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Why You're NOT Crazy For Wanting To Save Your Marriage After He Cheats

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intimacy after affair
Heartbreak

And here's how.

Isn’t amazing how you’ve always told your friends that you’d never accept anyone who's cheated on you?

You always said: “He cheats, he’s out!”

Yet, here you are hurting, confused, but still loving him after he cheated.

First, you thought about who he was with and what they’d done together. Then, you kept asking yourself, how could he do that to me?

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It’s not like the love was rushing back in right away. First the pain, then the anger. But in the end, you decided that you didn’t want to lose him.

The bigger problem, though, is that you haven’t quite forgiven him, either.

After all the blame, shame, guilt, questions, screaming and hysterics you threw at him, he proved his sincere commitment to you.

He owned it, he talked about it, he patiently answered all your questions without getting uptight. He explained how he strayed from you and how he made a mistake.

The affair is over now and you know that to be true.

It’s not like you drink, or argue or yell. You really love him, but deep down, you hold onto your resentment.

The worst part is you know he feels it, and you’re afraid that if you keep it up, he really will walk out on you —  for good!

Your biggest fear is that he’s being genuinely authentic with you, but you aren’t being real with him, simply because you haven’t shared your resentment and talked about your difficulty in letting the affair go.

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No question, you are the victim! But forgiveness goes both ways.

You each need to forgive yourselves and each other.

Why? Because each of you had a role in the affair!

Whether or not there was something he perceived as missing or needing, the bottom line is that he went searching for it.

What matters, too, is how much you showed up in the marriage (with communication, attention, kindness, romance, sex, positive energy, etc.).

Everything each of you demonstrates in your marriage (intention, emotion, and action),  has a huge impact on your intimate connection to each other!

Each of you, the cheater and the one cheated on, respectively acts out the pain of what each partner needs or is missing in the marriage.

It’s why communication is so important! Talking, sharing and validating what you hear him saying to you is a big start. Then, have him do the same back to you.

This is intimacy!

 

Here are 5 simple steps to help you bring intimacy back into your marriage after an affair:

1. Speak honestly to each other and without blame.

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After the shock and pain, talk to each other to get all of the information out on the table calmly and respectfully.

The cheater needs to be honest, open, and willing to tell all. The victim needs to listen and ask questions if they haven’t been answered completely.

 

2. Don't get stuck.

There comes a natural cut off period when the questions have been asked over and over by the victim and the cheater feels that he’s answered each question multiple times.

At this point, it’s time to decide if you want to move forward in the marriage.

Whatever you decide, do something, rather than hope it will change by itself. Consider professional marriage counseling.

 

3. The goal is mutual forgiveness, so speak (and listen!) from the heart.

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The goal is to find the words to build honesty and trust and intimacy between you.

Speak your truth and listen for his truth. “What I’ve really been saying to myself is this…”

 

4. Start the conversation off the right way.

Do this when you let go of your resentment towards him, and decide that you can truly speak your truth to him.

Here is how you can start.

“I’m sorry that I couldn’t say this weeks ago, but I’m saying it now. Since the affair, I’ve seen you step up. Thank you. I know I haven’t been talking much. It’s taken me a while to forgive you. I forgive you now. I want you to know that I’m glad we’re here together. You’re very important to me. Starting now, I’m doing my part to show you that I’m committed to this marriage with you. I love you.”

 

5. Just take the first step, don't wait.

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If you wait too long, it becomes more awkward.

 

Something has to change, though.

An affair can be a wake-up call for each of you to change your style of communication and increase the amount of communication with each other.

In other words, if usually you do most of the talking and he’s quieter, then let him talk more and you take a step back and listen to him.

Rearrange the rhythm in how you talk, by listening and reflecting back to each other your thoughts and feelings instead of jumping in and trying to prove your point.

If it’s hard to have couple alone-time because of the kids, then no more excuses! Be creative and make regular weekly couple time (date night) without interruption.

Most importantly, it's your decision.

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No one can tell you what to do or how to feel except you!

What you decide is your decision.

If your spouse is truthful and genuine then there is a lot of room for hope.

Be kind to yourself mentally and take care of yourself every day as you recover from this painful situation.

One more thing: No, you’re not crazy for wanting to save your marriage after his affair!

The good news is that you’re re-awakening the deeper part of your love and now neither one of you takes the other for granted!

Happy New Marriage.

 

Margot Brown has helped couples and individuals create happier lives for 20 years. She’s the author of: “Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out” You can find it on Amazon or in a local bookstore near you.

 

 
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