Recovering from infidelity is never easy, it can be done if you and your mate are dedicated.
The first steps to recover from infidelity are never easy. In fact they may be the most painful steps you will take as an individual or as a couple as you try to rebuild the trust you had in your partner.
As the victim of your spouse's affair, there is a lot to deal with right after you find out about their indiscretion. Assuming this affair was meaningless to your spouse and they are asking for your forgiveness, you have to do a self-assessment first. You have to answer a number of personal questions yourself before you can truly deal with your mate and decide what your next steps are as a couple. Your self-assessment needs to include answering these questions:
- Do you want your marriage to survive?
- Can you forgive your spouse for their thoughtless act?
- Can you rebuild your trust in your spouse?
- What do you need from your spouse to aid your healing?
- How can you turn this adversity into a positive for your marriage?
For our purposes in this article, we are going to assume you have decided that you want the marriage to survive and both of you are willing to take the necessary steps to heal your marriage. Many couples are not able to overcome this heartbreaking moment in their relationship so you have to approach this healing phase with patience and an open heart and mind.
In order to recover from infidelity, the injured partner has to be able to get past the emotional trauma of your mate's unfaithfulness. It is not a matter of forgiving and forgetting because that is nearly impossible to do, but it also is not about clinging to destructive thoughts either. In other words, you can't continue to bring this dreadful act of selfishness up every time you get angry at your spouse.
You have to accept their acts of forgiveness as genuine and sincere then focus on the reasons why you still want to be with them. What we are really saying here is that you must be solutions-oriented during this time if you really want to save your marriage. Again, it will not be easy to do, but we have seen many couples survive this horrible period in their marriage then thrive as the years went on in their relationship. You can do it too if you focus on building the lost trust, sharing your feelings openly and honestly and looking for meaningful ways to reconnect with your partner.
Once you get to a comfortable place in this re-building process then you can begin to go deeper into the reasons this affair occurred and how you can avoid this happening again. Let's look at some of the things you will need to discuss with your mate to begin to recover from infidelity and get true healing in your relationship:
- The first thing you need to realize that you did nothing wrong that led to your mate's indiscretion, but it may be an indication that something important is missing in your relationship. With that said, you must begin to have honest, non-judgmental discussions with each other so they know how deeply you are hurt and how they can help you deal with your pain of betrayal.
- Another step you must take to recover from infidelity is to hear your mate's side of the story. You need to understand what they were feeling about you and your relationship that would allow them to betray you by having an affair. Did they feel neglected or lonely? Did they feel your love life was lacking? Was there something deeper going on inside that created deep, emotional issues? Once each of you know and understand each other's feelings then you can begin to work on re-building your marriage from an empathetic point of view.
- It is very natural for you, as the one who was betrayed, to go through a series of emotional ups and downs that include bouts of extreme anger. In order to recover from infidelity and save your marriage, you may need to seek professional counseling help or find other marriage counseling resources to help you, like books or online resources. Dealing with anger is never easy, but time does heal all wounds so you need to be patient during this important process.
- At some point in your recovery process, you will need to forgive your spouse for their indiscretion. We are not talking about saying a few simple words of forgiveness, but a true, deeply felt expression of forgiveness. This act of forgiveness is for both your mate and for you. You may ask, "Why do I need this?" You need this as much for your own sanity as anything. You need this so the anger and bitterness don't eat away at you for the rest of your life. You need to be free of this anger bondage if you want to completely recover from infidelity and get on with your life.
While it may be extremely painful to recover from infidelity, it can be done if you and your mate are patient and diligent in your efforts to rebuild the trust in one another and your relationship. Unfortunately, the "for better or worse" turns into worst, but it can return to better and lead to "till death do us part" if you work together to recover from infidelity. If you want to save your marriage, you can never give up on each other or your relationship.