How to Help Your Relationship After A Spouse Had An Affair
How do you survive a spouse confessing to or being caught at having an affair? Can you survive? These are questions I regularly receive from clients.
In some cases, the spouse had the affair, other times it is the faithful spouse looking for answers. Looking to see if they can or want to forgive their partner for what happened.
While the answer will not always be the same for every couple, here are a few basic steps spouses can take to get started on the road to recovery. Additionally, keep in mind that in some cases, professional help might be necessary. Having an impartial third party to help mend the pain and betrayal can be of great help.
Stop Cheating!Â If you ever want to repair the relationship, you need to stop immediately. Cut off all ties if possible, but if not limit the interaction with this person whenever possible. Also, make sure that you are open and honest with any communication with this person with your spouse from now on.
Take Responsibility. Whatever the circumstances leading up to the affair were, you have to remember that this was not your partnerâ€™s fault. They did not force you into an affair, so do not blame them for it. In many cases, your partner will be hurt and in deep pain. That means they need time to heal.
Do not expect forgiveness. This might be hard to take, but an affair is something some spouses can never forgive.
Ask as many questions as you need to understand the situation. Cheating is as much about the uncertainty of what happened as it is about the act itself. The more you know and understand about what happened, the more you can determine what you want to do in the future.
To do this you must ask questions. Asking spouses questions of the affair can be a very emotional ride, so make sure that you do this in as calm a manner as possible. If you are angry or threatening, you will not get all the answers you need.
Create new memories. One of the biggest challenges that a faithful spouse has after an affair is that they become stuck in the past. Therefore, it is up to both of you to create new, positive memories to overcome the old ones of hurt and despair.
While this does not mean that you necessarily have to spend thousands on a vacation, you might want to go to a nice restaurant or spend a day in the park. Think of something that both of you will enjoy together.
Note: Only bring the kids if it will help you create new memories. The two of you might need time together, so try to get a baby sitter if possible.
Forgive if, and when you are ready. The truth is that not all marriages can recover from an affair. While ideally, you can get to a point where your spouse and you can rebuild your life together this is not always possible.
However, when you are ready to forgive them, do so. If you eventually cannot forgive and forget, you will not be able to have a successful marriage. The pain will recede with time, but you have to be looking forward to have a relationship.
If you continue to resent them and bring up their infidelity, you can never truly heal the relationship.
In the end, for a couple to surviveÂ and thriveÂ after an affair they must work together. If you need any help getting back to a point of love and respect as a couple, please call our office at 847-824-8366 for assistance.