Here is something you should know – your marriage will survive the affair and infidelity. Even though it requires a lot of hard work as you need to be committed to repair the devastation, rebuild trust and reconnect with your significant half, it is still possible.
The untrue spouse should willingly break off the affair, be transparent about the details and take important steps to prove he/she is trustworthy.
The spouse who was on the receiving end should be serious about healing, shouldn’t try to speed up or minimize the entire process by putting aside despair and overwhelming anger to find out more about the affair.
The keys to surviving an affair and infidelity are to keep no more secrets and build a more honest and open relationship.
If you and your significant other are willing to put in the effort to follow these 17 proven ways, your marriage will survive an affair and infidelity.
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Ask your significant half to stop the affair and infidelity
The first thing you need to do is get your significant half to stop the affair completely. Your significant half should willingly cut off all contact with that particular person. Cutting off all contact means that your significant half should stop all face to face conversations, phone calls, coffee break meetings, sex, and dinner dates. By doing this, you will feel safe as the veil of secrecy will get removed.
Ask your significant other to avoid ending the affair over secluded lunch dates or private meetings. Your significant other should inform you before going to meet the former lover. Have your significant other to tell you about the conversation that took place. Also, you should know when the former lover tries to contact your significant other.
Answer every possible question about the affair and infidelity
All marriage experts agree that the marriage has a higher chance of surviving affair and infidelity if the untrue spouse tells you everything about the affair. Even if it hurts you deeply, you should question your spouse about the affair. According to a study conducted on 1083 cheated spouses, they felt reconciled and emotionally stronger when their untrue spouses were honest and open about the affair.
According to the author of “The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs” Peggy Vaughan, the relationship will only start healing when the untrue spouse is open about the affair. Peggy’s husband was involved in 12 affairs, over the course of seven years. The only reason she survived was that her husband answered all questions about the affair.
Show your significant half empathy, regardless of the situation
The best way to show your spouse that you want the relationship to work out is by showing empathy to the significant half. Regardless of all the rage that is swimming in your mind, you should put it aside for the sake of the relationship. As affairs cause high amounts of emotional pain, it is normal to feel angry at your untrue spouse.
When you show empathy to your significant half, he/she will realize how much the relationship means to you. Once your significant half is aware of the damage done because of the affair and infidelity, he/she will start focusing on building the relationship.
Listen and talk about the affair and infidelity, however long it takes
You cannot speed up the healing process of an affair and infidelity. On top of that, if it doesn’t heal properly, the chances of the relationship working out will drop significantly. Also, you want to establish the fact that you want to know every single detail about the affair. It may take a long time before you get to know every information about the affair, even after it has come to an end. Try to keep your emotions under control when you are listening to your spouse talking about the affair.
If you want to start the healing process for your relationship, then your spouse should take responsibility for the affair and infidelity. Your spouse needs to show sincere remorse and regret his/her actions. Your spouse has to apologize as many times as possible.
Have your significant other to also pledge to never commit adultery ever again. When your spouse gives you his/her word, the healing process can finally begin.
Give importance to information than rage
You will want to lash out, cry and scream because of the emotional turmoil the affair and infidelity put you through. However, when you are highly emotional, your spouse may not give you all the information regarding the affair. If you want to get the complete truth from your spouse, you should be compassionate and show resilience.
After you have all the facts about the affair, you will find it easier to handle the whole situation. The moment your emotions take over your logical reasoning, you should stop the conversation for now. Once you have everything under control, you can start talking about it again.
Talk about the after-effects of the affair and infidelity
Don’t hold back when you have to talk about how the affair affected you. In fact, you should discuss your disappointments, doubts, feelings of sadness, anger, abandonment, and betrayal with your spouse. By doing this, your spouse will realize the extent of emotional damage he/she has inflicted because of the affair and infidelity.
Encourage your spouse to build a wall against his/her former lover. At the same time, you should also keep room for intimacy between both of you so that the relationship can survive the affair and infidelity.
Spend time with your significant half without conversing about the affair and infidelity
It will be emotionally taxing when you have to talk about your spouse’s affair all the time. It will be harder to fix the relationship if you are always talking about the affair and infidelity. Instead, focus on bringing the relationship back to life.
You can connect with your significant other as friends first and lovers second. Do things that both of you enjoy so that your spouse will realize why he/she wanted to be in this relationship.
Forgive your significant other only when you are ready
You will never forget about the affair and infidelity as it is extremely scarring. However, the painful memories you have of the affair will go away in time. If you want to get past the intense pain and reconcile with your spouse, you should forgive him/her.
Forgiveness is extremely important as it will help the relationship survive the affair. However, you should completely let go of anger or any other negative feeling before forgiving your spouse. Only take this important step when your spouse is completely honest with you and took the necessary steps to rebuild the relationship.
Create and maintain consistency
If you want your relationship to survive affair and infidelity, you have to make some ground rules and strategies. If you have been in the relationship for a long time, it is quite easy to forget about the promises you and your spouse made. Make new guidelines for your relationship so that there is consistency in it. Once there is consistency in your relationship, it will be easier for your relationship to survive the affair and infidelity.
Understand that it isn’t your fault
According to the author of “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” Linda J. MacDonald, your untrue spouse should be the one who is trying to fix the relationship. It is quite common for people on the receiving end to believe that they did something which led to their spouses looking for another lover.
In fact, this isn’t true because you and your spouse would have made mistakes along the way. However, for the affair to take place, it was the choice of your spouse. Your spouse should have tried to resolve the problem rather than resorting to an affair and infidelity.
Keep the affair under wraps
If your spouse’s affair came to light because someone exposed it, it is highly likely that most of your friends and family members will be aware of what’s going on. However, you shouldn’t try to involve them in the situation as it will make the whole process complicated.
When you and your spouse agree to work things out, the best practice is to keep the details to yourself. It isn’t a good time to share the progress of the healing process with your family nor friends. People have a tendency of adding their opinions, which can change the dynamics of your feelings.
Understand what led to the affair and infidelity
As we are human, it is in our nature to make mistakes. However, when we make mistakes repeatedly, it will become a part of our character. You don’t want adultery to become a part of your spouse’s character.
If you want to understand why your spouse committed adultery, you should ask him/her about what he/she thought was lacking in the relationship. When you are aware of what was missing, you can address them and resolve those issues forever.
Meet basic emotional needs
When you and your spouse make the decision to reconcile and break all contact with the previous lover, you should make it a point to meet all the basic emotional needs. You need to establish a relationship that is as passionate as the one your spouse had with the previous lover. When there is passion in the relationship, the spouse will realize why he/she fell in love with you.
Also, your spouse should realize that his/her emotional needs can be easily met with you, rather than with his/her previous lover. When you work as a team to meet the basic emotional needs of each other, the relationship will survive the affair and infidelity.
Restart the relationship
When you and your spouse are open to working the relationship out, you should try to get away from the regular environment. You can go for activities that require adventure and teamwork such as pitching a tent in the woods or canoeing or hiking to name a few.
When you and your spouse step out of your normal lives, you will begin to have fun again. As a result of this, all the old feelings you and your spouse had for each other will start rekindling. Any feelings of detachment and resentment will thaw out over time.
Focus on restoring trust
In Dr. Janis A. Spring’s book “After the Affair,” he says that for any relationship to survive affair and infidelity. There should be a combination of heart, spirit, wisdom, and clarity. Once you heal from the horrendous pain, you should focus on rebuilding the trust between you and your spouse.
The hardest challenge in making a relationship survive the affair and infidelity is restoring trust. However, once you get past this hurdle, it will be easier to get your relationship back on track.
Seek professional help if there isn’t any progress
It can be really hard to get a third party involved, while you are dealing with your spouse’s affair and infidelity. Maybe you or your spouse will find it uncomfortable talking to a third person about the affair and the problems in the relationship. If there isn’t any progress in the discussions, you should seek professional help.
However, you shouldn’t try to rush and meet professional counselors without trying to sort out the entire problem. You and your spouse actively try to work on the relationship. If nothing is working out, then you and your spouse should come to a conclusion that professional help is required. Professional counselors will help in guiding through the entire process of healing.