Unfaithful spouses cause severe mental, emotional, and physical devastation in a couple’s marriage. Having an affair leads to emotional havoc on both ends, including feelings of anger mistrust, confusion, betrayal, sadness and more. Most couples call it quits right away because they have no idea how to handle all of their feelings. We’re here to tell you that it’s possible to work through them, pick up the pieces, and regain trust. Rather than throwing the marriage away, there are steps you can take to try to heal your marriage.
Remember, forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight.
Let’s take a look at these 7 helpful steps:
1. Be honest
The unfaithful partner must be willing to admit their actions, end the affair, and vow to cut all ties to them. Genuinely apologize. Explain how it made you feel and why you did it. Tell your partner all of the details (as hard as it may be) so you can begin to reopen your communication lines.
On the receiving end, afer you’ve had time to collect yourself and maintain your emotions, begin expressing all of your feelings, listen, and ask questions. Don’t hold anything back. Now is the time to let everything out.
2. Take Time Apart
Giving each other space may be a good idea to think about the situation, process emotions, and refresh yourselves. Exercise, meditate, read, write, travel, and empower yourself with some “me” time.n
3. Contact Family & Friends
You’ll need a lot of support in the healing journey. Non-judgmental friends and family can be a shining light when you need to talk. Those 3 am reliable friends can be life-savers.
4. See a Therapist By Yourself
Mental health professionals can give you extra guidance as you sort through your emotions. Having a level-headed outside perspective can help tremendously. Evaluate your relationship and consider why the affair happened in the first place. Was your relationship rocky? Is your sex life healthy? Is there unhappiness in the marriage? Examine anything that may need to be changed moving forward.
5. Evaluate Your Marriage
After the initial shock period is over, start spending time together again. Talk about if you’re happy, what the other person needs changed, if the attraction is still there, and if you’re willing to work it out. Finding future goals can also help strengthen the healing process.
6. Begin Forgiveness
Start being open again and letting them back into your lives. Create new communication guidelines such as texting more often, phone calls when you get places, or nightly dinners revealing all the details of your day. Levels of communication will differ between couples, so it’s important to find your common ground. Slowly but surely start forgiving them each day while rebuilding your trust level. Keep in mind, it can take years to truly forgive being cheated on. Every situation is different.
7. Join Support Groups or Marriage Counseling
Having support from couples who have been through the same experience can be very beneficial. Listen to others, share your story, and continue to learn and heal. Marriage counselors can be a solid rock for both of you as you move forward as well. They can provide tips and proven techniques to save your marriage.
Bottom line… if you’re both willing to put in the work, your marriage can be saved. It may even come out stronger on the other side. Just know that it will take time, perseverance, open communication, and trust, to pick up all the broken pieces and glue them back together again.