Is It Possible to Save Your Marriage After an Affair?
Infidelity is a severe betrayal that undermines the fundamental foundation of a marriage. This is true even when the affair is “just” emotional — when a partner seeks a deep personal connection with someone other than (and instead of) their partner. Many couples battle strongly with the question of whether their relationship can repair after an affair.
There is no one outcome for marriages that have had an affair. Each way forward is challenging, but it is also as distinct as each relationship.
In the book “After the Affair: How to Save Your Marriage,” there are couples that not only survive, but thrive. Couples who are able to move on from infidelity are similar in that the spouses respond in the same basic ways:
The cheating spouse expresses regret.
Healing can occur only when the adulterer completely admits and accepts responsibility for their misdeeds. The individual must also demonstrate remorse for the harm they have caused, with no hedging or defending the adultery. They must state unequivocally that leaving the marriage was a mistake. They can get a lot of traction by saying things like, “What I did was wrong.” I sincerely apologize for it, as well as for the hurt it has caused you.”
The cheating spouse validates their partner’s anguish.
The faithful spouse will probably experience a range of feelings, including hurt, betrayal, despair, and fury. The person who cheated must listen to, acknowledge, and validate their victim’s sentiments. This is a lengthy process that will necessitate numerous chats as the partner works through their emotions.
It can be exhausting to listen again and again, but the dishonest partner must be patient. They must maintain empathy and compassion even when their spouse visits and revisits their previous deeds, which they cannot change.
Importantly, the damaged partner must finally seek relief from their suffering and reconnection, rather than retaliation. Remaining deeply furious and sticking to the impulse to emotionally beat up their spouse will not restore the relationship and will only hurt it more. Hopefully, if their spouse can listen compassionately to their grief, they will eventually feel comforted. The agony will be alleviated, but it will not be forgotten. At that moment, the couple may be able to progress toward reconciliation.
Both partners work together to mend their marriage.
Prior to the affair, they must analyze the state of their marriage. While having an affair is unacceptable, the issues in the marriage that may have contributed to it must be addressed. They can work on improving and strengthening their marriage by talking freely about how each of them contributed to their difficulties. Their interactions must be open and honest, and they must unfold in a way that restores trust, caring, and a feeling of teamwork.
It is hoped that your efforts would improve communication, boost compassionate interactions, and foster a closer bond. This requires perseverance and dedication to resuming a meaningful relationship. While such efforts will not undo the past or remove the pain of betrayal, you and your partner can use the terrible past to build a better, healthier marriage.
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