Finding out that your partner has had an affair often influences not only the way we feel toward our partner but it also effects the way we think about our partner. “Thought, feeling and action” are connected and the way we think about a person directly impacts the way we feel towards the person and the way we act towards them.
Infidelity effects how we see our partner and why shouldn’t it. It’s normal to see our partner has an enemy, as a liar and as a person who wanted to hurt you. But, is that all that that person is? If that was all, do you think you would have fallen in love with that person? Furthermore, is that the way you would have described your partner on the day before you found out he or she had been unfaithful? Probably not!
Of course infidelity changes things and while you should not ignore the feelings you are having, it is also important that you try to see your partner both as a person who committed a terrible betrayal of you and of your relationship, as well as a person who you once had positive feelings for.
In this strategy I encourage you to look at both sides.
- Take a piece of paper and make a list of your partner’s Positive Attributes. If you have difficulty completing this task, it is not uncommon as many people struggle seeing any positives in their partner after disclosure of an affair. However, difficult or not I cannot emphasize enough the importance of writing down as many positives about your partner than you can remember.
- Next, in a second column write down all of your partner’s negative characteristics. My guess is that you will be able to complete this column more easily.
What this exercise will do is help you remember that your partner has both positive and negative characteristics many of which, contributed to your falling in love with your partner.
The exercise will also show you that your partner’s affair makes up only a part of who your partner is. If you can maintain a Balanced View of your partner there will be a better chance that you will be able to work through the affair and move on with your life.
There are very few people who are all bad. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder.