After The Affair
Finding out that your spouse has been unfaithful is probably one of the hardest things to accept in a marriage. Even after the affair is over, the feelings of betrayal and humiliation can be overwhelming.
If you are the one who was cheated on you may feel like there is no way you could ever forgive your partner. If you are the one who was unfaithful you might be feeling guilty and helpless to undo the damage. Either way, don’t give up yet. It probably won’t be easy, but many couples have been able to survive an affair and even learn to make their marriages stronger in the process.
If your marriage has been shattered by infidelity there are some things you should know if you want to have a chance of putting the pieces back together. There are some steps you definitely should take and others you ought to avoid. Following these guidelines will give your marriage the best chance for healing after the affair.
Keep Your Cool
First, as hard as it will probably be, try to be very careful what you say to your spouse. Things are already really bad, don’t make them worse by losing control and saying things that you will regret. If you are the injured partner it’s natural to want to strike back verbally (or even physically) but this won’t change what has happened and probably won’t even make you feel any better. It is probably best to take a little time to cool off before you try to discuss the situation at all.
If you are the one who was doing the cheating you may feel like the best thing to do is to just come clean and get everything out in the open. That may not be the best idea right now. Right after the affair could be too soon for your partner to have any kind of a rational conversation about it. Both of you need to spend some time coming to terms with your emotions before you discuss the issue. You need to realize that what you say and do right now can have a profound impact on whether or not your marriage survives the crisis.
When you feel like you have your emotions at least somewhat under control it is important that you and your spouse do begin to talk about things. It is critical at this stage for both of you to try to understand why the affair happened. This is the first step in threading your way through the emotional minefield that exists in a situation like this.
As hard as it may be, you need to be honest with yourselves and realize that, in most cases, both partners share some of the responsibility for the problem. This doesn’t excuse the betrayal that took place, but if you are going to restore your marriage after the affair you must get past all the accusations. Your focus needs to be on identifying the issues in your relationship which led to the unfaithfulness and the changes that can be made to resolve these issues.
With enough patience and a sincere desire to make things work, infidelity doesn’t have to destroy your marriage. You can rebuild the trust that is crucial to a strong, healthy relationship. It probably won’t be easy and it may take some time, but don’t give up hope. You could be like many other couples and wind up with an even stronger marriage after the affair than before.