While an affair constitutes the most devastating event for a relationship short of death, there are two potential positive outcomes:
A. Reconciliation can lead to a significantly stronger relationship, or
B. the fatal weakness in the marriage can be dealt with so that everyone’s losses are reduced.
The depth of trauma produced by your loved one’s affair betrayal is mind and life altering. Affair stress impairs judgment, crushes the soul, undermines self-esteem, threatens the future and sickens the body. When this happens, it is necessary to manage your emotions as well as controlling and promoting beneficial rather than destructive reactions.
Specifically, consider the following three steps:
1. Don’t take any action until you’ve decided what is in your best interests.
2. Identify and set your goals. Act in ways that leave your options open but preserve your best interests. You need a plan to proceed cautiously and carefully without turning a serious problem into a disaster.
3. Take charge of yourself by using these Do’s and Don’ts as a guide:
a. Do consult a family law attorney.
b. Don’t make threats about taking legal action.
a. Do keep your own counsel.
b. Don’t confront your partner.
a. Do manage your anger and negative feelings.
b. Don’t let powerful emotions overwhelm you.
a. Do think before talking
b. Don’t tell the children
a. Do consider your intentions
b. Don’t follow your impulses
a. Do maintain your integrity
b. Don’t try to please the perpetrator
a. Do have patience
b. Don’t expose the affair unless it’s to your advantage
a. Do keep silent
b. Don’t contact the spouse or the other party
a. Do act in your best interest
b. Don’t call your partner’s employer
a. Do take charge of circular thinking
b. Don’t drive yourself crazy asking "why?"
a. Do act with dignity
b. Don’t physically or verbally assault the betrayer