An affair is the most devastating experience for married couples to go through but after all the pain and sadness, couples have to move on. Some couples end up in divorce after an affair and some chose to stay and work on their marriage. If you are one of those who chose the latter, it is important to know how to make your marriage work after an affair. So how to survive an affair?
Cut all means of communication and stop seeing your lover. Own up to your mistakes, stop the affair immediately and cut all means of contact with your lover. The unfaithful spouse should totally sever all means of communication from his or her lover to create a sense of security to the betrayed spouse. If a chance meeting happened or your former lover contacted you, disclose everything to your spouse and do not leave any details behind. Total disclosure and honesty are important to regain the trust of your spouse and to make your marriage work after an affair.
Do not leave your spouse in the dark about the affair. The unfaithful spouse should answer all queries of the betrayed spouse about the affair. Couples will heal better if all the details of the affair are brought up in the open and the unfaithful spouse honestly provide all the details without holding back any secret. It is hard to make your marriage work after an affair if you will still keep the details of the affair in secret. Discussing and talking about the affair will eventually give the betrayed spouse peace of mind leading to better healing to both of you.
Show empathy to your spouse. An affair is both painful to the adulterous spouse and the betrayed spouse but nothing can be compared to the feeling of being betrayed and cheated. The healing process for the betrayed spouse may take time and the adulterous spouse should show support and empathy to his or her spouse. The cheated spouse may get emotional and may still ask questions even after months or years the affair has ended but you should be always ready to answer and show empathy if you want to make your marriage work after an affair.
Let forgiveness happen naturally. The unfaithful spouse cannot rush or expect quick forgiveness. An affair or the betrayal of your spouse’s trust is not a trivial thing so it will take some time for forgiveness to come. There are stages that the betrayed spouse have to go through. She or he may go through tears, anger and resentment before finally arriving at the point of forgiveness. Forgiveness is important to make your marriage work after an affair but you cannot rush it. Forgiveness will come if the betrayed spouse is ready for it.
Control your rage. If you want to still keep your marriage and want to make the marriage work after an affair, you have to balance your anger and your desire to get all the information of the affair from your adulterous spouse. Try your best not to allow your anger get the best of you. Ask all the questions you want to ask about the affair but still be compassionate and do not attack your guilty adulterous spouse every time. If you decided to keep your marriage after the affair, do not let the affair or your anger take over your lives. Do not let your anger rule you if you want to make your marriage work after an affair.
Open up to each other. It is important to open up and express how you both feel about the affair. Do not hold back and bare all your feelings. By baring all your feelings, disappointments, guilt feelings, feelings of betrayal, feelings of being abandoned, pain, sadness, etc. to each other, you will both realize and understand what went wrong to your marriage. In order to make your marriage work after an affair, you both have to open your heart to each other.
Stay committed in making your marriage work after an affair. Healing after an affair is not easy but a marriage can survive after an affair. Couples have to work hard and stay committed in repairing the damage in their marriage. The unfaithful spouse should stop the affair immediately and start proving his or her trustworthiness while the betrayed spouse should start healing. The commitment of couples is essential for the success of rebuilding the marriage.
Seek help. Both the betrayed spouse and the unfaithful spouse need people they can trust to give them sound advice. It can be very overwhelming to deal with an affair on your own so you need the support of people who can help you sort things out. Choose non-judgmental people who can be with you in your path to healing. Your family, trusted close friends, church elders, spiritual advisers are some of the people you can go to. You may also need professional help from marriage counsellors to help you deal with your marriage issues. It is inevitable to seek help if you want to make your marriage work after an affair, so do not hesitate to seek help.
Move on and leave the affair behind. After all the anger, pain, total disclosure and forgiveness, you both have to move on without talking about the affair. Move forward, spend time together to create new memories and rebuild your marriage. Learn from the trials in your marriage and continue to work as a team to strengthen your marriage.
Infidelity or an affair can be a devastating experience for couples but many marriages were able to survive an affair and save their marriage.
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