It has been said that “Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity.”
The dangerous opportunity provided by services such as Ashley Madison may have led some couples into a crisis scenario they never thought they’d encounter.
Confronting the reality of your mate’s cheating – whether virtual, emotional, or physical, or facing your mate who has just learned of your behavior – is very challenging.
And yet this crisis could be the start of a whole new level of honesty (and even intimacy) if both partners dedicate themselves to changing and healing their marriage.
If you or your spouse were exposed in the Ashley Madison hack, take a deep breath and follow these steps together:
The combination of high stakes and intense stress reactions can lead to words and actions with consequences you may regret. Give yourself time to settle down.
Listen To Yourself
Be aware of your own feelings – the whole range of feelings – whatever they are, so you can be fully honest with yourself as you consider what has happened.
Listen To Your Mate
Cheating has a profound impact on everyone involved. Be open to learning the full range of your mate’s feelings.
Reach Out For Support
Discuss whom to include in your circle before you reach out. See if you can agree on which family members, friends, clergy/religious advisors, etc. should be involved in helping you work through this. Professional help can be a valuable resource.
Do Not Involve Your Children
Think carefully before making life-altering decisions for you and your children. Avoid fights and discussions while in their presence.
Facing the crisis together allows you to work toward the shared goal of understanding and healing. Not every relationship can be saved, of course, but most are worth a try. Before rushing to divorce, you may benefit from the assistance of a skilled couples therapist. There may be important lessons that will enable you to have healthy relationships going forward.