“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” -Lao Tzu
You may be feeling like you’re world has been turned upside down. You’re still together but at the same time, you are mountains away from each other and the distance keeps growing. This isn’t what you signed up for, you deserve to feel loved and wanted. Maybe you are questioning whether you even know the person laying next to you and you don’t know where to go from here. You want and deserve answers but you question if it will only cause more pain. You are not alone, there is hope and we can help.
Addressing the Immediate Crisis
- During this stage, there are intense emotions that range from anger, sadness, guilt, shame, denial and loss. There can also be a tremendous amount of anxiety around the uncertainty of the future.
- These emotions can be difficult to navigate alone and need to be processed.
- The goals in the stage include gaining support and coping skills as well as working towards acceptance.
- This stage is about understanding what the affair meant to the involved partner as well as how it impacted the uninvolved partner.
- This stage is meant to help the couple make a shift from “detective” fact questioning that can often lead to more pain to “investigative” questioning. These questions address love, sex, desire, loss, intimacy, eroticism, accountability, trust, forgiveness and much more.
- By understanding the meaning and motives, the couple is able to have a better understanding of what led to the affair and therefore make healthy decisions about the future of their relationship.
Looking Toward the Future
- This stage is focused on future plans, whether that is together or apart.
- If you have decided to stay and build your new relationship together, it is important to do so with a good foundation.
- Reflect on the question of what will be different. How have your beliefs or values changed? What do you want and need from your partner?
- Conversations about how to trust and love again.