This is often called, “The Three Legged-Stool”. If one leg of the stool is shaky, the stool cannot stand and will fall over.
In literal terms, unless the first two recoveries happen, (the addicted person and the betrayed spouse) the third, the relationship has little chance of surviving in a healthy way, and even less of a chance to thrive.
As betrayed spouses, this means we have to look first to our own recovery from the wounds of betrayal, and make our own recovery the top priority – before the relationship itself. This seems counter-intuitive because we value our relationships very much and want to do everything in our power to make the relationship safe again — but stay with us. The two can be ongoing at the same time, but the priority has to be on the you, the betrayed spouse. The betrayed sets the conditions for re-entry into relationship with her. She has all the power over whether or not the relationship continues. By setting boundaries around our own emotional and physical well being and safety, and not trying to make the relationship itself the basis for our personal recovery, we set the tone and standards for good mental and emotional health.
In this unit, we focus on the resources and methods of recovering the relationship.
There are 5 key therapeutic milestones that must happen to begin relationship recovery: