4 Ways To Survive Infidelity & Fix Your Broken Relationship After An Affair

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How You Can Survive Infidelity After An Affair & Fix Your Broken Relationship With Your Cheating Spouse

Surviving infidelity and trying to forgive your cheating spouse for an affair is a difficult, hard-to-overcome position.

But learning how to fix a broken relationship after infidelity and create a new, healthy situation with your cheating spouse isn't impossible.

RELATED: Why Some People Stay In Relationships After Betrayal...And Why Others Leave

Often times, people say things like, “My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life.” Well, you don’t marry someone with the expectation that the marriage is going to end in lies, betrayal, and infidelity. Nor do you ever imagine having to google "how to recover from an affair." or "how to fix a relationship."

However, the harsh reality is that in approximately one-third of marriages, one or both partners will admit to being unfaithful. Learning of an affair in your relationship will undoubtedly leave you feeling hurt, confused, and unsure of where to go or what to do.

Here are 5 ways you can heal from an affair, survive infidelity, and create a healthy, happy relationship with your spouse:

1. Decide whether you want to stay or whether you need to move on

When something like an affair happens, you may feel pressure from those around you to stay in the marriage and fix things.

Will you be able to accept what has happened and begin to put the pieces back together in your marriage? Or will it be too painful for you and you need to make the decision to move on?

This decision is one that only you can make, so allow yourself time to weigh your options and make a decision that is truly best for you.

Either way, be sure to express how you are feeling to your partner in an honest and constructive manner. Your thoughts and feelings are important, and you deserve to have your voice heard.

2. Acknowledge your feelings as a start to surviving infidelity.

It is important to validate your own feelings and to accept that how you're feeling is absolutely OK.

Whether you're feeling intense sadness, anger, jealousy, frustration, or fear, those feelings are normal and are a part of the grieving and healing process.

The best thing you can do is to acknowledge those feelings and allow yourself to feel them.

Pretending those feelings aren't there is only going to make your healing process more complicated. You can't fix what you don’t acknowledge.

3. Learn what really makes you happy.

After an affair, you may feel as though you've lost a part of your identity. It's important to redefine what makes you happy and what nurtures you in life.

Spend some time getting to know yourself again and learning what makes you happy and feel fulfilled.

If you've made the decision to make the marriage work despite infidelity, it's going to be very important for you to heal as an individual as you also try and heal from the affair.

Work on your own happiness while also learning how to recover from an affair and repair your marriage with your spouse. You cannot be in a healthy relationship without first being healthy yourself.

RELATED: How To Decide Between Saving Your Marriage Or Getting Divorced After Infidelity

4. Forgive yourself and/or your spouse.

Whether you choose to stay in the marriage or go your separate ways, forgiveness is going to be a vital part of the healing process for you. When you forgive someone, you're not excusing their behavior or giving them permission for what they did.

Instead, forgiveness is allowing yourself to let go of that painful part of your life and begin to move forward.

The decision to forgive should be made for you, and not for the other person. There is a saying that goes, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

When you hold on to anger and resentments, the only person you're hurting is yourself.

5. Seek support from those around you.

When going through something as painful as an affair, it's important to not allow yourself to go through it alone. Seeking the support of family members, friends, or even professional support groups is going to be vital to your recovery and healing.

Don't be afraid to lean on others and to ask for help. The people closest to you may not understand what you're going through because they haven’t been there. They can still provide love, encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on.

If you're struggling with questions of how to fix a broken relationship or recover from infidelity and need some additional support, don't hesitate to ask for help.

Working through infidelity and distrust in a relationship can be a very difficult and lonely process — you should not have to go through it by yourself.

RELATED: 7 Things To Look For In A Couples Retreat When You Want To Heal Your Marriage From Infidelity

Janie Lacy is a licensed mental health counselor and owner of Life Counseling Solutions (LCS) which specializes in helping men and women recover and heal from difficult relationships in order to be happier and healthier people. To learn more or schedule an appointment visit Life Counseling Solutions webpage or sign up for the LCS newsletter here.

This article was originally published at Life Counseling Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.