Is There Hope for Your Marriage After Infidelity?
Can your relationship continue after infidelity in your marriage? Nothing is more heart-wrenching than discovering your spouse has been unfaithful. After all, this is the person who is supposed to love you more than life itself. And now, they have betrayed your trust and apparently forgotten their marriage vows.
After infidelity, it is normal to feel anger, guilt, sadness and denial. Your first instinct might be that the marriage is over. However, don’t be too quick to throw in the towel. There is hope. With the right support and perspective, many marriages have gone on to not only survive an affair, but thrive as well.
Dealing with Adultery Proactively
Trust me, no one would think less of you if you wanted to curl up in your room and cry all day after discovering your spouse is having an affair. While it may be a normal reaction, it is not a healthy one. The key to surviving an affair is to take an active part in managing your marriage. Although it may feel like this is happening to you, remember that you can remain in control by taking some simple steps.
Find a Support Network: Whether it is a close friend, relative or a community group for those in troubled marriages, you need to find an outlet. You may be embarrassed or ashamed that you are dealing with adultery, but this is not your fault. Bottling up your emotions only makes picking up the pieces after infidelity that much harder. If you are not ready to talk to someone just yet, try journaling your emotions or find an online support group where you can discuss your feelings anonymously. Attending marriage counseling alone is another way to find an outlet.
Take a Break: Give your spouse some space. If you are both feeling highly emotional, it may be best to have a short separation after infidelity. This is true even if you are committed to surviving an affair with the marriage intact. You both need time to cool off and collect your thoughts so you can discuss your future rationally. Discussing the situation too soon after infidelity and getting into a shouting match will not help your situation.
Avoid Learning All the Details: When dealing with adultery, there is a tendency to want to know all the details about the affair. Again, while natural, this is not necessarily healthy. Not only is there nothing to be gained by knowing every detail, it also makes surviving an affair that much more difficult. You will be opening up your wounds again and again with every new revelation. To move on after infidelity, sometimes it is best to let those past events remain in the past.
Special Note: If your spouse is not only unfaithful but also abusive, please do not wait to get help. There is never an excuse for your spouse to hit you or verbally berate you. Call the National Abuse Domestic Hotline TODAY at 1-888-799-SAFE (7233) for help to get out of your relationship to safety.
How to Evaluate Your Marriage After Infidelity
As you are dealing with adultery, you will need to determine how you want to proceed with your marriage. For some spouses, the infidelity will represent a one-time indiscretion that, while painful, does not negate the positives of the marriage. For others, this may be part of a larger pattern of infidelity or abuse and the final straw. If you are not sure whether your marriage is worth saving, marriage counseling can provide you with an objective perspective on your relationship.
One of the keys to surviving an affair is to learn why it happened in the first place. Once tempers have cooled, discuss with your spouse what prompted the infidelity…
- Did your spouse feel something was lacking in your marriage?
- Was alcohol or drugs involved?
- Does your spouse have an addiction to sex?
- Is your spouse immature and unable to fully commit to the relationship?
- Does your spouse have low self-esteem?
- Is your spouse unhappy in your relationship? Was this his or her way of trying to get out of the marriage?
As hard as it is, try not to be judgmental or angry during this conversation. You want your spouse’s honest answers so you can determine whether the marriage can be salvaged after infidelity. Some issues such as drug or alcohol abuse can be addressed while others such as immaturity may be more problematic. Again, marriage counseling can provide a safe, mediated location to have this discussion.
Once you have determined the cause of infidelity, it is time to create a course of action. This may involve scheduling regular date nights, attending ongoing counseling sessions or agreeing to limits on outside friendships for a brief period. Surviving an affair can be a long process, but it does not have to be the end of your marriage.
Help Your Marriage Survive After Infidelity
If you are struggling with a cheating spouse and would like some help learning the best way to save your marriage or relationship, you might want to check out “How To Survive An Affair”. It’s a course on exactly what the name implies, how to save your marriage or relationship after infidelity. This course is from the counseling team at “Save My Marriage Today”, one of the highest rated online resources for helping people save their marriages and relationships. “How To Survive An Affair” is a program designed specifically to help couples after infidelity.