Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How long must the conversation go on!?!

Last week I met with several new couples who are in the beginning stages of recovery from an affair. There is a common theme among those who were unfaithful … “let’s move on” and for their partners it is “we have lots to talk about.”

So .. The question for the therapist is often “how long DO you have to talk about the affair”?

The answer, of course, is different for each situation and couple but generally her are some guidelines:

* Talk about it until all of the “Who, what, when and where questions” have been answered.

* Talk about it until the hurt person feels like their spouse has a full understanding of how hurt, disappointed and angry they are.

* Talk about it until a sincere and honest apology has occurred and been acknowledged.

* Talk about it when the hurt partner needs to for the first few days. After that, find ways to limit the conversation to much smaller amounts of time in order to allow the relationship to recover.

Punishment is not the goal, recovery is most important.