Not So Visible Damage

If you have ever been in an automobile accident, you know that there is the visible and the hidden or not so visible damages. The visible damage is easily repaired. The invisible or not so visible damage consists of those areas weakened or slightly bent by the accident. Although they are not easily seen, the damage is very real. A car repaired, yet weakened is not the same as a brand new vehicle.

In a similar manner, even though you and your spouse have made it through an affair, there may still be damage in your relationship that is not visible, yet has weakened your relationship. Once lines have been crossed, brains re-programmed, and bonding taking place, your marriage is different. Each person is different on many levels. On the outside you and your spouse may look the same, but inside, things have changed. The weakened marriage does not respond to pressure the same way a strong marriage does. The weakened marriage has more trouble with temptation and pressure.

Ignoring the not so visible damage will not make it go away. You may tell yourself that you don’t see any damage, or the cheater may tell you ‘I’m the same person”. They may be very similar to who they were before, but there has been changes. Although much of the damage can be repaired, there are some areas that will need strengthening and reinforcement. Weaknesses will need to be supported rather than condemned. Those nagging thoughts may actually be more about ‘not so visible damage’ that needs repairing rather than insecurities that need silencing.

Rather than ignore the squeaks and weird noises, they may actually be alerting you to areas that need further attention. The damaged relationship, like the previously wrecked car, need tender loving care. They require special handling and sensitivity. Each affair or straying episode changes people. Acting like nothing has changed or assuming that it is like things were before may be lulling you into a false sense of security.

Be willing to talk with each other. That may mean reviewing what happened for 236 times. There may be something you missed, or your spouse may still be experiencing difficulty communicating to you what they really need from you. They know something is not right, but they may not have a clear idea what it is. Ignoring or dismissing those awkward attempts or unpleasant rehashing of events may actually be attempts to discover and repair the not so visible damage.