Spend some time alone after the affair has been discovered, and the shock has worn off. Getting alone with your thoughts will give you time to analyze your relationship and decide if what you have is worth fighting for. Make no mistake – it will be a fight – and it will be difficult. But it is possible to recover after an affair and come out stronger in the end.
Some guidelines to help establish a “new reality” for your relationship will help you both feel comfortable with the changes that will be necessary.
Sit down together and discuss your feelings – don’t try to hide them or act as though you are ok with everything – be honest with your spouse.
Accountability is a key to rebuilding trust after an affair. Establishing new routines, providing access to phones, email, etc is a way to provide transparency in a relationship that wants to be restored.
If you are the injured party, establish what would make you feel more comfortable in the situations where the affair was. If it was with a co-worker, how can you feel comfortable with your partner going to work? Discuss the ways that accountability will help you mend trust.
|Staying Together After an Affair|
Forgiveness: easy to say, hard to offer. Forgiveness does not excuse the pain of the affair, nor does it say that everything is ok. It is about making a conscious decision to forgive your partner for their actions and move past the incident.
It will take time, and sometimes forgiveness needs to be offered daily as reminders of the affair crop up, but forgiveness isn’t for the sake of the guilty. You need to let go of the anger so that you can truly move beyond it.
Create new, shared goals. Begin to build a new relationship together. Find new things that you can do as a couple to strengthen your bond and re-establish your united life.
Commit to the recovery of the relationship – no matter how tough it gets. Remind yourself that what you are working towards is a loving marriage relationship.
Marriage counselling is a wonderful way to get an outsider’s perspective on the problems that may have contributed to the affair, and to get some strategies that will help you move past the betrayal.
Find a counsellor through your workplace’s healthcare provider, through your religious organization or mental health department of your city. Attend sessions together and work on the skills they suggest.
Not every marriage can or should be saved. If, however, you want to work on your marriage it will take both parties to commit to making it work. With both members doing their part to rekindle the spark that brought you together in the first place, you can have a loving and healthy relationship again.