Your marriage seemed to shatter right before your very eyes when you found out about the affair. Your trust is shaken and your self-esteem took a downward leap.
Yes, adultery and affairs do exist but this does not mean you and your spouse have to forget your vows and end your relationship. You find yourself silently shouting, “God, help me save my marriage!”
Rebuilding trust after an affair is possible but only if you are both committed to the process, both believe in your marriage and are both determined to succeed.
Saving your marriage is the ultimate exercise in patience and self-healing. Give yourself time to calm down and process the whole situation. Forcing yourself to stay with your spouse and to restrain your anger is almost impossible when this happens, yet this is what you’ll need to do. You’ll want enough time to compose yourself prior to confronting the whole situation and the people involved in it.
Would a Separation Help?
One of the first questions after an affair is “Can a separation save a marriage?” Possibly -but not likely. In fact only half of separations result in staying married. If the goal of the separation is to think things over and cool down for a while that might be a reason for a trial separation.
There are risks involved, however, along with financial and legal issues. The lure of new-found freedom can overcome the desire to work on commitment and the chances for further adultery abound. If you are already planning to divorce, then separation might be a good option.
Is it MY Fault?
It’s also natural to look within and attach some blame or question yourself for the affair.
Remember that even though you are not perfect – it cannot be an excuse for the person who shared martial vows with you to have an affair and destroy your trust. They did that
all on their own.
Will Counseling Help?
Sometimes an expert is needed because he or she can guide you to work together to get over the pain of betrayal. A counselor or therapist can offer a conducive environment to resolve issues and help work out a recovery plan. Counseling can have its own set of drawbacks as well, such as:
- It can be difficult to find a good counsellor for your needs
- Can be very costly with few results
- One partner might not be willing to cooperate in that environment
So it matters what you put into your counseling efforts as a team. You may need to shop around to find a counselor that actually directs you as opposed to passively listening with much less input.
Having a support system consisting of family and friends can be helpful when you simply need someone to just listen, but an effective professional will give you an objective way of talk through and resolve the issue of infidelity.
There is no perfect relationship because there are no perfect people in this world. What makes a marriage almost perfect, however, is the willingness of both spouses to express unconditional love in spite of each other’s imperfections.
Do You BOTH Want to Repair Your Marriage?
After you have cooled down, decide together to commit to repair your relationship. Speak to your spouse and talk about the situation. By identifying the problems that led to infidelity, accepting they exist and then finding ways to rebuild trust after an affair, you’ll realize that it takes two to tango, thus both of you need to be willing to make things work again.
It may not be easy to speak about your spouse’s affair but if you have an honest and open communication about it, this will help you to survive the infidelity; moving on starts with acceptance, working together and giving enough time to heal.
Why Did It Happen?
Typically someone falls into an affair when their needs are not being met at home. As a couple maybe you weren’t spending enough quality time together or household problems were piling up. In other words, prior to the beginning of the affair, the marriage was already strained.
To be clear that can never be used as an excuse for an affair. The cheater will need to go to great lengths to prove his remorse and commitment to rebuilding the marriage.
Ultimately the cheater will need to offer a wholehearted apology, expressing their understanding of the damage and pain they caused. This can go a long way toward forming a new bond with the victim.
Has the Affair Really Ended?
As a cheater – saving your marriage means you’ll need to ensure that the affair has ended. Your willingness to be fully transparent will help rebuild trust.
Cut all ties with your lover and tell him or her not to contact you anymore. If he or she still communicates with you, be consistent in saying that the affair is over. Inform your spouse that your paramour is trying to reach out to you.
As a victim you can ask questions regarding the details of the affair, though it is wise to give plenty of time before you do this. You cannot take back what you hear from your partner so be very careful about what it is that you think you want to know.
Many couples who are willing to make their union work have become stronger once they have survived adultery. This happens as you re-establish respect, love and trust. By reversing damaging thoughts you can become best friends again and build incredible passion.
After an Affair – Move On
Listen to your spouse and vice versa and then go out with each other constantly to rekindle the love. Of course this can be challenging, but it gets easier. Make time to be with each other. You may even find yourselves back to the time you first fell in love. Let that love seep through your relationship once more. The affair must be seen as just a trial you hurdled together and not a barrier which almost broke up your union.