Most unfaithful partners underestimate the breadth and depth of the fallout after infidelity. Despite the devastation, many couples can recover from an affair and build a stronger relationship if they work hard on it. The author lists 15 essential steps to recover a relationship after an affair.
Successful relationship rebuilders:
1. tell their partners the truth about the affair rather than wait to be discovered.
2. show instant shame and remorse, without defensiveness, if the affair comes to light through discovery by the other instead of self-disclosure.
3. are willing to break off all contact with the affair partner, including phone calls, texting, emails, and physical presence, once the affair has been disclosed,
4. allow their faithful partners to determine if, how and when any final closure is conducted with the lover.
5. who have the most success in healing their marriages tell no more lies.
6. accept full responsibility for their actions.
7. are patient with the hurt partner's emotions and the time needed to recover.
8. seek to understand their partner's pain.
9. are more sorry for their partner's pain than for their own guilt.
10. grow in their abilities to show sincere empathy and offer heartfelt apologies.
11. are sensitive to the extreme distrust they have caused within their partners and are willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild that trust.
12. respect the sensitivities and triggers of the hurt partner.
13. pursue their partner and are proactive about checking in on their emotional status.
14. recognize the impact and damage of parental affairs upon their children and seek to make amends.
15. are committed to lifelong personal recovery and transparency.
From the insightful book How to Help your Partner Heal from your Affair by Linda MacDonald.