Following is a four-part integrating process designed to reestablish the intimacy that was crushed by the infidelity.Take each step as you both can handle it, adapting it to your own situation.Angela discovered a whole new person—her real self—to share with her husband.At the end of that long and arduous process, they were able to stand before the congregation and share their testimony of healing without shame.That “historical research” doesn’t excuse you or your mate’s behavior; it just helps you understand the setting in which it occurred.Knowing your family heritage can help you change it in your generation so that you do not pass it on to your kids.
Stuart seemed appreciative of her quick forgiveness—after all, that was his style too: His slogans of “Move on,” “Get over it,” and “Don’t look back” helped him to soon forget it too.Factors both inside and outside the marriage combined to cause the affair, and it’s helpful to review them. “Rats don’t have mice” goes a popular saying, and affairs do tend to run in families.I’d wager a guess that there have either been full-blown affairs in your family tree or at least “close calls.” It is imperative that you go back to your parents and grandparents to find out your history.He dropped his illicit relationship and arranged for his secretary to be transferred to a distant office, and she resigned rather than move. Little did he know that a growing depression was engulfing his wife and beginning to affect her health.When he finally brought Angela in for help, she had very little of herself left to consider her anger at Stuart. It took some digging to link her feelings of “frustration” with the incredibly swift processing of the betrayal.As a result, Stuart developed an entirely new respect for her.When Angela chose to forgive her husband, Stuart knew it was for real this time, and he could therefore begin to grieve his losses.Angela claimed that she had forgiven her wayward husband, but I had a hunch that hers had been a surface–only forgiveness and that her depression was the result of buried feelings of hostility toward her unfaithful husband.After the affair Angela determined to go on as though nothing happened and be a “hero of God’s grace.” She kept a stiff upper lip in their church circle and was viewed as a paragon of virtue.Stuart had indulged in a short entangled affair with his secretary five years earlier.Both Stuart and his wife vigorously assured me that they had gotten over it long ago.