If you’ve been following the news, or have been awake for any part of the last few days, you’ve probably heard about the millions of names that have been leaked from the Ashley Madison site. For many, it’s been a heartbreaking and infuriating time. So what do you do if you’ve discovered that your partner has an Ashley Madison account?
Learn the Whole Truth
Perhaps this has blindsided you; or perhaps you’ve suspected something for a long time. Either way, now is your golden opportunity to have a come to Jesus meeting with your partner or spouse. In order to even decide if you can repair your relationship, you need to know everything. What else don’t you know about?
- Is he/she on other dating sites?
- Is he/she on craigslist?
- Has he/she had an affair, or affairs?
- What else is there??
As angry as you will be, try to give your partner a safe space where he or she can openly share. No more hiding.
Without coming clean, it’s going to be impossible to fix the relationship. Sometimes you have to knock everything down to figure out what the underlying problem is. Your relationship isn’t the same anymore and it’s time to figure out how to rebuild.
Decide on a Plan
Take time to figure out if this relationship is still something you want to pursue and keep in your life. Ask your partner the same question; was he/she too afraid to tell you that he/she wanted it to end?
After you’ve gotten angry, cried, and probably attempted to throw something heavy at your partner, create a plan. There is no such thing as a relationship being able to survive on “maybe”, “we will see”, or “let’s just see how we feel”.
Decide what you and your partner need to do to get your relationship off death row. Maybe this means scheduling one-on-one quality time, seeking couples therapy, weekly date nights, or marriage counseling. It might also mean that from now on phone and computer privacy are off limits. Set up new rules that will allow your relationship to thrive and bloom. Trust will have to be rebuilt and it will take time. It may feel like forever, but slowly it can happen..
Also, at some point you’ll need to address the process of forgiveness, which is both a gift and a process; and a crucial step in accepting your partner for who they are as a person with their past, present, and future. Do this if you are willing to give your love a second chance, pass go and proceed to step three.
Relationships aren’t easy–how’s that for an obvious statement? They require work and serious commitment to be successful. Remember there are always two options when it comes to a relationship, stay or leave.. Either choice you make, the road ahead will be hard, but is not impossible to get through. You’re strong. Maybe, too, your relationship is strong.