It may seem impossible to recover from infidelity. In fact, there is a stigma of shame cast upon people who return to their unfaithful partner. The truth is, most couples can and do recover from infidelity. It's hard and seems almost impossible to overcome such a betrayal, but it can happen.
But first, what defines infidelity? For the sake of this series, I will define it this way:
- A secretive relationship
- An emotional connection
-Real or imagined sexual tension
During this series, I will dive deeper into each step in recovering from infidelity. These posts are my interpretation of the work of Esther Perel. She does such a great job of illustrating the evolution of marriage and the subsequent effects of infidelity in this great TED talk:
The steps are:
1. End the Affair
2. Express true remorse
3. Become the protector of the relationship
4. Bring back your sense of self-worth
5. Stop obsessing over the details and look for meaning and motives
Affairs will always happen, but it is up to the couple to define the meaning of the affair and create a new reality. As Esther so eloquently puts it, "Your first marriage is over, would you like to create a second one together?".
Leana Sykes is a Relationship Counselor and the owner of Leana Sykes Relationship Counseling in Oaklyn, NJ. In-person and online appointments available.