As a counselor and a coach, Sabrina and I are often asked, “How long will these feelings of hurt last?” That’s a tough question to answer. We offer a lot of resources for just that, and we also refer many couples to BeyondAffairs.com as another great source of counseling and classes through this process. Affairrecovery.com provides a timeline that looks something like this:
However, that’s just a rough guideline. Your individual recovery will probably depend on two things: first, it will depend on your choices. Will you be passive or active in your recovery? Secondly, it will depend on your inherent personality: how you are wired.
My personal experience was that of passive affair recovery. Understanding my own wiring through Core Values Index (CVI), I now realize I am a person who processes things internally, which means I will naturally be more passive. What I mean by passive recovery is that I will not want to actively engage in dealing with our problems, I will want to run to my cave and hide. We only went to a few counseling appointments after my wife shared the news of her affair. Unfortunately, we didn’t do much in therapy except learn what she needed from me, explore how we needed to share, react to what was shared, and become more aware of certain practical situations moving forward. Because of this passive approach, it took me a full five or so years to feel close with her again and to trust her. We really needed the active approach! We needed someone to come alongside us, to show us pitfalls, and how to intentionally recover. I’m so grateful for the healing we have, but looking back now I know we could have had a much healthier and quicker recovery if we’d had that intentionality at the outset.
Here at Core Values Couples, we want to be a resource for your relationships. We have marriage intensives for couples on the brink of divorce, or separated because of affairs or other barriers in their relationship. We also have retreats for couples who might not have a specific barrier to overcome, but who desire to grow more intimately in their relationship. Check out our upcoming workshops, or email us any time if you’re struggling and need support. Relationships are work, but they’re the greatest work you’ll ever do — and we’re here to help.