Getting to know you… truly, madly, deeply

We both blitzed through the Life After Betrayal book in just 3 days. It’s really a very good book indeed. It is for both parties and I was very surprised that when I read the list of feelings for the “betrayer”, that I felt all but one of them. The same was true with W. It is a very practical book, giving regular examples and exercises to do, all aimed at trying to resolve the perhaps unknown or subconscious conflicts in the relationship.

We got down to it and began working through the exercises from the beginning. First thing we did was simply to take a 20-minute timebox each and tell each other how we felt before, during and after the affair. The idea is to get a better idea of your partner, to better understand them so that we can both realize the differences between each other and our perceptions of the same events. Most people tend to expect partners to react in the same way they would to a situation, thus creating a conflict between their expectations and what actually happens. Without an understanding of the underlying motives and emotions, it’s difficult to predict these reactions. So our goal was to be able to understand what happened in the past to resolve old tensions and to prepare for the future so we could avoid setting off each others triggers while at the same time nourishing each others needs and desires.

It was a very enlightening experience and I really wish we’d had this book a year ago. It might have stemmed a lot of misunderstandings that we had and prevented a whole bunch of negativity that was floating around. I got to understand why some things were so hurtful for W while she got to understand that those same things were largely inconsequential for me. On the other hand, she got to understand why I got so upset about certain events while for her those same events were positive. Obviously, understanding that now releases a lot of pressure from our past experiences as well as allowing us to avoid or release those tensions in the future. I can really recommended this book to anyone who thinks they might be, is or has gone through this. In fact, there are some exercises in here that would be excellent for everyone and would probably help prevent that kind of heartbreak from even happening in the first place.

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