So you’re cheating on your spouse. Now what? Can you save your marriage after an affair?
Affairs are nuclear bombs. They ruin relationships, marriages, split up families, and destroy reputations.
You lay awake at night wondering…what did I do? How do I get out of this? Can my marriage survive? Will she ever forgive me?
When someone has an affair, at a minimum; it creates a division: the time before you had an affair and the time after the affair. You may choose to believe the time before the affair was good, whether it’s true or not, but the hard fact is now after the affair, things are different. The truth is that you cannot simply go back to the way things were because you crossed the line.
The experts at Divorce Magazine note that about 45-50 percent of married women and 50-60 percent of married men cheat on their spouses. However, the good news is there’s hope because Divorce Magazine also notes that about 70 percent of couples actually stay together after an affair is discovered.
You just need to simply start over.
How to Save Your Marriage After An Affair
Having an affair does not need to spell the end of your marriage. There are steps that you can take in order to rebuild the foundation of your relationship. Let’s take a look at a few below.
Perhaps the most difficult thing you will need to do is to repair the damage you’ve done to the trust your spouse had in you. It takes time, work and commitment from both of you, and open and raw lines of communication if you are going to save your marriage.
To rebuild the trust you had with your partner, there are certain steps that need to be followed before any of the work can begin.
End the Affair Completely
This sounds simple enough, but the affair needs to end immediately if you are going to save your marriage. This means, stop all contact, and stop it NOW. No phone calls, no meetings, no texts, nothing. If the person contacts you, tell your spouse about it immediately.
No More Lies
Do not make any excuses for the affair. Come clean to yourself first, and then your partner. You committed adultery and there is no justification for cheating.
It would be naive to think that an affair is always one-sided. There are usually breakdowns in a relationship that cause an affair to happen. Most importantly, the partner who has cheated needs to take complete responsibility for the affair. It is a choice to begin an affair and not end the marriage first. It is a choice to begin an affair and break one’s wedding vows. Avoid shifting blame to the reasons why the affair happened and accept your part in it.
There has been a major breach of trust. It’s going to be an uphill battle for your partner to trust you again. From now on, you will need to be completely upfront and honest with your partner. Keep your promises. If you say you will do something, then do it. If you say you will be somewhere at 7:00, be there at 7:00. These small, seemingly insignificant steps will slowly rebuild the trust that has been damaged. Most importantly, understand and accept that your partner will want to know the details of your schedule until they can believe in you again.
Accept the end of your marriage as it is
Even if you are able to end your affair and repair your marriage, it will never be the same as it once was. From now on, your marriage is new and based on new things.
First and foremost, you need to forgive yourself. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t culpable for the affair and the damage you caused. This means that you are human, and you deserve a second chance. You and your partner are going to experience this pain together. If you want your partner to let go of her pain, then you have to hold it,” says Janis Abrahms Spring author of After the Affair.
Understand that forgiveness will take time, so there must be patience on both sides.
Very few marriages can survive infidelity without the help of a professional. Making the decision to get help from an outside party will be the first step in healing a broken marriage. A trained neutral party will help by listening to both sides of the story, making actionable suggestions along the way to help you focus on rebuilding your life. Without a trained professional, conversations can easily turn into yelling and blaming.
By making the commitment (time and financial) this proves that both partners are willing to work hard to put the pieces of their lives back together.
Ready for a change? This will be the best 45 minutes you’ve spent working on yourself or your marriage.
You may feel like there is no hope in saving your marriage after an affair. And, to be truthful, the effects of broken trust can be felt for years to come, but it doesn’t have to be. You can learn to trust again, and it doesn’t have to take years. You have the choice to move on!
It’s worth it! Your marriage may come out of it better than ever!