Marriage Talk Podcast Episode 83 focuses on “The Repair Phase” Here, you’ll find additional written insights from Terry Lodico of Covenant Counseling in Midland, MI
You may also download the free PDF file (with footnotes) by CLICKING HERE.
- Motivation: Write out your reasons to pursue the recovery of the marriage. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to stay in this marriage?
- Assessment: Ask questions such as, “What dynamics of our marriage led to this affair? What role did I play in this? How has my past and family background contributed to this behavior? What needs to change in this marriage?”
- Forgiveness Procedure:
- List your offenses you have committed toward your partner.
- Ask for forgiveness for each offense: “I was wrong when I ______. I know this must have made you feel ______. I don’t deserve your forgiveness but will you forgive me?”
- The goal is to give the offended spouse freedom to be honest with the answer. The response doesn’t need to be a yes, it can be a no. If it is a no, thank your partner for the honesty. The yes or no response allows the offender to feel a termination of guilt that drains emotional energy.
- In addition, the offended partner’s communication emphasis changes from “I’m trying to get you to understand why I hurt,” to “This is what I need from you.”
- Recognize that there is a difference between apologizing, “I’m sorry,” and that of asking for forgiveness. An apology is an ambiguous statement leaving the offended spouse unsure if you really understand how deeply he/she was hurt. Asking for forgiveness is a question, leaving no doubt of understanding and your purpose to take responsibility for the offense.
- Practice Trust Building Behavior:
- Keep your word.
- Keep your spouse informed. Avoid catching your spouse off guard with an unexpected surprise.
- Keep no secrets and avoid guardedness.
- Spend time together.
- Learn how to emotionally connect by using feeling words: “I heard you say you’re feeling…”
- Practice being attentive.