If you are trying to heal your marriage after an affair, we feel for you.
It’s a tough challenge, but you can overcome one if you and your spouse invest the effort to learn the art of reconstructing marriages after the trauma of infidelity.
The process of reconstructing your marriage is different for each spouse.
Below you will find our best tips to help the unfaithful spouse understand what they need to do to ensure that the process of healing has the best chance of success.
1. Stop the affair and assure your spouse it is over
- Cut all contact with your lover – It’s important for you to understand that if you want to repair your marriage, you can’t risk even being friends with your ex-lover. At least not if you want to save your marriage. It just won’t work.
- Be honest with your spouse – In this phase, it’s also important to be honest with your spouse. If you happen to see your lover by chance, tell your spouse, also inform your partner if your ex-lover contacts you. It won’t feel good to do this, but it will allow you and your spouse to discuss the situation and also begin to rebuild trust.
- Show your spouse that you deleted all contacts with your ex-lover – Display this by removing the contact details and deleting your social media connections with your ex-lover in front of your spouse. It could also help your spouse to develop trust again if for a short period you allow them to have access to your social media and phone to help them understand that the affair is over and you have nothing to hide.
- Avoid other secretive meetings even with friends and family – It could trigger paranoia in your spouse and re-open fragile wounds.
- Keep interactions business like if needed – If you work with the person, keep your interactions businesslike and be prepared to have to discuss with your spouse whether you will stay working with your lover or not. Remember jobs are replaceable, but your marriage is not.
The advice in this section all seems cold and harsh, but it’s the only way that you will be able to begin to rebuild trust between you.
Over time things will return to normal. Although any secret behavior in the future could cause concern for your spouse – it’s worth noting that.
2. Be prepared to answer all questions
Most marriage experts claim that couples heal their marriage better if the cheating spouse answers all of the questions that their spouse has about their relationship.
It helps the spouse who has been cheated to heal and reconcile the information. It also reduces any ‘what if?’ questions and takes all of the mystery out of the situation, thereby, helping your spouse to feel more in control of the situation and less vulnerable.
It eliminates secrets and promotes trust.
3. Empathize with your spouse
Let’s be honest; you cheated, you are going to need to take the consequences of that, you are going to need to accept the emotional response that your spouse will give to you.
This is not going to be good.
It’s crucial that your spouse has space and time to express their feelings about the situation (including their hurt and anger). While your spouse is expressing their emotion, it’s important that you practice empathy no matter how frustrating things may seem.
These difficulties will pass.
It’s important for you to remember that you have rebuilt a little something just by accepting your spouse’s reaction and empathizing with them. Get through this phase successfully and your spouse will begin to feel emotionally held by you. Also, in a strange way, you’ve just created a new intimate moment between you, which could be considered the first steps to a new healthy marriage.
4. Keep talking and listening, no matter how long it takes
Remember that you can’t force your spouse’s healing process. They may need to go over the situation with you many times before they can put it to bed.
Go through the motions, be honest, talk to your spouse, listen to them and try to ring the changes necessary to get through this even if it takes a long time.
5. Take responsibility
There may be reasons why you had an affair.
Perhaps, your marriage was on the rocks, your sex life was non-existent, and your spouse had issues connecting with you. No matter what lead you to this place, under no circumstances, blame your spouse.
You can work through any issues that lead to your cheating as you rebuild your marriage, but it’s vital that you don’t blame your spouse.
Instead, apologize as many times as it takes, show regret and remorse sincerely. Do everything in your power to assure your spouse that you will never cheat again. You might have to repeat this over and over again until your spouse can trust you.
But this is what you need to do to repair the damage that has been made. There will be time and space to work on any other issues that were present in the marriage before the affair, later during the healing process.
6. Manage your expectations
Don’t be misled into thinking that forgiveness will come quickly or easily. You will be mistaken.
You can expect to experience anger, tears, rage, blame, aloofness and everything else in between from your spouse. Stay with it. It will pass – especially if your spouse is taking the appropriate steps to heal from the affair too.