When a spouse cheats, the infidelity damages the marriage and causes intense emotional pain for all parties. While some would walk away from the relationship without even thinking about reconciliation, others are willing to forgive and try to move forward.
In recent years, statistics have shown that over 50 percent of all married couples have experienced the pain of infidelity.
Learning how to save a marriage after infidelity will be difficult and will require sacrifices and compromises from both spouses.
These steps are necessary in order to salvage a relationship that has been broken by adultery.
Put an end to the affair immediately.
In order for a couple to properly recover from marital infidelity, the unfaithful partner must cut off all contact with their lover right away.
Take time apart to cool down.
At the moment of discovery, both spouses in a marriage will feel a sudden flaring of numerous emotions–guilt, anger, fear, betrayal, etc. During this time when emotions are high, there is a good chance that neither partner will be able to communicate calmly.
Both spouses should take some time to cool off and allow their emotions to cool down, even if it takes a few days or weeks.
Share your feelings with someone close to you who is willing to listen to your feelings and support you through this painful situation. The most helpful people at this time will be those who don’t take sides and those who won’t try to fix your problems by giving you advice.
Until your emotions have had time to cool down, most forms of advice will be unfruitful.
Take as much time as necessary. The sudden exposure of an affair can result in a type of information overload.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed at a time like this. Give yourself the time to think over the situation and process it piece by piece. Whatever you do, don’t let the outside opinions of others play a role in your decision to save your marriage.
Express your feelings honestly to your partner.
Once you’ve both cooled down, you can both sit down together and talk things through. Be honest, be open, and be respectful.
Voice your thoughts and concerns and leave nothing hidden–even if you think that you’ll make the situation worse–so that every problem can be dealt with together properly.
If you were the unfaithful partner, this is the time to apologize. If your partner wants to know, explain to them the history of the affair and express your reasons for participating in the affair. If they do not want to know, then keep it to yourself. Most importantly, express your regret.
If you were the victim, then forgive your partner. It will be difficult. It may seem impossible, but it is vital to the future health of your marriage. An unwillingness to forgive will only result in festering anger and bitterness.
Rebuild trust in the relationship.
Spend a lot of time with your partner, even if you don’t feel like being around them anymore. Do not hide anything from each other.
Emotions should be shared, problems should be discussed, and nothing should be a secret anymore.
Talking and spending time together is integral in the process of rebuilding trust. Keep in mind that this process can take many months or years.
Seek the help of a marriage counselor.
A licensed marriage counselor who is trained in marital therapy can greatly help couples who experience the pain of infidelity.
Marriage counselors are third party individuals who can maintain a straight and unbiased perspective. This third perspective can help identify problems and guide you towards saving your marriage.
You can do all of the above, but you cannot do it alone. Use this time to evaluate your spiritual relationship.
Is God the center of your marriage? If He’s not, maybe it’s time that you invite Him into your marriage.
Prayer will be essential during this time. Some days are going to be harder than others, but with prayer you will prevail.