No one wants to think about the possibility of their spouse cheating on them. But, unfortunately, infidelity is a genuine threat to marriages. If your spouse has been unfaithful, it can be one of the most painful and difficult experiences you will ever go through.
But it is possible to save your marriage even after infidelity. With the right approach, you can work through the pain and betrayal to build a stronger, more trusting relationship than ever before. We’ve collected best practices from counselors and marriage experts, including Alana Wade and Esther Perel, to help you heal your marriage after an affair.
Step 1: Accept That the Affair Has Happened
The first step in dealing with your spouse’s infidelity is accepting it has happened. This can be incredibly difficult, but it is essential to moving on. Once you have come to terms with what has happened, you can start to work on rebuilding your marriage.
Remember, the actions of your spouse are not a reflection on you. It is essential not to take the affair personally. Your beauty, intelligence, or desirability has not been called into question. Instead, try to understand why your spouse strayed and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
If you are having trouble accepting that the affair has occurred, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who can help you work through your feelings. You can take couple’s or individual therapy, whichever you feel would be more beneficial.
Step 2: Talk About What Happened
Once you have both accepted that the affair occurred, it is essential to talk about what happened. This conversation will be difficult, but it is necessary to move forward.
You will need to discuss why the affair happened, how it made you feel, and what you want to do to prevent anything like this from happening again. Answer the following questions with your spouse:
– What led to the affair?
– What were you thinking and feeling during the affair?
– What were your motivations for having an affair?
– How did the affair make you feel about yourself and your spouse?
– What do you want to do to prevent anything like this from happening again?
Giving each other space to express your anger or hurt is also essential. Then, once you have talked about what happened, you can start to work on rebuilding trust in your relationship.
Step 3: Rebuild Trust Slowly
Rebuilding trust after an affair can be a long and challenging process. It will take time for your spouse to earn back your trust. Start by setting small goals and working up to larger ones.
For example, start by allowing your spouse to see your phone if they ask, but don’t let them have unrestricted access. Then, as time passes and trust begins to rebuild, you can give them more access and freedom.
Trust is something that needs to be earned back slowly over time. So be patient and give each other space to heal and rebuild trust at a pace that works for both of you.
If you’ve been the one who had an affair, be prepared to answer any questions your spouse has. Be honest about what happened and why it happened. Take responsibility for your actions and be willing to make things right.
Signs Your Marriage Has a Second Chance
Just because your spouse cheated on you doesn’t mean your marriage is automatically over. If both of you are willing to work through the pain and betrayal, you may be able to save your marriage.
Here are some signs that your marriage has a second chance:
- You’re both willing to talk about what happened and why it happened.
- You’re both willing to work on your marriage.
- You both respect each other and are willing to rebuild trust.
- You both are committed to your marriage and want it to work. (1)
Infidelity is a painful experience, but it is possible to save your marriage even after cheating. The key is to accept that the affair has happened, talk about what happened with your spouse, and rebuild trust slowly over time. Then, you can overcome infidelity and build an even stronger relationship with patience and effort. (2)
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