How To Save My Marriage After Infidelity?

man-sitting-on-the-bed-with-two-women-on-the-backSo you’ve found out about the ‘Bob from work’ who would text and call him at wee hours and to whom he wouldn’t talk in front of you, or that the time she had been mad at you and found solace in her best friend from high school days. There had been some weak moments between them but you had been devastated beyond belief nonetheless.

Then after days or perhaps months of counseling sessions, apologies and tantrums every now and then, silence reigned. You might have had strong thoughts about the fact that you would never be able to trust this person again; but in spite of that, you both did decide to give another chance to your marriage; to save it and make it work.

Infidelity is devastating for any marriage and it is important to know that even if you plan to give another chance to your marriage, there is a lot of repair work that is needed and healing in this case, is never easy.

It is assumed at this juncture there has been a total breakoff of the affair and that there will be absolutely no contact of any type moving forward.

1. A Serious Apology

The person who had caused the misery to their spouse due to their wandering body and mind, needs to make up for the loss. But before that, they need to come up with a highly serious and sincere apology explaining how they understand the pain they’ve caused their partner and how they plan to go about amending the damage. Don’t over promise but make sure you deliver what oaths you’ve taken at the time you requested your partner give you another chance.

2. Give Your Mind Some Grieving Time

Instead of jumping to forgiveness right after your heart and soul had been damaged with the ugly truth of infidelity, give time to yourself to heal properly. It doesn’t mean you should necessarily split up but it also doesn’t mean to try to forgive only to find resentment building up inside and coming out every now and then. Give yourself time to get over the fact that you’ve been cheated on and forgive when you have the courage to do so, accepting your partner as the new person they promise to be.

3. Don’t Bring up Blame

Blame goes both ways. If your partner has cheated, then of course you blame them for doing so and not being loyal to you. But even the people who have been the ones cheating on their partners, upon disclosure, sometimes blame their spouses for not being good enough or for not being there when they needed them (which, according to them, led to such a behavior). This is one of the biggest hurdles when you’d are trying to save your marriage. When the subject is brought up again, be sure to do so in as mature a manner as possible. Share the responsibility if that had been the case, but don’t point fingers just to shift the blame from yourself. Looking for solutions is much more productive. Hopefully, you are both willing to see a “marriage friendly” counselor, therapist or coach.

4. Set Boundaries

Of course, one of the fundamental rules of marriage for you which was perhaps previously not written is now very much defined; there is no room for infidelity whatsoever. Also, there is a need to have a refined set of rules pertaining to your marriage, about the boundaries you both are comfortable with and those you promise never to cross.
A couple practical suggestions that have helped some of the couples I’ve worked with has been that everything is an open book. Examples would be that every password and every email account, facebook account and phone plans would be openly shared. Some offenders in order to assure their spouse go as far as using the services cell phones provide of having a tracking device on their phone to help with assurance. Additionally, it is urgent that the straying party keep their spouse informed as to their whereabouts and if they will be later than they planned, they call immediately to give a heads up.

There will be a lot of work needed in this and a great amount of trust to be invested; do it with an aim to make your marriage work so that it goes in the positive direction so doubts are gradually removed.

5. Make it a Point to Connect Physically

It might be hard for you to lower your guard and let your partner be physically close to you, if they have been the one doing the nasty stuff behind your back. But once you both have agreed to give a chance to your marriage and let the wounds heal, it is be important to allow physical intimacy to flourish. It won’t only help you both connect but would also make you both pour your heart out to one another. There will be tears, complaints and promises; all on a very tender note.

6. Don’t Fall For Myths

The worldly wisdom of some might say that once a partner has cheated, they have a tendency to do so again. But keep this in your mind, in your case, where you both are trying to save your marriage, this would be a heavy dose of poison. Even if he won’t be talking to her, you’d think he is; and even when she goes out with a bunch of friends, you’d keep fussing over it recalling the incidents. It is important to keep your head clear; to let your mind heal and get over the bitterness, as that is the only way that you both are going to make it work. (Another school of thought is that if the offender is willing to do all the work that is required to heal the marriage, they are not at all likely to cheat again.)
Learn the art of *forgiveness (huge, not simple subject) and the art of sincerely working towards the health and success of your marriage after you’ve been the guilty party. Only then will you both be able to move forward toward a special future together.
In closing, I want to share that I have worked with many couples in these situations who eventually talk about how they would never want to go through the pain, but they now have a marriage that is so much better than it ever was before all the work of healing from the affair.

*Forgiveness does not mean that what occurred was not a problem, okay or justifiable in any way. It also does not mean you will forget and it does not mean you have to reconcile as some people are just not safe.
It does mean you are choosing to let go, so as not to poison yourself. You probably have known people who have chosen to hang on to every wrong ever done to them. Those people become very bitter and lose the opportunity to enjoy the rest of their lives. Of course no one enjoys being around them either, so they isolate themselves.
I heard a great saying recently: Not Forgiving is like drinking poison yourself and expecting the other person to die. Pretty sad, isn’t it. My experience has been that people who believe in a loving forgiving God usually have an easier time forgiving as they know the command to forgive others as God has and continues to forgive them.

I would love to hear what is working for you as a couple or hear your questions. This helps me to furnish more articles and materials that address the topics that encourage and help you!

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