After The Affair

After the Affair - Cheryl Woolstone Counselling Blog Post

Can your relationship survive infidelity?

Once love and trust are shattered can you ever get it back? Is forgiveness possible?

Dr. Janis Abrahams Spring in her book, After the Affair, answers “yes” to these questions…providing that each of you is willing to look honestly at yourself and your relationship, and acquire the skills you need to get yourself through this crisis.

I recommend this book to my clients because her approach is balanced and comprehensive. There is a focus on the steps and skills needed for recovery.

Equal consideration is given to the emotions, concerns and perspectives of both parties. This is what sets her book apart.

Dr. Abrahams Spring, spells out her beliefs about affairs in the first chapter:

  • If you are serious about reconnecting and recovery, you must end the affair – restoring an intimate attachment to your partner is impossible if the affair is ongoing
  • There are no victims and villains, betrayed or betrayer – each partner must accept an appropriate share of responsibility for what went wrong
  • Does not believe that you should stay together no matter what or bolt because you feel unhappy – your decision should be thoughtful, not based on feeling alone, feelings in fact, may betray you

Phases of Recovery

Stage One: Reacting to the Affair: “Is What I am Feeling Normal?”

Stage Two: Reviewing Your Options: “Should I Stay or Leave?”

Stage Three: Recovering From the Affair: “How Do We Rebuild Our Life Together?”

If you do the work that Dr. Springs lays out in her book it is possible to create a relationship that surpasses your expectations.

Don’t Frost a Stale Cake

The process of restoring trust after infidelity can take a very long time, that doesn’t mean that on a daily basis you are immersed in hurt and suspicion. There is a fragility to a relationship for many years following an affair. It takes courage, commitment and perseverance to recover and re-build a relationship.

More is required than creating new positive experiences together. It is essential to learn how to communicate on a deeper, more vulnerable level.

Unless you open yourself up to your partner’s feelings and communicate your own, these new positive experiences are like “frosting on a stale cake”.

This book is filled with wisdom, clarity and compassion, truly a gift to couples in the aftermath of an affair.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 1:50 PM and is filed under Book Reviews, IMAGO and Relationships. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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