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Marriages seared by unfaithfulness can be restored, but the healing process requires more than mere forgiveness.

Not long ago a young couple was in my office working through a serious marital crisis: infidelity. A few months earlier she had discovered his involvement with another woman. She confronted him, and he confessed. They wanted to quickly move away from the pain, so he asked her forgiveness and pledged to never see the other woman again.

Her "I forgive you" was said, and life moved on. But after several months, for reasons they didn't understand, they remained confused and angry with each other. She reiterated her forgiveness, and he kept telling her everything was in the past. Somehow that wasn't enough to bring healing.

They had completed only one part of the very difficult process of reconciliation. There is more to rebuilding a relationship than just forgiving. In counseling couples facing this struggle, I find several specific steps helpful.

Exploring the Painful Alternatives

Many of the couples I see have never considered their options. They've made up their minds ...

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