by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

We’ve all seen it, if not in real life then on TV or in the movies: The faithful wife or husband confronting their partner’s love. It happened again this week on the TV show, “The Good Wife,” as the main character meets up with her husband’s mistress.

The question in itself may sound crazy: Should the jilted partner ever confront the “other woman” or man? But I believe that such a confrontation is sometimes warranted. You don’t have to do it in person, but a phone call can work just as well. In some situations, an encounter with this person may be an important step of letting go and moving on, whether or not the couple decides to work things out. But as we’ve all seen in the media – in both fact and fiction! – such a meeting can be harrowing and dramatic. Here are ten tips to ensure a productive confrontation:

1. Pick a neutral public place to meet
2. Never humiliate the lover or your mate in front of friends, coworkers, children or family members.
3. Tell the lover you do not wish to hurt him/her, but you will love your partner and know the feeling is mutual.
4. Make it clear that you will fight for the relationship and that you and your spouse have a history together.
5. Ask for time to make it work.
6. Point out that if your partner leaves the relationship still doubting and full of remorse, the lover will not get a fair shake and might get hurt even worse later on.
7. Look your best.
8. Remain cool, but firm. Remember, these are peace talks.
9. Try to see this person as a wounded child, too. Validate their feelings.
10. Point out the negatives of your partner’s situation- the children, the grim realities of maintaining two households.

But aim for empathy, not sympathy. When making the decision to work things out with you partner, there will be many issues to deal with, but at this juncture you are looking to clear the air with the lover. Understand that they may have been a victim too. They may not have known the truth about your relationship, and even if they did that merely points to the fact that they have their own series of problems to work on.

The point here isn’t to cause a fight or create drama beyond what you’ll already be dealing with, but to bring closure to a situation with the “other” person, so you and your partner can focus on yourselves and making your relationship work again.

Dr. Bonnie, known as the “Adultery Buster,” was named the #1 Love Expert for her work in helping couples stay together after infidelity. Her book on the topic, “Adultery the Forgivable Sin” was made into a Lifetime Movie with actress Kate Jackson. It goes into greater detail on the Ten Tips for Confrontation, as well as other important instructions for rescuing a relationship after an affair. “Adultery the Forgivable Sin” can be found on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Adultery-Forgivable-Bonnie-Eaker-Weil/dp/1587768151/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259070325&sr=8-1

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