updated 24 Jun 2013, 21:33
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Couples can appear to reconcile without really doing so
by Kerri Heng


He was remorseful and wanted to change, so the couple approached Mr Vasavan for marriage counselling.

With support from friends and changes to his lifestyle, the couple worked things out.

Now they have a child, the husband is a committed father.

But Mr Michael Chin, 41, a counsellor and marriage expert from Care Corner Counselling Centre, said that couples can also appear to reconcile without really doing so.

"On the surface, they may say they trust and forgive each other. But they still need time and evidence that their spouse truly loves them and puts them first," said the counsellor of four years.

"The hurt caused can be very deep. I've seen cases where couples take a few years to truly reconcile.

"In technical terms, we call it 'attachment injury'.

It's like, 'I trusted you so much, but now you have betrayed my trust.'"

Mr Vasavan said some couples can turn the "challenge (of infidelity) into opportunity". But the process is long and they must agree to marriage counselling together.

In the example he mentioned, Mr Vasavan said the wife found it hard to get intimate with her husband again. She used to chat with her husband a lot, but kept to herself after she found out about the affair.

The couple went through therapy exercises together, starting with simple things like holding hands.

"Counselling helps them analyse what went wrong," said Mr Vasavan.

"We make couples talk a lot. They identify their strengths and weaknesses. Then they write out a commitment statement on the changes they agree to make."

The couple will then follow a checklist and stick to their commitment statement.

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