Are you seeking information on how to save your marriage from an affair? If so, you’re in the right place!
Have you just discovered that your spouse, the one person you thought you could always count on 100 percent, has betrayed you? Or have you been unfaithful to your spouse despite your promises to remain true to them?
Whichever side of the infidelity equation you are on, I want you to know you are not alone. It’s estimated that between 25 percent and 75 percent of all couples deal with infidelity.
I also want you to know that you can learn how to save your marriage from an affair, if you are both determined to do so.
Determination is important because an affair tears away the very foundation of marriage. It breaks the trust upon which your entire relationship is based. It takes effort – a lot of effort – to build a new foundation.
Luckily, the effort is worth it for most couples. Despite the devastation the affair has caused, when you rebuild the trust you can wind up happier in the long haul. Yes, happier than you ever were together before! That’s because you’ll discover the magic of being truly authentic with each other.
How do you save your marriage from infidelity and create a stronger union?
You begin by recognizing there are two phases to rescuing your relationship. The first is dealing with the discovery crisis. The second is creating a new marriage.
Discovery of the affair is extremely traumatic for the betrayed spouse. The infidelity rips away the total trust you had in your partner. And it can also trigger an identity crisis which is terrifying.
It is not easy for the straying spouse either. They come face to face with the painful repercussions of their bad decision.
This means that the discovery isn’t just in the moment. It takes time to process the information and assess the level of determination each of you are willing to commit to fixing things.
The way through the devastation of discovery is by keeping these four ideas in mind:
1. Assume responsibility for your part in the crisis you are now facing.
If you are the spouse who strayed, assuming responsibility for your actions without blaming anyone else is critical. You are the one who made the poor decision.
If you are the spouse who was betrayed, you’re responsible for how you respond to the news that your mate had an affair.
Avoid making any snap decisions while your emotions are running high and you are still reeling from the shock of the discovery. Impulsive decisions will simply be reactions to the hurt. You deserve to have some time to understand the situation before making any big decisions.
2. Commit to and expect complete honesty.
You’re both hurting now.
The betrayed spouse is reeling from the infidelity, broken trust and wondering what is wrong with them that their mate would do such a thing.
The spouse who had the affair is suffering from hurt feelings, incredible guilt, and maybe even some resentment.
Despite the pain you are both suffering, if you are the straying spouse, you need to step up and support your mate in making sense of what you have done. Saving your marriage will require you to listen to your partner honestly and openly discuss their hurt.
In addition to listening, you will also need to honestly answer your mate’s questions and offer meaningful apologies that validate their feelings. Because this is such a traumatic situation, your mate may need to cover the same ground multiple times before coming to grips with what you are telling them.
3. Be OK with taking some time apart.
Emotions run high during this first phase of saving your marriage from an affair. Sometimes they run so high that it is difficult being around each other.
It is completely OK for each of you to have some alone time to think about things or just to cry without the pressure of trying to communicate with each other.
This alone time ranges from a few hours or days to an actual separation. The thing to remember is taking time apart does not mean that your marriage is doomed. It simply means that at least one of you needs some time alone before being able to move into the second phase of rescuing your relationship.
4. Find safe, non-judgmental support for yourself.
You each deserve to have some assistance in making sense of what you are experiencing separate from each other. You can consider reaching out to family and friends, your religious leader, and a therapist.
Family and friends are often too close to the situation to remain objective, so think carefully before divulging too much to your friends and family about what is going on.
Both your religious leader and a therapist are more likely to provide you safe, non-judgmental support. They can help guide you in navigating this devastating discovery portion of your quest to save your marriage.
Once you have made it through the bulk of the discovery crisis, it is time to start rebuilding your marriage.
This is when you contact a marriage counselor or relationship coach because you need their knowledge and skills to help you rebuild a new relationship that is based on trust and open communication.
The helping professional you choose to work with will guide you in considering possible reasons for the affair as a starting point for healing. They will also offer you guidelines for having the tough discussions about sex, finances, and values.
Their goal is to help you both work toward forgiveness so that the affair is transformed from being the ruin of your relationship to being the catalyst which allows you to create an incredibly strong marriage.
As I mentioned before, saving a marriage from an affair is hard work. But if you can each expand your concept of love for one another to encompass the forgiveness of an enormous mistake like an affair, then you will emerge as one of the happiest couples around.