After an affair, and during affair recovery, we follow three steps in counseling: atonement, attunement, and re-attachment. During attunement, couples have decided that they can move forward with forgiveness, ready to stop blaming the partner that was involved in infidelity.
Step 3: Attunement
Many trust building behaviors occur in this area of the recovery phase. The partner that acted outside of the marriage is making a commitment to this relationship, constantly working to build the marital friendship. The couple is also working on how to process negative events, both making a commitment to try to handle their conflicts so that it doesn’t overwhelm them. There are different tools to use during this time, that a couple can learn in session and practice at home as well.
An acronym to follow for attunement is
A – Awareness of Partner’s Negative Emotion
T- Turning Toward Partner
U – Understanding
N- Non-defensive responding
Recovery is Possible
When these 6 things are practiced, the couple is able to cope in a place where they both feel heard and validated. It is important the betrayed partner is experiencing this, as it is also a helpful skill in building trust outside of being open with GPS, bank accounts, and passwords.
If you are ready to talk to a counselor, please call Amy Wine Counseling at 832.421.8714.