To heal from the wounds of this emotional affair, revive their dying marriage, and protect against the danger of future affairs, Emma and Rich did three things:
First, Emma cut ties with Bob and unfriended him on Facebook. That was a boundary she needed to set.
Second, Emma and Rich worked on meeting each other’s needs. They bought Dr. Gottman’s Small Things Often booklet and read it together. After reading the booklet, both Emma and Rich began to implement small things into their marriage to help them feel connected.
After reading the booklet, Rich came up with a brilliant idea: to win Emma back through Facebook Messenger.
And it worked!
Messaging each other via Facebook became a daily ritual for Rich and Emma.
Connecting in this way helped meet Emma’s deep need for more frequent communication and affectionate words. And as they messaged each other back and forth, they rebuilt their Love Maps and felt more connected than ever before. That deep sense of emotional connection led to satisfying and meaningful sex, as well.
The booklet also inspired Emma to be more intentional about how she and Rich parted for the day and how they reunited after being apart. She came up with genuine compliments to give him about his appearance (since he was often insecure about his weight), and she would always make sure to give him a long, welcoming kiss. It was small, but it made Rich feel like a million bucks.
Finally, following Dr. John & Julie Gottman’s 5 Tips, Rich and Emma implemented a ritual of romantic getaways. Together, they planned and scheduled two romantic getaways for that very year.
This simple ritual helped them strengthen their friendship, share dreams and plans, and invite novelty back into their relationship.
How the story ends
Along with nurturing their marriage, Rich and Emma set other boundaries to protect against future affairs and to re-build trust in their relationship.
It took time, but Rich came to completely forgive Emma, and Emma regained his trust by honoring the boundaries they set together and seeking to meet Rich’s needs.
Connection was something that had been missing in their relationship for a very long time. After many months of healing, their relationship was getting better. They felt more intimate on all levels—emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, and recreationally.
They felt connected again.
Armed with this refortified bond, Emma and Rich committed to continuing intentionally working together to create the type of marriage they wanted and knew could be theirs.