Infidelity can one of the most challenging and painful things a marriage can go through. Thankfully, there are effective ways to work through it, especially if both are open to it. Working with couples on the road to affair recovery, I encourage a number of basic rules for the work to be as effective and successful as possible. Here is one:
Allow for Transparency
With the rebuilding of trust being one of the most important elements of healing from an affair, there must be an environment of transparency in which the one cheated on can begin to believe it will not happen again. This will mean different things for different people but it could include having access to all e-mail accounts of the unfaithful one, phone records and daily schedule. Whatever the person in pain needs from the other to move forward, it's crucial that they be allowed this.
Allowing such openness feels invasive to some people and I've even seen the unfaithful one be extremely resistant to this idea. I encourage them to keep in mind that they were the one ultimately brought them to this place (barring pre-existing relationship problems which are important and looked at later in the process) and to allow this transparency is a statement of being humbled, apologetic and sincere about rebuilding the relationship.
Lisa Brookes Kift is a Marriage and Family Therapist and author of The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples, a cost effective, do-it-yourself, therapist-guided alternative to couples counseling.
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