather as many details regarding the infidelity.|
Knowing too much about your partner’s infidelity can affect your relationship in a much more harmful way, though.
The hurt and betrayed partner now has visual images, locations where infidelity took place, and experiences of their partner that will become unforgettable. The betrayed partner becomes frequently triggered and enraged at the infidelity, thus interfering with the healing process.
In her Ted Talk, “Rethinking Infidelity,” Esther Perel discusses how investigative questions can affect relationships impacted with infidelity differently. These questions can be early steps to creating opportunities for deeper, more meaningful conversations.
Examples of these investigative questions are:
• What did this affair mean for you?
• What were you able to express or feel that you were no longer able to do with me?
• What was it like for you when you came home?
• What is it about us that you value?
• Are you pleased this is over?
Having a safe place to explore these questions after infidelity is very important. Finding a mental health professional to help you navigate infidelity can be very beneficial to your relationship.
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