Breaches of Trust in Relationships

Can a relationship recover after one of the partners has been caught cheating? John Edwards finally admitted that he fathered Rielle Hunter\’s child and now Tiger Woods is in Hattiesburg, Miss., on his 6-week sex recovery program. Jenny Sanford is happily separated from Governor Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Edwards is legally separated from John Edwards and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is now in couples therapy with his wife.

These high-profile men broke their marriage vows and their personal dramas have been played out in the media for all to see and dissect. All of the wives may or may not want to get back with their cheating spouses, but if they do, here are a few questions they need to consider:

  • Do they want revenge or do they want healing for themselves and for their children? Many of us forget that forgiveness is the most selfish act we can do for ourselves. Forgiveness is not synonymous with weakness; it\’s really about having power and choosing self-respect.
  • They should focus on the positive elements of their relationship and try to isolate the most severe criticisms
  • Try not to discuss the betrayal all of the time; set aside some time for it, but it shouldn\’t become the focus of your life
  • Enact your powers of forgiveness so that you heal. But remember, that forgiveness does not mean forgetting the breach of trust
  • Get help for both you and your spouse and that support can include group support (maybe not for these celebrities, though), private counseling, and family support

A cheating spouse causes enormous upheaval for his or her family and probably didn\’t even consider the consequences when he/she was starting the affair. Gaining trust back does take time, though, and can involve spending time with one\’s family, having a cool-down period and engaging in more open communication.

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