When a couple is facing relationship repair following the discovery of infidelity or sex addition betrayal, defensiveness and anger outbursts can be extremely damaging to the couple’s healing. The betrayed spouse will need to ask questions in order to try to understand what has been happening or what is currently happening in the relationship. It is normal to ask the same question several times over an extended period. The betrayed spouse is seeking emotional safety where he/she thought they were safe, but found out that they were not.
When a betrayed spouse approaches to ask questions, the worst thing that can happen is to be met with defensiveness, shouting or anger outbursts. This will shut down communication and halter the healing process. For the relationship survival, it is a good sign when the betrayed spouse wants to engage and discuss. It is not a good sign when they become numb, checked out or really does not care anymore.
I often remind people of the saying, “Those who have nothing to defend, defend nothing.” Defensiveness only make people look like there is something hidden, that they are doing something wrong, and it creates further doubt.
Couples who do the best in the recovery process are the couples who can talk, share their feelings, take accountability for their own wrong doings, continue to talk and continue to answer questions as they may arise.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. Ingela Edwards Counseling serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist