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Do two wrongs make a right?

Answers:

Dear Angry and Confused x 2:

In both of your responses, there are a few things that I hear. Anger and distrust in each other and in yourselves. Underneath the anger and the distrust, I think there must be a tremendous amount of pain and sadness that is guiding you to act as you do. These feeling can often make it difficult to realize that you have choices in yourself, in your actions and in how you treat each other.

What Do You Believe In?

First of all, I believe that you should ask yourselves (not yet each other) what exactly love means to you. What trust means to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. Everyone views trust, love and commitment differently. You display such a lack of trust in each other, and a lack of respect for each other, that I really wonder if you know what you believe in to begin with.

Start with Yourself

Charlie To help them reflect on this, they should just move out.

Before you attempt to begin to understand the other person and why they reacted the way they did, you have to first begin to understand yourself and why you personally have done what you did.

Each of you cheated on the other. Each of you betrayed the trust and love you apparently want to feel for each other, or you wouldn't be here asking us for advice. Why did you betray each other? You have to accept responsibility for what you've done, for your actions. Accept the fact that you made a painful decision that hurt someone you love.

And once you've accepted what you've done, try to
start understanding why you did it.

  • What were you feeling?
  • Why did you feel that was the choice to make?
  • What were other choices you could have made?
  • What weren't you getting from each other that caused you to seek something outside of the relationship?
  • Where is the anger and hurt at your partner stemming from?

It Was Your Choice

You have control. You have the right to make your own choices. You are not a victim. You may not be able to control when you feel angry, hurt, sad or depressed... but you most certainly have the ability to decide to sleep with someone else - or not to. Accept that what has happened was PURELY your choice.

You Can't Change It

Neither of you can change what you've done. You certainly can't take the past away or change the hurt and anger you've caused each other. But what you can do is start right here, right now and learn from it. If you really want your relationship to work, you are going to have to start from scratch. Trust is an extremely tentative thing – it's not easy to gain, but it's even harder to rebuild once it's been abused.

Sit Down and Talk

Judith Why bother? They should just break up.

Come to terms with what you've done, and then in the process, be prepared to listen (not react, LISTEN) to what your partner has to say. You need to express to each other everything you felt, everything you feel – and the partner needs to validate what they are hearing. Agree with it or not, you still need to accept that your partner's feelings are valid in their own right simply because he or she feels them. You need to HEAR each other, not react to each other.

Counseling

I would highly suggest some couple's counseling. If your relationship is that important to you, and considering the tremendous breaks of trust you have engendered in yourselves, a counselor would probably be your best bet to really working through this.

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