Picking up the Pieces

Here are steps to rebuilding a marriage after infidelity from Peggy
Vaughan, author of "The Monogamy Myth" and founder of the Beyond Affairs
Network, an organization of support groups coordinated through

--Sever contact with the third party. If necessary, take steps toward
changing jobs, schools and cities.

--Be patient. Most people think you can forgive and forget, but rebuilding
trust takes time. It is rare to completely recover from the emotional
impact in less than two years.

--The person who had the affair must always answer questions from the
spouse about the infidelity. It is the willingness to answer questions that
diminishes the need to know.

--Don't punish for the answers you get. You asked.

--Commit to responsible honesty. Unlike monogamy, you can monitor honesty
that is for the purpose of strengthening a bond and rebuilding trust.

--Marathons don't work. If they are not effective, limit conversations to
30 minutes. Consult a therapist who specializes in couples therapy and affairs.

--Remember, you are a team. Ask yourselves what you need to do for the
relationship and the family. It's not just what the person who had the
affair needs to do.
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