If you’re a married person who has not experienced infidelity within your own relationship (and that’s great to hear), chances are, you have a family member or friend who has. The unfortunate reality is that reportedly half of all marriages will experience an affair—whether it’s physical or emotional—during the course of it.
And just why is that the case? The reasons are about as vast and unique as the marriages themselves, but some of the top causes are poor communication, lack of intimacy and personal needs not being met.
Another big reason is that one or both individuals finding themselves feeling like their partner takes them for granted. That’s why it’s so important to make the daily choice to make your husband or wife a top priority, to treat them as your best friend and to not ignore them when they share with you that they are unhappy, unsure or dissatisfied with something that’s going on within the relationship.
But what do you do if you do become the victim of infidelity? Is there a way that you can heal and your marriage can get past such a tragic situation?If you’re curious about how to help your marriage survive infidelity, here are 5 great tips to keep in mind:
1. Decide that you want to fight for your marriage
When you and your spouse promised to love one another until death parts you on your wedding day, it was a public declaration that no matter what, there’s a desire to maintain a powerful commitment and connection. It’s true that if your partner cheated on you that they severely compromised their vows; however, that doesn’t mean that your marriage has to end. By first making the decision to work through the aftermath of the affair, you will be amazed by the amount of strength and tenacity you will have in order to work together to make your union stronger.
2. Watch who you talk to and how much you say
It’s pretty common for the victim of an affair to want to seek validation from others; to hear people say that it’s OK to hurt, to not trust and to even be angry for a season. But you have to remember that while your emotions may be temporary, the people you talk to may choose to never forgive your spouse. Plus, there’s a chance that they also may share what happened with other people. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that you are selective in who you talk to. Go to individuals who are trustworthy, who will support you and your marriage. Seek out individuals who have proven that they are able to offer truly sound advice.
3. See a marriage counselor
Ask anyone who’s been through an affair before about how to help your marriage survive infidelity and one of the things that they’re probably going to tell you is you should see a marriage counselor. You are going to need to deal with a professional who is skilled, objective and able to provide unbiased counsel and effective solutions to getting your marriage on track.
4. Work on restoring intimacy
You may not be ready to have sex right away but intimacy is about more than what happens in the bedroom. You both need to talk about your feelings. You both need to state what your needs are. You both need some time away together to get a break from the daily demands of life so that you can focus on your relationship. Affairs tend to be huge warnings of brokenness within a marriage and more times than not, the brokenness is related to deep-rooted intimacy problems. Cultivating an emotional connection is paramount when it comes to the healing of your relationship.
5. Take it one day at a time
A wound, whether it’s physical or emotional, needs to heal. And the reality is that no matter how many things you do, some things can (and will) only get better with time. Therefore, don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself or your spouse to “get over the affair”. It’s far wiser to mutually decide to simply make the choice to remain together and then provide each other with the support that is needed to get through the healing process—one day at a time. If you do that, although the affair will always be something that you will remember, the way that you feel about it next year will not be the exact way you feel about it today. Time healing all wounds is not just a popular saying. It’s a reality that can be trusted. Take your time. Focus on healing. Watch what happens.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Shellie Warren