Rebuilding trust after a two year affair “Last Chance Saloon” Part 2

Most people know what they think about affairs and what they would do if it happened to them.

A consistent message I receive is the people whose partner has had an affair are shocked at how they actually reacted to this news.

They were convinced they would end the marriage and of course, some do, but so many are stuck because even though a part of them wants to run away from their marriage to protect themselves another part of them still loves their partner.

These people end up very confused paralysed in what feels like a no-win situation. Add their kids into the mix and the complication multiplies.

I would like to take this chance to give a message to everyone! Affairs are NEVER the answer to whatever problem you have.

So if your marriage is struggling, find out why you have problems before you unleash a living hell on your relationship and family.

Every week affairs enter my sessions and I can promise you if the person about to have the affair knew the havoc, pain and suffer the affair would do to their life, themselves and their family they would totally agree the affair would never EVER be worth it.

Every person who has had the affair had no idea the problem they were about to unleash on their relationship.

I remember one couple in their mid-50s came to a session and when she brought up the affair his eyes rolled and in frustration, he said: “OMG that again!?”

He had the affair when he was 26 two years after they got married (in his head it happened quarter a century ago – contrasting her head felt like it happened yesterday). Instead of dealing with the affair properly they buried it totally unaware she would never forget it and it would affect how she showed up in their marriage every single day.

After an affair, it’s critical to find out why the affair happened or the victim of the affair will live in the relationship on guard and never be fully in it.

Dealing with affairs is one of my specialisms. There is a defined process the couple must go through to gain a lasting result.

One couple came to me with a significant problem.

He had an 2 year affair after 20 years of marriage. She had just found out and was naturally devastated and unsure what to do.

Her emotions were very powerful one minute she seemed ok and the next she was in a volcanic rage threatening divorce through tears and anger.

She was also in the normal process of wanting to know every detail and asking the same questions over and over again at every opportunity.

He, on one hand, understood her questions and his guilt and remorse were now pushing him to be totally honest but he was getting frustrated by her inability to let go of her anger and pain week after week after a month of this exhausted they came to me for help.

They told me everywhere they looked affairs popped up as they tried to live a normal life TV, theatre and simple night out with friends became a nightmare as affairs were part of every conversation.

The world was getting smaller and her constant focus was on…

WHY? Why did you do it?

When I asked her what her big fear was she told me that apart from him not seeming to know why the affair happened she was fearful that she wasn’t enough for him and he might do this again and she couldn’t risk it.

She also was afraid of what their three sons would do if they found out as they really looked up to him and this would crush them too.

Seeing the pain and what he could lose woke him up and so knew he would never do anything like this again ever, but for him convincing her was seemingly impossible and he was concerned she would never let this go and never trust him again or worse not give him a chance.

Her reality at that point was nothing he said settled her for long.

She admitted she wanted to punish him but she did say she was also frightening herself as she could feel out of control of what her mind was doing as her rage took over her.

She wanted him to feel the pain she was in and in the moment she wanted him gone but a deeper feeling in her was her love for him.

This was her battle. How could she love him and be herself whilst every part of her was telling her to protect herself from him and run.

To contrast this and to confuse her even more, her sex drive had returned and she took control of their sexual connection getting totally absorbed in him only to then be overcome with why did he do it?

Helping the couples to deal with affairs has to start with an understanding of why was this situation part of their story.

As we looked back into the marriage we could see they had a good marriage they got on, nice professional people but…

…what they were not aware of was how their dynamic had shifted and the impact this was going to have on how they both showed up in the marriage.

I knew the focus would be the affair but I was looking for the dynamic that caused him to be in a position to make such a destructive decision.

I discovered they had lost how to be lovers and intimacy becoming such a low priority because being mum and dad and professional people had taken over. I could see that it wouldn’t have been long before something broke.

We also discovered he had felt insignificant at home for years but had put his energy into his work so this rebalance worked but over the years apart of him was no longer alive and his sex drive died too.

If they did try to have sex he struggled this became another problem they switched off and just got on with life.

They didn’t argue historically but for me, this meant no one was sharing critical emotions and so in this mutually closed dynamic they were just practically getting on with life being good people not aware their relationship was starving of what it needed to survive.

They had no idea how dangerous this was and how vulnerable they both were.

So the moment a new woman made a play for this gentleman what was dead in him reignited and it was too powerful for him to ignore. He felt awakened alive and nothing else mattered in those moments.

He admitted to me that he was flattered and essentially this affair was never a long-term option but it helped him become happy again and he never thought he would be caught but today he hugely regretted such a massive error of judgement.

I could see in our first meeting this couple were totally unaware of the dynamic that would have kept their relationship alive through this and so they were making it worse without knowing.

The key to this situation was to help the couple take control of the process they were in so they could help themselves and each other.

As I helped him understand what this news had really done to her and what he could do to support her he became someone she could start to rely on.

I also helped her understand what her emotional system was trying to achieve and how to take control of such powerful emotions so she could get to the truth in her own marriage.

Essentially I was helping the couple become far less reactive and in a position to start to choose their reactions and emotions so they could find out what was possible in their marriage.

As each week progressed we could see a shift as both people started to take back control of their emotional systems whilst taking responsibility for their part in their past dynamic.

I made it clear that he alone was responsible for his action to embark on the affair.

This responsibility on both sides for the past helped them both show up in the relationship this time with a clear knowledge of really how to keep all of their marriage alive.

This couple had many disconnects I had to work on with them.

  • They didn’t know how to keep their passion alive
  • They didn’t understand how different they were and what each other needed.
  • They didn’t know how to have conflict and grow their marriage so they avoided it.
  • They didn’t understand their roles and this killed the passion.
  • They didn’t act as a team in planning their life together.
  • They didn’t know how to really hear each other so communication stopped.
  • And they didn’t know how to bring unconditional love into their marriage.

I have a mission for all couples that arrive after an affair. That mission is to help them discover if it’s possible to make their relationship significantly better than it’s ever been so they use this energy and knowledge to keep the marriage safe in the coming years.

Naturally, every couple is different and so whilst there is a process to help a couple reinvest how that process is applied will be different for every couple this is why these situations really need tailored expert help.

In next weeks “Last Chance Saloon Part 3″ you’ll learn how I helped a couple reignite their sexual connection after it’s been dead for years.

 

 

Rebuilding trust in a relationship

We can lose trust in our partners in many different ways. You can lose your trust in someone or they can lose their trust in you. Trust can be lost through obvious routes such as affairs and circular conflict, or through lack of understanding, loss of respect and lack of care to name a few.

Losing trust can be devastating for any couple as TRUST is one of the core foundations needed to keep the couple’s connection alive.

So what’s the cost of not rebuilding the trust?

So many people end up naturally protecting themselves from their partner because they lose trust without really understanding the hidden dangers of this practice.

My clients have learnt that protecting themselves through stacking resentments will be leading the marriage to a dangerous position where feelings that keep the relationship alive can start to die. [Read more...]

The worst mistake you can make in a relationship

As I listen week after week, year after year to couple after couple share with me their unique stories. Stories of pain and suffering through affairs, loss of love, loss of passion, emotional disconnection they all have made this very simple but devastatingly powerful mistake. This mistake is costing them massively, it affects so many people and the ripples of disconnected families can go on for years.

Every couple I meet is totally unaware of what is really happening in their relationship and why they are where they are.

Both people will have theories and some will feel they are the ones that are right. But simply the fact that couples are going round in circles unable to solve their challenges suggests that they are both still making this fundamental mistake.

As a result, far too many couples are leaving perfectly good relationships and are likely to repeat this problem in future relationships.

So what is it?

What is causing couples so much pain and suffering? [Read more...]

Marriage in crisis due to an affair? Learn the steps to rebuilding the trust whilst creating a brand new dynamic that future proofs the relationship.

When an affair is discovered it has the ability to create the most volcanic reactions. Infidelity has the power to shock the relationship into never being the same again ever. So if you want to save your relationship then understanding your partners’ experience is going to be critical to helping them feel safe to trust again.

The person who discovers their partner has had an affair is shocked into their own personal battle.

It’s like they become two versions of themselves. One part of them still loves their partner, and the other part is aggressively protecting themselves from their partner.

So they become confused and disoriented. No matter what they do it doesn’t feel right, they want the pain to go, but everything is a trigger that leads to their partners’ affair. [Read more...]

Why does a woman that loves her husband have multiple affairs?

This gentleman had just found out his wife was guilty of another infidelity and was now at the end of the road. He had tried to forgive her before, but this time in terrible pain he couldn’t see a way forward and was now planning his divorce.

His wife came to me looking for a marriage in crisis expert to help her understand why she had these affairs and how she could save what seemed like a doomed marriage.

Below this couple have been kind enough to independently share their story with you.  [Read more...]

We are not naturally designed to live together for life – so we need skills to achieve this dream…

When you look at divorce statistics, relationship failures and the the volume of people choosing to have affairs, one thing feels very clear. Men and women are really struggling to live together in a meaningful way for both people.

In todays post I’m going to talk about some of the skills I’m teaching couples in crisis to help them naturally rebuild their relationship, and their attraction so it naturally recreates their sexually energy.

Men and women are ill equipped to live together and so they suffer from very similar problems in terms of understanding each other their relationship and what it takes to really make it work. They end up losing feelings of love and attraction for their partner. So I have to help these couples learn what’s happened to lose these feelings and what we have to do to bring them back.

I’m now seeing 20 couples couples in crisis a week and although all their problems are all very unique what they are all doing is very common.. [Read more...]

How Rebuild Trust After An Affair?

One of my specialisms is in helping couples rebuild their relationship after discovering an affair. The secret to repairing a broken relationship after an affair is to help them understand why it happened and then help them build a brand new relationship. 

Couples who reconnect after an affair and learnt how to create a successful marriage, ultimately see the affair as a wake up call that actually saved their relationship from years of suffering.

Without doubt an affair is a shockingly horrible experience, however an affair is just one of the many destructive symptoms a couple can experience if they don’t learn how to create a relationship that lasts. [Read more...]

#693: Couples in crisis naturally question compatibility

It’s natural to question if you married the right person when you have been suffering in your relationship. Some people suffer due to instant breaches of trust such as affairs. Some people suffer for years through stacking resentments towards their partner.

If you have ever questioned your compatibility and are concerned about the future, what you are about to read could be worth considering.

Incompatibility can come in many forms, so I will outline a few that cause couples a challenge.

  • Different life goals: – Mission/life purpose – Geography – Parenting styles
  • Sexually misaligned: [Read more...]

Rebuilding Trust in a Marriage

With the right approach it is possible to rebuild trust in a marriage so that your marriage is far stronger than it every was before, no matter what’s happened.

I have seen many couples go through devastating affairs and then learn how to breakthrough their fears and then work together to protect and feed the relationship what it really needs to survive.

At the end of this post you will learn how I helped one lady connect to a strength within her to deal with a devastating situation.

Trust can be broken for many reasons, the obvious ones are affairs, lying, or some kind of erratic behaviour. What many don’t see is that trust can be broken if our needs are not met. Trust can be broken if the dynamic that builds attraction is damaged. [Read more...]

Affairs – Infidelity – Cheating is it a sign of things to come or simply a wake-up call?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that dealing with Infidelity makes up a significant percentage of my work with couples. In these situations my job isn’t just to save their marriage, it’s to learn how they got into this position and to help the couple discover if it’s possible to rebuild a dynamic that works for them both.

Sadly many people who embark on affairs are not understanding what’s happening within them. For some they are putting a relationship they want to keep on the line.

For others they could be keeping a relationship artificially alive that is actually dead whilst their needs are meet through the new secret relationship. [Read more...]

Why an affair is NOT the right solution

Of all the relationship challenges I deal with, this one has to be the one that causes the most problems on so many levels.

In fact, if I ever discover one person in my session is still involved with a third party and hasn’t told me, I will stop the couples sessions and move them to individuals sessions immediately. The reason is the brain chemistry of two people in an affair is far too powerful and creates illusions of love which will cripple their chances of fixing their marriage.

Many people who have had affairs and are struggling to end them complain of being confused, their reality is they are totally unaware they are actually battling with these powerful brain chemicals.

I have seen people make life changing decisions during affairs only to want their marriage back months later because the brain chemistry has settled down and the new lover has now lost their appeal. Some are very lucky and get their partners back and some lose their former lives forever.  [Read more...]

Why Women Have Affairs?

Why do women in relationships have affairs? What is it that drives them into the arms of another?

Of course whatever I write here will be a generalisation to some degree as every situation is different, but I have a very unique perspective because I see so many couples with relationship problems.

Most people find it very easy to judge the person who has had the affair as a terrible person, whilst I don’t honour their decision as it is so destructive, I do understand how and why it happens.

If a couple have experienced this type of betrayal in their relationship, not understanding why is the first hurdle. Sometimes even the perpetrator doesn’t know why they did it and this makes the relationship worse. [Read more...]

Why is it so difficult for couples to fix their relationship problems?

What I’m going to share today is critical to understand if you want to make lasting changes in your relationship. I have not spoken about this before on this blog so it’s important to understand.

Very few couples do this automatically and this is one of the major factors to why there are so many single parents, broken families, affairs, separations and divorces.

By understanding and helping couples understand what is important to know in their relationship  is one of the key factors to the success in all my relationship clinics.

If you have been following my posts you will have learnt that couples “presenting problems” such as arguments, loss of passion, lack of trust, etc, are not the real problems in a couples relationship. Although with no other logical knowledge this will be their incorrect assumption. [Read more...]

Will My relationship Last?

So you want to know if your relationship will last? Of course you do, who wouldn’t! When couples come to see me, no matter what their relationship challenge is from arguments to affairs they have the power to make any situation better, all that’s missing is the know how.

Couples without knowing, together create the perfect growth conditions for agruments, affairs, lack of trust, lack of care, and then wonder why they have no sex life, and then no relationship. They are very successful at creating misery for themselves and each other.

How does this happen and what can you do about stopping this in your relationship?


I wonder what advice you would give to others if they told you they were being treated badly by their partner.

Would your advice be to change who their are and what they stand for? [Read more...]

What Makes Relationships Successful?

One of the questions I get asked as a relationship coach is what makes the difference between an normal or failing relationship and an extra-ordinary relationship or what makes relationships successful?

The answer is simple…

Apply these simple 3 steps to your relationship every day

  1. Understand what you need

  2. Understand what your partner needs

  3. And spend your life giving your partner what they
    need every single day.

When you live in a relationship that is full of two people who understand each others needs to this degree and they are using their energy to make sure their partner is meeting their daily needs, this is a relationship that has no choice but to grow on every possible level.

Both people in the relationship will feel so loved and important to each other, and this will create a security and freedom between them that will enable unconditional love to flourish.

However most people don’t live in this relationship…

…because they don’t practice those three rules.

If you are in a relationship that just ok, or you seem to be fighting alot and you’re scared for the future, or you would like a partner, but have yet to find one.

  • Those 3 key rules must be your relationship goal starting today.

The reverse of the above is divorce, separation, affairs, lack of intimacy, lack of trust, lack of respect and plenty of pain…

How to discover your needs

Coaching with Stephen Hedger will help both you and your partner understand what those critical needs are. If you are single then we will discover your needs so you can communicate them to your new partners when you get them.

Affairs & Why They Happen

When either a man or a woman in a relationship embarks on an affair the reasons are because they believe or feel that their needs are not being met in the relationship.

There is never a good reason for an affair, because if the relationship has problems then the couple needs to address their problems. The answers to their problems are never outside the relationship and the pain affair causes is never worth the perceived pleasure it brings.

The problem is, the emotions that drive affairs are never rational and so affairs will keep happening.

Most assume these needs are sex, but very often it runs far deeper than that, other critical factors to those individuals are driving them to act.

What causes an affair

To start with those that have affairs may not  feel good about themselves, or something, and have attached those feelings to their current relationship. So whatever they are missing they will start to search elsewhere to have those feelings met.

They might not feel significant to their partner and an affair will make that person feel important at that moment. They may not feel secure in their current relationship and so an affair helps them to forget their problems and gives them artificial pockets of security.

They may not feel loved or they could be missing excitement as their own relationship becomes boring.

Or maybe it is as simple as their relationship is lacking the type of passion they want, they either can’t get want they want from their partner or are afraid to ask for it.

If years of feeling this way is added to a relationship that has stopped growing then that relationship will struggle to compete with the excitement of an affair.

It’s true that men are more likely to stray than women because

  1. They are designed to impregnate many women through instinct.
  2. Their minds are built differently to women’s and so the connect between love and sex is not the same as for women.

This is why in affairs women are most likely to break off an affair because they cannot see an emotional future where the man will be happy with just sex.

She will ask

When a woman is a victim of an affair one of her big questions will be, “do you love her?” this is because from a woman’s perspective she is designed to see love and sex as, one of the same, or at least directly connected together.

The man will say about his affair “it meant nothing” when he says this he is telling the truth, because for him love and sex are separate.

In contrast if a woman has an affair and says “…it meant nothing” then because she is designed to see that connection as more than sex then she will not be telling the whole truth.

What’s important is, if you are thinking of having an affair or you are the victim, know that it’s the missing needs in your relationship is what’s driving the affair to happen.

Look after your relationships and do all you can to understand how they work and more than that what you have to do to ensure your relationship stays safe.

If Your Relationship Is Rubbish It

I know that was a bit strong, but honestly

Coping After An Affair

Coping with an affairAffairs are probably one of the areas of relationships that have proven to impact individuals the greatest.

The impact of an affair is potentially huge on so many people and can literally rip families apart.

People feel betrayed, full of resentment, some wanting revenge, on all levels the emotional response is very high.

It is very rare for people to set out to have an affair.

Affairs can happen for many reasons, my experience in couples counselling have been that affairs have happened due to the person who had the affair feeling that they were missing something in their lives and they believe the new person will fulfil that need.

This is in most cases a costly perception because whilst a few needs did get fulfilled many other critical needs become pushed to one side. In the excitement the cost can be ignored.

This cost is then discovered too late and when the damage has been done.

To start on the road to recovery after an affair both parties must be given the room to air honest feelings, create new boundaries and share what they believe caused the affair.

What starts off a seemingly simple quest for lust, can easily unravel far deeper issues in the individuals and the relationship.

It is for this reason that before a decision about the future of the relationship is decided, understanding is a key part of that process.

  • You may decide that despite what you know the relationship has to end, but you want accelerated healing to get on with your life.
  • You made feel that you would like to try to rebuild your relationship and are willing to embark on a relationship building program.

Every situation is different and what you want is individual and personal to you.

Can the relationship survive?

Understanding what caused the affair is a first step to building a stronger relationship. Very often relationships that do survive this destructive event, and understand why it happened do go on to be more in tune with each others needs.

If an affair has affected your relationship and you would
like support please contact Stephen Hedger today