Popular opinion states to never take someone back after a betrayal as their actions break trust. Short sighted ultimatums rarely live in a real world where a foundation develops over time to include powerful feelings of love and desire. Some couples do reestablish their relationship following an affair, either emotional or physical. The trick becomes what to do if the philandering party behaves in an untrustworthy manner a second time. Important steps must be taken to gain freedom from the swirling pain of another’s actions.
1. Gain Distance
Though it seems obvious, finding a safe place to be alone and assess the situation and one’s feelings prevents rash decisions and and words. Friends and family will be quick to run down a partner who has taken advantage of one’s trust again. They will cry for an immediate end to the relationship and possibly retribution by the wronged party. This will sound good on the surface, but can lead to lasting pain.
2. Assess Present Feelings
Often the rawness of pain looms large threatening to overwhelm all the other feelings present in the one who has been betrayed. It might seem like no other feelings could possibly exist. Under an avalanche of immediate damage, more delicate emotions can hide behind the rising flames of scorn. Taking a complete inventory can be vital in the process because it brings to light how the person wishes to respond.
3. Understand the Betrayer
There is a temptation to drill down into one’s personal feelings without a second thought to the one who committed the wrongdoing. By taking stock of the other’s life, one does not absolve them of their actions or the pain they have caused. This step, though sounding like it is for the betrayer, will actually help the harmed party moving forward by putting the two people on the same footing and not assuming the role of a victim. This process is very difficult requiring strength and time.
4. Offer Forgiveness
In the heat of the moment, a person harmed by infidelity wishes to withhold this component from the one who has committed the act. An act of infidelity with its myriad of pain requires someone to pay for the damage. Forgiving the one who has cheated again can liberate the person who has been wronged. The sense of freedom becomes supercharged if the person never asks for forgiveness and it is offered freely.
5. Decide What’s Next
The time to decide whether to move forward with this person or seek another relationship comes when they no longer possess a controlling hold over one’s heart. Additionally, factors like children tie people together. This does not mean the harmed party should not establish boundaries for their own health and safety. A second betrayal makes such steps even more critical.
A act of infidelity tests the bonds connecting people. It is not enough to take a hard line stance even if there is no chance for reconciliation because people never free themselves from one another. Also, one needs to let go to move forward with the one who has cheated again or with someone new. It is hard because freedom never comes without a price.