How to Reconnect After a Major Relationship Problem

in-bedNot every relationship or marriage has a major meltdown.

But when it happens, how do you put things back together?

How do you get past the hurt? The broken trust? The fear that something else is coming – especially when one partner developed a deep emotional relationship with someone else, but has decided to try to make your relationship work again.

First, both parties need to be willing to reconcile otherwise you’ll be beating a dead horse.

That doesn’t mean that your spouse has to be willing to reconcile right away.

Your spouse could even be saying that he/she doesn’t want to reconcile right now.

If that is the case with you, read this article all the way first and then read How To Save Your Marriage (maybe open that in a new tab to read after this article).

Secondly, you want to make sure you, your spouse, and children (if you have them) are emotionally and physically prepared for the reconciliation.

Lastly, there is a list of advised things to do and not to do when you are the returning spouse or are accepting a returning spouse.

Let’s look at these things:

What questions have you asked yourself about reconciliation?

Is it safe physically and emotionally for all parties to reconnect?

Have you examined beliefs and values and are trying to reconcile in accordance with those?

For example, if your spouse cheated and you have a strong belief that you cannot be with that person any longer; or it could be that you have strong religious or personal beliefs and would like to stay in the marriage despite the adultery.

Are you both willing to forgive and move on?

If you are the returning spouse

You have left or have caused the marriage to fall apart—maybe your spouse threw you out.

If you are the returning spouse and you are hesitant about returning, you can do these things to help everything go more smoothly:

Start by asking for forgiveness.

Be specific and genuine.

Don’t brush everything under the rug and pretend nothing happened; admitting your wrongs and flaws is a great first step and will show your spouse that you are not trying to deny or make excuses.

Validate your spouse’s hurt.

This is very important even though it can be uncomfortable to hear how you have caused pain and distress.

Allow your spouse to vent.

Truly listen and understand what they say.

Do not answer questions your spouse asks that will give your spouse visuals (perhaps of an affair)—remember, once you say something, you cannot take it back.

Transparency can help reestablish trust, but you don’t want to hurt your spouse more, so tread lightly.

Understand your own grief process.

Examples: the loss of the other lover (if you had an affair), the loss of the relationship you had in the past with your spouse, the loss of the trust you once had in the marriage that was broke because of your actions, etc.

Know ahead of time that there will be strong emotions.
Be patient and accept the fact that reconciliation is a process.

There is no time frame for healing.

Don’t expect sex to be back to normal right away, especially if there was an affair.

What if you are the accepting spouse?

If your spouse is returning from an affair or from being gone from the home for any reason, what should you do?

How should you react?

Don’t expect things to happen quickly.

This is a process that takes time.

Don’t overthink things or constantly think about the past.

Try your best to think about the future and where you want to be.

Remember that limerence will die down if your spouse has had an affair.

Continue working on finding ways to bond and connect with your spouse.

Eventually, the other lover will be out of their mind and you will be the primary focus once again.

Make love to each other even if full emotional connection is not there.

Oxytocin, the bonding chemical that is released during orgasm, will help you and your spouse to rebuild the relationship.

If you don’t feel like sex with your spouse right now, remember that sometimes you have to do something you don’t fully want to do in order to get what you want.

It can be a powerful way to reconnect and build back feelings of closeness, joy, and passion.

Forgive your spouse and do not bring everything that happened up again.

You will remember what happened but do not use it as a weapon later on.

Do not interrogate your spouse or make them feel as if you are attacking them.

Be careful and calm.

Try to understand the emotions of your returning spouse; feel empathy once you can.

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical situation:

What happens when your spouse is vacillating between staying with you at home or leaving?

If there is an affair going on, your spouse may still be continuing on with that and may be in limerence with the other person.

You and your spouse have tried to get help but you don’t know much longer you can take it.

It’s like living in limbo.

What should you do?

Really it all boils down to how much time and patience you are willing to spend on waiting for that limerence period to end and how much you really want the marriage to work out.

You will need to assess how deeply your spouse is involved with the other person and if they are even willing to reconcile at that point.

Remember that reconciliation is a process and there is no time limit.

If both parties are willing at all then there is hope.

By following the “dos and don’ts” guidelines and having open communication with your spouse, you will more than likely be able to have a successful reconciliation.

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