Let’s discuss surviving infidelity and how to fix a broken marriage.
To discuss this topic, I’d like to introduce a case example.
A man seeks therapy because he is concerned about his recent behavior. Behaviors such as going out with his friends and drinking more often than usual.
He acknowledged he needed to work on this behavior, and it was a good sign that he was seeking help.
He felt he was justified in this behavior due to his wife’s infidelity, and that is what kept him from stopping. He felt justified because his wife had an affair.
When his wife told him about the affair, he was very gracious about it and said he understood. He said he was glad she had stopped it and told him, and all was forgiven and they went on about their lives.
The lie he told himself is he was okay and his behavior was justified. What the lie was covering up is that he was still enraged and devastated by what his wife had done.
He was terrified of telling her about his feelings because he feared if he spoke about negative feelings the relationship would be over.
The step to healing:
It was important for the man to understand that there is a broad stretch of time between telling someone about a negative emotion and the relationship ending. And in that broad stretch of time, there are a lot of steps to take to keep that from happening.
The key was to practice statements.
If he expressed his emotions, and his wife was getting upset or hurt and an argument was starting, he could use the statement, “I am going to stop talking, this is not going as I planned, I do not want this to become a fight, I will touch base with you in a couple of hours.”
Once he was armed with the knowledge that he needs to talk about his emotions, that way they are not driving his uncontrollable behaviors or addictions, he was able to talk to his wife and resolve some of the issues.
They went to couples therapy which also helped. But they were able to get the help they needed because he was able to talk to her about his feelings.
Taking these steps was crucial to overcomimg uncontrollable behaviors and surviving infidelity.
Justifications are not an excuse for your uncontrollable behaviors. You alone are responsible for your behaviors. It’s important to dig deep and find out what the lie is covering up.