How to Survive Infidelity and Save Your Marriage After a Cheating Spouse
How to Survive Infidelity and Save Your Marriage After a Cheating Spouse
Infidelity and affairs happen more frequently than we like to think about.. The good thing is most women and men who find their husband or wife cheating want to fight for it and give the marriage a second shot.
Similarly cheating wives and husbands who see what they have risked and may lose, often want to make amends’ than stay with their new love interest.
In both cases the act of research or seeking support and willingness to try the solutions is a strong sign that the marriage can survive infidelity.
In marriage counseling infidelity recovery sessions, I often hear many argue over what infidelity is, according to the English Online Dictionary…
Infidelity is the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse..
Infidelity therefore can take many forms…
virtual, emotional, physical and financial.
No matter what type of infidelity has taken place, it is deeply traumatic for the betrayed spouse and the marriage. The betrayer can also suffer regret, depression and shame…
Often spouses fall into trouble because they only talk about the infidelity to solve it, they spend too much time focused on why it happened rather than moving forward. Don’t get me wrong looking at the relationship before and during the affair compared with where you want to be now can be useful. But too much obsessing can be damaging.
Couples that after marriage counseling focus on actions rather than words tend to thrive. So in answer to the question is YES! marriages can and do survive infidelity time and time again and in fact many can actually become out stronger and happier as a result.
Dave and Cindy (names changed to protect identity) before the affair were living separate lives under one roof, they just weren’t engaged in each other’s lives, they stopped having sex for 4 years and their only communication was about children activities or bills that needed to be paid.
After the affair and creating some agreed upon actions they are naturally now more affectionate towards one another, interested in each other’s day and love spending time together.
The key thing that helped them move forward as a couple was to focus on creating a new relationship and way of relating.
The key after you catch a cheating husband or wife, is not to go back to how things were, but to ask empowering questions to move you forward. Happiness in life is about closing the GAP from where you are now and where you want to be, it involves honest discussion and awareness of the gap, followed by actions to close the gap.
Another important piece I cover in marriage counseling sessions with couples is creating a shared meaning for them being together. Future alignment and a shared vision after the affair is really important, as it’s the glue that can hold a couple together through difficult times.
Cindy and Dave are now the happiest they have ever been, they laugh, talk and touch all the time, as a result of actions.
If you’re stuck not knowing if you can save your marriage after the affair or what actions to take… here are a few questions to help guide you to save your marriage and assess what needs to be done…
After the Affair Questions
1. Does the betrayer realize the pain they have caused and want to make amends?
2. Have they made a heartfelt apology and taken actions to rebuild trust?
3. Are the couple working towards a common goal of repairing the marriage and creating a compelling future together?
4. If there is an addiction, other behavioral issues or depression that is being dealt with?
5. Do the couple have the required patience to deal with cheating and infidelity triggers?
6. Are the couple focusing on creating a new relationship rather than focusing on the past?
7. Are the couple willing to invest energy and time into saving the marriage?
8. Are the couple willing to make each other and the marriage a priority?
9. Do they have a plan and list of actions they can follow to make the other happy?
10. Have they taken steps to deal with past hurt and any resentment?
If you can answer yes to all or most of these questions, there is a great chance the marriage can survive infidelity, if no, look at the areas that need to be worked at and consider some marriage counseling if you get stuck.
There is no doubt that the most important thing in a marriage, as in any other relationship, is honesty and real understanding. This can be rebuilt but not over night, trust is not like a light you can just switch on or off, it is more like one of those dimmer switches that over time with the right actions from the outset you can increase the light until it’s restored.
Marriage Counseling After the Affair
You need to be careful when selecting a marriage counselor after the affair, as some marriage counseling centers or counselors, believe that an affair has already damaged the marriage beyond repair. They therefore are unlikely to provide the hope and support required to bring you closer.
You also need to select a marriage counselor that has a program to help you move forward and not marriage counseling that has no plan, focuses on the past and lacks structure. Turning up for aimless painful negative talking about where the marriage failed… will not help.
Lastly it is important that the marriage counselor is open to working with you individually and as a couple, a mixture of both works best when it comes to marriage counseling for after the affair recovery because there are individual elements you need to explore, work or and learn to help each other.
What Actions Can You Focus On Now?
I Love the 3 A’s and recommend them in my marriage counseling because they work best after an affair.
Attention – make each other a priority, give undivided attention and quality time
Affection – care and loving touch can go along way, physical closeness brings emotional closeness
Appreciation – appreciating everything you love, admire, respect about your partner and making specific verbal cues.
Hope this is helpful to you, just remember an affair it doesn’t mean the marriage is over. It’s only over, if you are no longer willing to put effort into it or take action. Turning up to counseling isn’t enough, it’s the follow through that helps.
From my heart to yours Nicola
Nicola Beer – Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program
I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!
Contact or find out more about me at www.nicolabeer.com
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