Step 3 – Personal Healing

Step 3 – Personal Healing


It is difficult to RECOVER from infidelity when you are in a deeply traumatized state. It is hard for a couple to work through the issues surrounding the affair if both people are not able to emotionally participate.

Affair course

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

– Chinese proverb


Each individual is going through their own personal trauma after the affair is exposed. How an individual recovers from this new relationship trauma will vary on factors such as:

  • Affair type
  • Relationship history
  • Strength of relationship
  • Quality of friendship & sex
  • Personality Type
  • Personality history of forgiveness
  • Current physical & emotional health


Relationship healing will not progress until each person has a way to overcome their own emotional problems. Sometimes, this involves seeking the help of another professional who can provide medication for problems such as anxiety or depression. For others, personal healing may require healing around childhood wounds and injuries.

Many people find themselves in a toxic relationship – and feel stuck. It is not uncommon for a betrayed spouse to be a victim of narcissistic abuse.

The IRI 7-Step Model will work towards healing BOTH people. The feelings of the unfaithful partner are left aside in traditional therapy, as the focus is traditionally on what went wrong in the marriage.

Our end goal is to have two emotionally calm people ready to make the best possible decisions for their families and their life.

Objectives of Step 3 – Personal Healing include:

  1. Personal healing strategies for both people.
  2. Strategies for Obsessions & Triggers
  3. Anger Management
  4. Focus on Communication & Conflict Resolution
  5. Changing the Relationship with Rituals


Affair Recovery expert & Founder of IRI, Savannah Ellis says:

“On many occasions I have recommended clients seek medical attention for depression, PTSD, anxiety, sex addiction, drug addiction etc BEFORE or DURING the Infidelity Recovery Program.

Often I will work with an individual by himself or herself to provide them with much needed personal coaching. After betrayal, many female clients loose their confidence and self love during this time. Betrayed men often struggle with staying in the relationship, as the thought of their wife being with another man is overwhelming. Their self esteem has taken a huge blow.”


What are the common emotional reactions to infidelity ?

In a study of the common emotions felt after betrayal, researchers found the betrayed spouse was left feeling these emotions:


  1. Undesirable
  2. Physically unattractive
  3. Insecure
  4. Self-conscious
  5. Inferior
  6. Unwanted
  7. Unimportant
  8. Worthless
  9. Inadequate
  10. Inept
  11. Unloved
  12. Unappreciated
  13. Boring Lonely
  14. Jealous Afraid
  15. Beaten


  1. Hostile Enraged
  2. Vengeful
  3. Spiteful
  4. Angry
  5. Outraged
  6. Bitter
  7. Aggressive
  8. Hatred
  9. Deceived
  10. Betrayed


  1. Sad
  2. Depressed
  3. Hurt
  4. Miserable
  5. Heartbroken
  6. Weepy
  7. Shattered
  8. Alone
  9. Gloomy
  10. Anguish

Why am I accepting of my partners affair ?

Not all betrayed spouses will view an affair as negative. While they do not agree with the behaviour of their cheating spouse, they understand the relationship and/or life conditions which made an affair possible.  Alternatively, betrayed spouses stating their emotions as happy, might expect to be delighted to have an excuse to get out of a bad relationship.

While these clients include the feeling of “Disappointed”  to their list of emotional reactions, these are other common feelings:

  • Happy
  • Pleased
  • Delighted
  • Glad
  • Excited

Clients have stated their partners cheating has brought new excitement into their sex life. Emotions stated were:

  • Aroused
  • Sexually aroused


What are sex differences in emotional reactions?

Our own clinical findings support other studies on the reaction to a partner’s sexual infidelity, women report greater anger and hurt. In reaction to a partner’s emotional infidelity, women report greater anger, hurt, and jealousy than do men. Women  most commonly feel “Undesirable or Insecure” as a result of a cheating husband.

It is more common for men to loose respect for his cheating wife, and want to leave her, rather than feel insecure and look inwards for answers. The thought of his wife in sexual relations with another man, runs deeper than just the act of sex itself. Men more often state they feel “Nauseated/Repulsed” by their cheating wife:

  • Nauseated/Repulsed
  • Nauseated
  • Sickened
  • Numb
  • Repulsed Violated
  • Disgusted

Men have been found to be more Homicidal/Suicidal, than women.


  • Geary, D.C., Rumsey, M., Bow-Thomas, C.C., & Hoard, M.K. (1995). Sexual jealousy as a facultative trait: Evidence from the pattern of sex differences in adults from China and the United States. Ethology and Sociobiology, 16, 355-383.
  • Hite, S. (1987). Women and love. New York: Knopf.
  • Hupka, R.B., & Bank, A.L. (1996). Sex differences in jealousy: Evolution or social construction? Cross-Cultural Research, 30, 24-59.
  • Sharpsteen, D.J. (1993). Romantic jealousy as an emotion concept: A prototype analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 69-82.
  • Sharpsteen, D.J., & Kirkpatrick, L.A. (1997). Romantic jealousy and adult romantic attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 627-640.


Continue to Step 4


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