When a relationship is rocked by adultery, there is often an attempt to reconcile.
After all, things were good once; who doesn’t want to believe that perhaps they can be good again?
And maybe there’s a house, and kids involved. Dissolution of a relationship is a big deal, and anyone could be forgiven for hoping against hope that you can both work it out.
But reconciliation after adultery is hard.
So you see a therapist and talk and do all of the other things you and your partner are supposed to do to make it work.
But somehow, you’re just not feeling it.
That spark or whatever you saw that you hoped could be nurtured into something real and meaningful is just not enough. Despite the best intentions of two people, there are times when reconciliation after adultery simply doesn’t work, regardless of whether your partner is doing all the right things.
In that case, it may be time to move on to the next steps in a relationship.
It’s a scary prospect.
But there are important things you can do to help make the transition easier for you and your family.
Be Honest with Yourself and Your Spouse
If you reach a point in the reconciliation process where you’re feeling like it isn’t working, then it is vitally important that you are honest about this with yourself and your partner.
This is the time that real soul searching is critical.
Is the problem that trying to get back together isn’t working, or is the problem that the process is too hard?
Maybe it’s taking longer than you expect, or it’s more emotionally wrenching than you expect. All of these feelings are understandable and valid.
Are you expecting the grass to be greener on the other side? That’s not likely to be the case.
Reconciliation takes work on both of your parts.
Probably more work than anything else in your entire life up until this point.
Only you can decide whether to give the relationship more time or decide to call it quits. But be sure that that’s what you want to do. This is not the time to rush into a decision.
Get Professional Help with Reconciliation After Adultery And Recovery
Chances are good that you and your spouse have already been seeing a therapist together. It’s important to continue this process, being up front with your feelings in therapy sessions, so that the therapist can guide you both as you consider your options, including ending the relationship.
It may also be helpful to you to meet with a therapist or infidelity coach separately in order to figure out what your options are, and if ending the relationship is the right decision for you.
A coach can help you clarify your thinking. He or she can help you ensure that you’ve thought through all of your options and the consequences of each.
Talking to a few close family and friends can also provide emotional support. Be straightforward in the telling; you may want to come up with a very brief “script” so that you’re prepared.
Understand that friends and family may have their own ideas of what they think you should do, so be prepared to stand strong; you make the decisions, not them.
Decide What You Want to Do
If reconciliation isn’t working for you, then you need to decide what your next steps are.
How sure are you that it isn’t working, and why?
There may be times during the reconciliation process that progress seems to stall; this doesn’t necessarily mean that progress isn’t being made.
Are there steps you can take to continue the process but differently?
For example, it may be that right now, you and your partner are still living in the same house. Is it necessary that one of you move out?
This could provide you with the space you need to heal at your own pace.
On the other hand, are you ready to leave the relationship?
Consider all of the details the ending of the relationship involves, including legal and financial. Remember, there are no wrong decisions here, and only you know what the best path is for you to heal and recover from the trauma of infidelity.
Figure Out the Steps You Need to Take to Get There
Once you know what you want to do, it’s time to make it happen.
Before doing anything, you’ll want to figure out exactly how to get from “here” to “there”. Line up the support and services you will need (therapist, lawyer, accountant, etc.).
Think about whether you are financially able to separate from your partner, depending on how your family finances are arranged; if not, what kind of financial needs will you have, and how can you meet them?
Begin making plans, such as finding a new place to live, etc. Draw up a list of tasks and a general timeline to keep yourself on track; this process may feel overwhelming at times, and timeline can help you figure out what to do next, and also remind you of your progress up until now.
Tell your partner of your plans so that if necessary, they can plan accordingly, too (find a place to live, etc). Again, it’s important to realize that this process takes time also.
Of course you want to get through it as quickly as possible but it may never feel quick enough.
As a couple struggles in the wake of infidelity, many will make an attempt to reconcile. And that’s admirable.
However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out, even when the other party is doing everything they’re “supposed” to do. When that happens, you’re left with some hard thinking to do, and tough decisions to make.
But when you carefully consider your options and develop a solid plan, and then take the necessary steps to make it happen, it is possible to move on from infidelity and make a fresh start.
Knowing your own mind and developing a strong support network can make a big difference in deciding to move on from a relationship marked by cheating.
Reconciliation after adultery isn’t easy; sometimes, it isn’t possible either, but you owe it to yourself to consider all of your options.