Love is the answer to all questions? Not quite. She also represents quite a few. This time, psychologist and couple therapist Oskar Holzberg tells us if you can really get over a scam.
No. And maybe we should not. But a scar does not have to hurt forever.
Now in detail:
If our sweetheart loves another woman. If he pretends to write his dissertation but instead plays the day with his friends. If he sinks our fortune into derivatives, even though he has promised us nothing to risk. Then an earthquake shakes our relationship. The ground on which we thought so safe, wavers. “I never thought that could happen!” We say. Of course we know that there are affairs, deceit and lies everywhere. Why should we of all people be spared? But that’s exactly what we did not just hope for but really believed. And now we stand before the ruins of our relationship.
It’s a tough job
By cheating, we lose confidence in others, and with it the belief in the special quality of our relationship. So we lost the feeling of absolute security. The romantic fairytale castle “Togetherness” in the midst of evil reality no longer exists. The reality has us again. And now we are faced with the question of how much emotional security we can find in our relationship again. We very much trust that our partner, our partner is there for us and stands by our side. Can we heal together the binding injury that has occurred? It depends.
The hardest part is when we have had little or no security during our childhood. If we are traumatized by early losses, the fraud will tear up old wounds. That makes it harder to get back together than it already is. And it’s always hard. It is real relationship work before we can “give” trust again. Some couples do not succeed. The pain of the fraud flares up between them constantly: A message on the phone, too intense a view of the attractive table neighbor – and jealousy and mistrust break up again, everything is questioned again. The relationship threatens to break. Other couples, on the other hand, manage to integrate the fraud. They have lost the illusion of unconditional certainty, but they trust their relationship. They remain more cautious, but they also see it as their common strength that they have even mastered a major crisis together. This creates a new, different trust in each other.
Everyone handles a crisis differently
And some couples even grow on the earthquake of their relationship. For them, in fact, the happy slogan is true that crises are always opportunities for growth. The scam woke her up. You see that the breach of trust did not happen by chance, but because as a couple they were not open, not close, not intimate, not honest enough with each other. The deception becomes the trigger for intensive discussions, for a clarification, for a relationship 2.0: another, more interdependent partnership, which now has not less, but more meaning for both. But only with time will it become clear whether the scar heals well and becomes a proud sign of this relationship - or whether it hurts forever.
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Oskar Holzberg, 64, has been advising couples in his Hamburg practice for more than 20 years and repeatedly gets relationship questions. His current book is called "New Key Phrases of Love" (242 p., 20 euros, Dumont).