How to break the post-affair deadlock and get true forgiveness
You’ve told your partner you’re sorry, recognised you’ve made some bad choices and want to put the past behind you.
Unfortunately, your attempts to make things better blow up in your face and your partner keeps getting hurt all over again.
Alternatively, you don’t know what you truly want. One minute you’re committed to saving your marriage and the next wondering if it’s past saving and tempted to contact your affair partner again.
Whatever the circumstances, your discussions about the affair go round in circles or keep coming back to the same questions that either you can’t answer or your partner considers your responses inadequate.
Andrew G Marshall is a marital therapist with over thirty years experience helping couples recover from infidelity and in this compassionate book, he will help you:
- Find clarity for once and for all
- Stop getting overwhelmed by the pain and communicate more effectively
- Avoid the traps which suck the hope out of your recovery
- Find the answers to important questions from your partner
- Tackle both the immediate crisis and the underlying problems that caused it
- Break the cycle that’s hurting you both
- Work together as a team to find a way forward
If you are the injured party and can’t get your head round how your partner could have been unfaithful, this book will help you too. By putting it in into your partner’s hands, you’ll open his or her eyes to why he or she keeps making matters worse. Just as importantly, you’ll get an insight into what’s going on inside his or her mind.
This is an optimistic book
Although affairs cause a huge amount of pain, they also provide a great opportunity to learn about yourself, your partner and your relationship. Although the couples who arrive in my office in the most distress are those dealing with infidelity, they’re also the ones who leave the happiest.
So why should that be? My other couples know where the bodies in their relationship are buried – for example, she earns more than him or he hates her mother – but they tip toe round these difficult areas and focus instead on the immediate problems that brought them into counselling.
What makes working with couples recovering from infidelity particularly rewarding is they are prepared roll up their sleeves and not only look at the dead bodies but give them a proper burial – in case they might continue to haunt their relationship.
I never thought I would write this book
I didn’t believe there would be a market. Traditionally, someone who has had an affair wants to clean up the mess as quickly as possible and forget it ever happened. They certainly don’t want to shine a light into all the dark corners of their life.
However, over the last three years, something wonderful has happened. Men and women have started turning up in my office wanting to understand why they had an affair, willing to act on what they discover and committed to their own personal growth.
Unfortunately, these clients all had the same problem. They had no sense of how to start this process, nor what questions to ask themselves and if they did have some tentative thoughts no idea how to answer them.
So if you’ve had an affair and you’re wondering what next, let me explain my programme to help not only your partner but you to recover and to rebuild your relationship (or separate on amicable terms). My main aim is for you to understand yourself better – hence the title ‘Why did I cheat?’.
Understanding yourself will benefit your partner in a number of ways. You are less likely to be grumpy, react badly to his or her questions and explode – thereby setting back both of your recoveries. You will also be less likely to panic, lose all hope and do something stupid.
For example, checking on your affair partner’s facebook page which will inevitably be discovered and prompt a fresh crisis. I will also help you cope with your difficult feelings – like guilt, shame, remorse – so you don’t get overwhelmed, close down or threaten to end the relationship (even though you don’t really mean it).
Perhaps you are comfortable with the subtitle of the book – help your partner (and yourself) recover from your affair – but worried about the main part: Why did I cheat? The term ‘cheating’ puts your back up and it sounds like I am trying to shame you. I apologise. In the book, I talk about being unfaithful, infidelity and affairs. However, cheating is the term used in everyday discussions.
Your partner will probably have asked ‘why did you cheat’ and I needed a title that attracts attention, explains quickly what the book was about and does not have to much therapy speak (which can be a barrier to many readers). Let me reassure you, I am not interested in shaming you. I believe there are two sides to every story and I want to help you fully understand yours.
Can this book helps partners of people who have been unfaithful?
If you have discovered that your partner has had an affair, you have my deepest sympathy. I hope this book will help you too.
If you can’t get your head round how he or she could have betrayed you, or his or her explanations make matters worse rather than better, this book will provide fresh insights.