“The daggers of silence last longer than anything ever spoken.” Shannon L. Alder
The nature of my coaching practice means I have to exist in the grey areas of life in order to understand human behavior; things are rarely black and white when it comes to healing a struggling and disconnected marriage. What works for one couple might not work for another and I’m not tied to the idea that there is only one correct way to do marriage.
In order for a marriage to heal after an affair is discovered, there is ONE THING that has to be present.
It’s not negotiable and its presence or absence is both visible and palpable.
And when it is not present, there is no healthy option except to walk away from the marriage as peacefully and lovingly as possible.
The person who had the affair has to be able to acknowledge the pain they have caused their partners.
- This is not the same as making the conscious choice to not tell your spouse about the affair.
- This is not the same as healing the pain that was caused for them.
- It is also not the same thing as needing to feel regret about having the affair. (It is possible to acknowledge another person’s pain, but not actually regret the choice that caused that pain.)
This is about having compassion and empathy for having caused another human being a great deal of heartache. If your spouse is unable (or unwilling) to do that, they’re not giving you anything to work with in order to create a new version of your relationship together. They’re showing you that they’re not equipped with the basic elements of being engaged in a healthy, loving and committed relationship.
As well, if the one who cheated is blaming their partner as the reason they had the affair… that gives you some important information from which to make a decision about whether or not the marriage can be healed after the affair. It can’t…at least not without sacrificing your soul in the process.
Now the only healthy option you have available to you is in choosing HOW you walk away from the relationship. You could blow it up in some well-earned self-righteous anger and blame or you can walk away peacefully and with dignity. And of that, my friend, you are in control.