Communication

Couples that have suffered an affair agree that it is very difficult to even just respond with a simple yes or no to a question or statement of their partner. It is often observed that communication is seriously affected and may even come to a complete stop after an affair. Rebuilding the communication can be quite challenging. As the injured party,  you may be struggling with thoughts like these :

1. How could he/she (whom I love) break his/her vows ?

2. Who is this person that I am married to ?  

3. Is this the end of the relationship or will we get past it ?

It is only natural that you will be experiencing communication problems when these type of questions exists in your mind. The cheating spouse may also be struggling with his or her own questions, feelings and thoughts and he or she might also find it difficult to raise these concerns. It will further complicate matters if the cheating spouse is still caught up in the behavioral pattern that resulted in the affair in the first place.

The one component that needs to be agreed upon in order to establish a solid communication pathway, is the behavioral pattern that must be broken in your relationship. It does not matter what form the affair took : one-night stand, long-term, short-term or on-and-off, there is a specific behavior that the cheating spouse engaged in that allowed him or her to hide it from you : dishonesty.  

Your spouse would obviously not have revealed anything that would indicate his or her involvement with another person. The cheater's behavior is deceitful with the sole intention of hiding the truth from you. This dishonesty will interfere when you try to re-establish communication based on trust.

It is therefore no surprise that the injured spouse will be challenged with open communication when it is revealed that this level of dishonesty was secretly being engaged in. As a result , communication attempts after the affair often results in accusations and temper flare-ups. The injured spouse feels compelled to express the anger, hurt, pain and disappointment, while also trying to save the marriage. 

This is why it is so important that both you and your spouse, as you begin to rebuild the communication with the intent to heal your relationship and getting past the affair, agree on being totally honest with each other.

This may seem like the obvious thing to say but many couples are in fact still dishonest after they started to "work" on their marriage.

It is important to repair and improve communication after you and your spouse have agreed to work on the relationship. You will have to find common ground to save your marriage.

How to talk again in 3 steps.

Step 1 : Know that communication is a skill that is learned.

You may be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues and managers at work and know how to engage in small talk with the people you encounter in your everyday life but it is possible that you do not have the necessary skills to effectively communicate with your spouse. 

Just because you are married does not automatically mean that you know how to communicate with your spouse. Communication skills during dating are different to those you need in a marriage. You need to realise that you have to learn how to communicate in a marriage environment in order to succeed.

Step 2 : 100% honesty agreement between partners. 

Dishonesty was the main reason that your marriage is now in disarray. It is not possible for trust and intimacy to be present if one or both of you are still being dishonest. Talking to your cheating spouse after an affair will not be a comfortable experience because you will have a lot of negative thoughts and feelings, but if you wish to get past the affair, you have to start rebuilding the communication with honesty as its foundation.

Step 3 : Disclose everything that you are tempted to lie about. 

The cheating spouse will probably be very reluctant (and nervous) to reveal anything that can further upset his or her spouse. The temptation to twist the truth a bit will certainly also exist. Everybody will be better off if a question remains unanswered rather than telling a lie. You may therefore establish a way whereby either party can respond to a question :  "I am tempted to lie because.." and the provide an explanation. This will help you achieve your honesty goals.       

Discover all the communication secrets in the

"How to survive an affair guide"    

 

 

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