6 Steps You Must Take To Save Your Relationship After Being Cheated On

Photo: reshot / edric photographer
Tips For Surviving Infidelity & How To Fix A Broken Relationship After Cheating
Love, Heartbreak

Whether you’re blindsided by an affair or suspected it all along, cheating in a relationship isn’t something that couples quickly recover from.

You may wonder whether it’s even possible to survive infidelity and rebuild trust after dealing with such a disregard for the vows that you both made.

The truth is, not everyone can.

RELATED: What It's Really Like To Be Cheated On (& 10 Steps To Recover From The Pain So You Can Save Your Marriage)

Infidelity affects everyone in different ways. It is up to you to decide if the relationship is worth repairing.

If you decide that you want to fix a broken relationship and find a way to move forward together, the following suggestions will help point you in the right direction.

Discover some of the main steps that you’ll take, including honest and open communication.

Here are 6 steps you must take to recover from an affair or infidelity in your marriage if you want to fix your broken relationship:

1. Stop all contact with the outside party

The very first step in rebuilding trust is ending contact with the other party. Whether you were unfaithful or it was your spouse who stepped out, you both need to refrain from communicating with the other individual.

Stop communicating with the person. Don’t go to places where the other person may be present. Don’t follow them on social media or respond to their emails.

The infidelity is not about the other person. It’s about you and your partner.

To work on your relationship, you need to remove the third party from the equation.

2. Be honest and open about the affair

The unfaithful must be open when their partner has questions about the affair.

Whether they want all the details or just have a few questions, honesty is key. Providing vague answers to these questions does nothing to help re-establish trust.

When a partner refuses to supply answers, it shows a lack of trust. You need to talk openly about the affair, even if it is uncomfortable or embarrassing to discuss.

3. The unfaithful partner must become an open book

Moving forward, the unfaithful partner should be an open book. This means that they should give their partner the chance to check their activities.

Until the trust is re-established, the unfaithful partner needs to let their partner check their phone, email, pockets, and receipts. While this may seem like an invasion of privacy and a sign of distrust, it is often a necessary step.

The reason for this is simple. Actions speak louder than words.

While an unfaithful partner might apologize, or plead forgiveness, their partner may not be willing to offer complete trust without proof. They need to hold their partner accountable until the trust is rebuilt.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Survive Infidelity When You're The Cheater

4. You both need to commit to rebuilding the marriage

Rebuilding a marriage after an affair is something that both parties must commit to. This isn’t a one-sided situation.

The road to recovery can go on for months, years, or the rest of your life. It will be full of challenges and may be overwhelming at times. If you’re not ready for this commitment, then the trust may never come back.

5. You need to uncover the reasons for the affair

As mentioned, you and your partner will need to openly discuss the details of the affair. The partner that has been cheated on deserves answers to any of their questions. This includes the possible reasons for the affair.

Again, these details can be difficult to discuss. But, it’s necessary.

Sometimes, an affair is the result of opportunity and a lack of self-control. Those are the situations that can be the most difficult to recover from.

Though, most of the time, there is an underlying issue that led the unfaithful to act on their impulses. Some of the most common reasons for infidelity include:

  • Boredom or a lack of appreciation
  • Issues related to body image or insecurity
  • Addiction to drugs, alcohol, or sex
  • A complete disconnect or growing apart

These reasons are not excuses. They are simply the causes.

By understanding the cause, discussing the effects, and working toward rebuilding trust, it is possible to move forward. But, it does require open communication and discussion.

If you feel that this discussion will be too much of a challenge for you and your partner, there is help available. You can take advantage of additional resources, books, and programs that are designed to walk you along the road to rebuilding trust.

6. Understand that you have the power to forgive or move on

An affair doesn’t automatically mean an end to a relationship. Instead, it could uncover deep rifts and issues that were ignored or pushed aside.

Though, it’s up to you if you want to forgive and repair your marriage or put an end to the relationship. You should never feel obligated to forgive or blame yourself for the actions of your partner.

For those that are currently dealing with the aftermath of an affair, remember these tips. Remember that this doesn’t need to be the end. It could be the beginning of a healthier, more secure marriage — after the trust has been rebuilt.

Good luck on your journey and don’t forget to explore additional resources for helping you and your partner deal with the effects of infidelity.

RELATED: 10 Real, Time-Tested Ways To Move On After A Heartbreaking Divorce (Full Of Cheating And Lies)

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

C. Mellie Smith provides tools and resources at her blog, Infidelity Healing, to help couples heal themselves and their marriage after the trauma of infidelity. Find out how to get off the emotional rollercoaster and start your healing journey.

Author
Expert