On a bleak October night, while the city of London is weeping rain, a couple in the upscale neighborhood of Chelsea are fighting in their bedroom. They have been at it for hours. Yelling, swearing, and crying, their throats are hoarse and they are completely exhausted, but neither one is willing to give an inch (because both know they are right).
On the floor below the warring couple…
Their three children are doing whatever they can to drown out the sounds of the war going on above them. The oldest child, a boy just turning 13, turns up the volume on his iPod, pumping his mind full of angry gangster rap. The middle child, a somewhat reserved girl around nine, turns up her TV and tunes in to the sarcastic humor of The Simpsons. The third child, a small boy of five, stuffs his ears with cotton balls and continues building the biggest, baddest fort under his bed for his toy soldiers.
The battle in this home has been raging on for the past 3 weeks — ever since the discovery of deception, betrayal, secrets, and lies. Overnight, a peaceful home had become a war zone, and a good marriage became a battlefront. Lovers became enemies, and children became the causalities of war.
What does war sound like?
If you were to talk to a returning veteran, they might tell you that the sounds of war are the hardest part to forget. Even though these soldiers are trained to handle combat, trained to face life and death situations, trained to expect the unexpected and be ready for the unpredictable, the one thing they can’t be immunized against is the emotional anxiety forever stamped in their minds by the sounds of war. Long after they leave the hot zone, many soldiers remain haunted by the sounds of explosions, helicopter props, bomb blasts, M-16s and M-50s reloading and discharging, screaming, yelling, and radio commands.
It’s the same for any child who’s ever been caught in the war zone of parental battles. The one thing they never forget is what it sounds like to hear their parents at war.
They never forget… the arguments, shouting, yelling, and shrieking… the mean words, snide comments, roaring outbursts, verbal demands and harsh blasts of anger… the china crashing against the wall… the pause, the re-engagement, the screaming… the sound of sobbing and the silence of falling tears.
When the goal is to win at all costs, everybody loses.
In my opinion, arguments don’t prove who’s right, only who’s wrong. And when infidelity is discovered, it often becomes a springboard to launch into an endless blame game. Couples find themselves circling the hurt and pain like a buzzard and throwing hurtful words like hand grenades at each other. Take note: the deeper you go into blame, the more damage you do to your marriage (and family). The more you argue (and defend yourself), the deeper you wound your relationship. In other words, this type of behavior will NOT help you save your marriage.
So, if fighting, arguing, and defending are NOT the way to save a marriage after infidelity, then what is?
While I can’t offer a magic pill to save your marriage (because there’s none), what I can offer you are my top 10 suggestions that — when mixed with your love and sincerity — can go a long way in helping you repair the damage caused by your own indiscretions.
Notice I said, “when mixed with love and sincerity.”
use at the end of the day, if you’re just looking for techniques and tactics to get the heat off your back, then these tips aren’t going to work. However, if you sincerely want to save your marriage and you really do love your partner, any one of these 10 good suggestions can become the catalyst for a new beginning.
Let’s begin with number one on our list…