Affairs and infidelity can be a giant wrecking ball in a marriage. And the decision to pick up the pieces or just walk away from the relationship can sometimes seem even more difficult.
Rebuilding your own trust or regaining your spouse’s can feel like an impossible task.
Rebuilding a marriage isn’t about letting enough time pass between the act of infidelity and the present. It’s about being intentional and consciously choosing to work on the relationship and on you.
Here are a few thoughts to consider if you’re wondering whether your marriage can survive infidelity.
If your spouse cheated:
Rationalizing never helps. You can spend forever inside your own head wondering if it was your fault your spouse cheated or attempting to understand the behavior. It happened, and nothing will change that. You have no control over your spouse or the third person, but you do have control over your life and what you choose to do with your emotions.
Whether you choose to live your life with your spouse or without them, it’s important to move forward. Don’t ever apologize for taking care of yourself and getting the help and support you need. If you choose to work on the marriage, be clear with your partner what you need, and how they can earn their way back into the relationship.
No marriage will be happy and successful if you’re just staying in it for the kids. Your kids will flourish if they have happy, honest parents who are willing to deal with stress and conflict in a healthy way, either together or separate. If you and your spouse are willing to take responsibility for your actions, then kids will do well regardless of what direction you choose to take the relationship.
If you cheated:
Take responsibility for your actions. You may not be able to change the past, but you can change your actions moving forward. It’s important not to compare an affair or the infidelity to your marriage. A short-term, off-limits relationship was a fantasy that can’t be compared to the work and rewards of a loving marriage.
Respect your spouse’s decisions. He or she may reach a point where they choose to withdraw their emotions and their commitment to work on the relationship, and that is their prerogative. It never was just about you, and it’s important to remember that as there are others involved, including other family members and possibly children.
For both spouses:
Don’t expect trust to return over night. Rebuilding a marriage means listening and recognizing what is within your control and what isn’t. It also requires clear and honest communication that doesn’t rely on mind reading, lying, or avoiding.
Not sure where to start?
Counseling or relationship coaching can be an excellent resource, whether it’s time for yourself to process, or you seek help for the two of you.
A counselor is a neutral party with experience and knowledge who can listen to you both and help you learn the skills for open and honest communication. You should never be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Leave a Comment: Have you been in a relationship that was confronted with infidelity? Were you able to make it work?