If your marriage has recently suffered from an infidelity, you surely are wondering how to save your marriage and whether your marriage can even survive an affair.
It may seem like a losing battle, but your marriage is not necessarily hopeless after an affair. But how, you ask, can you ever get over the betrayal and forgive your partner?
Well, you probably don’t need to be told the obvious, but it’s not going to be easy. But it IS possible.
When you said “For better or for worse”, you made a commitment, and now things are definitely “for worse” – but that’s just it: Things can only get better. Even after having your world turned upside down by infidelity, and you are feeling lost and hurt, you still have a choice.
Is your marriage worth saving? If you are reading this right now, then yes, you obviously think that it is worth it.
For many couples, divorce is the only way to reconcile what has happened, but as we all know, sometimes things are not that simple. Life is not simple.
Love is not simple. And signing your name on the divorce papers does not mean that all the problems and hurt is going to instantly go away. Every marriage deserves a fighting chance.
Rebuilding your marriage means that you are going to deal with some tough emotional issues that surface after an affair was discovered. You are going through a roller coaster of emotions, from grief, anger, embarrassment, bitterness, distrust, emotional exhaustion – but most importantly HOPE.
You have a lot to work though, and if you want to take this curve-ball that life has thrown at you and LEARN from it, then you are already on your way to saving your marriage.
Your partner may seem like a stranger to you now; Who is this person I married? Shared so much of my life with? Had CHILDREN with? What happened to make your best-friend a complete stranger to you now?
Both of you have to take a good hard look (probably harder than you would like) at yourselves and your relationship. You have been through so much pain already, but you survived, didn’t you?
It just shows how strong you are, and proves that you are going to get through this part too. You have to recognize why the affair happened.
It is usually due to existing problems in your marriage that the infidelity occurred. You need to evaluate these problems, and all the good things that still remain in the relationship, and how to get back what you have lost.
Discussing, and working through, how and why the infidelity happened can sometimes seem even harder than the discovery of the affair itself. But to actually give your marriage a chance, you have to address the psychology of infidelity.
People cheat for various reasons – but it all comes down to some sort of psychological stimulation.
The cheating spouse may have resorted to an affair since they were feeling a lack of control in their lives and in their relationship.
The unfaithful partner may have felt that they did not have enough, or any, control in their marriage. This leads them (usually subconsciously) to seek out a relationship where they can be more dominant, and they resolve their frustrations in an extramarital affair.
In many relationships partners make compromises willingly, but some do it quite unwillingly – sometimes even subconciously. Having an affair allows the adulterer to control how, when and where the relationship develops (because they feel that this is something they cannot do in their existing relationship).
The controlling adulterer cheats in order to re-gain a sense of lost power.
Insecurity is one of the key psychological reasons why a partner may cheat. The insecurity may be personal, where the unfaithful partner feels inferior and unworthy of their spouse. They don’t feel like they are on an equal level with their partner and have a fear that they will lose their spouse and marriage.
The fear becomes so intense that they seek ways to resolve it, sometimes manifesting in an affair. Thinking that the end of their marriage is inevitable, they turn their attention to minimizing their fear and pain.
This is where an affair enters. The affair serves as security, or a back-up-plan, if the marriage ends. The insecure adulterer may also choose a partner who they feel equal or superior to. This can temporarily relieve their feelings of inadequacy.
A feeling of neglect is the most common reason why adulterers say they strayed from their marriage. Everyone needs psychological stimulation, especially of feeling wanted, needed, appreciated and loved. Without this, one begins to suffer from mental and emotional neglect.
When a couple has been together for a long time, they can sometimes begin to neglect each other. First communication goes – they don’t talk with or inquire about each other as often as they used to.
Then it moves to the bedroom – and couples may even neglect to have sexual intercourse as often, or even at all.
This type of neglect leaves a person feeling frustrated, lonely, and undesirable. Spouses that feel neglected usually end up in affairs because somebody else gave them the attention and psychological stimulation that they so desired from their partner.
The psychology of infidelity is an important area to address if you are committed to rebuilding your relationship and saving your marriage. I am not suggesting you blame yourself for your spouses poor judgement, but in order to solve the deeper issues and resolve the problem, you must uncover and acknowledge your spouses feelings, whether they seem justified or not.
If you understand various personality types and individual needs, you can figure out how and why this happened to your relationship. Just remember that when your cheating spouse is talking about the affair, they are giving reasons and feelings associated with the infidelity and NOT EXCUSES for their actions.
There are reasons why you fell in love with and committed yourself to each other. Don’t forget these reasons! They may seem lost under all the hurt and guilt, but they are still there.
You just need to breathe life back into them. When you get though this difficult time, your marriage will be so much stronger and you will know each other on a new level. Dealing with the affair properly means that something like this will never come between you two again.
It has been a heart-wrenching, life-shattering experience but you survived and have something important to take away from it. Knowing this can give you the strength to learn how to survive an affair and save a marriage after infidelity.