If you have experienced infidelity in your marriage, then I do not have to tell you of all the devastation and havoc it will wreak upon your relationship. An affair represents the largest breach of trust a husband or wife can suffer from their partner. There are many who feel that such a sin is so unforgivable that there is no possible way to save marriage after infidelity.
The reality is, it all depends on the circumstances of the affair, the strength of the marriage in general, and the personalities and dynamics between the two marital partners as to whether the marriage can be saved after infidelity.
Can the partner who was wronged get past the pain, the anger, the feelings of self doubt and the distrust enough to be able to think things through at least somewhat objectively (a tall order, I know) and assess where they truly stand in the relationship? Does the offending partner really know how much emotional damage they have caused, really regret their actions, and can they be devoted to restoring the most important relationship in their life, no matter how difficult?
It will take a lot of work from both the cheater, and the one cheated on, in order to save marriage after infidelity. Here are the things you should know if you are still interested in how to survive an affair and save your marriage.
The first thing to ask yourself is, what was the physical or emotional need that was met in the affair? While it is no excuse for cheating, there is an explanation for the behavior in that, there has to be something that the illicit relationship provided – can that something be satisfied within the marriage?
Next, has the offending partner realized and accepted that what they have done was wrong? That person must realize how much of a mistake their cheating was, genuinely apologize and realize how much work will be involved in restoring trust after an affair. This is going to take some time.
Have you both discussed the matter and agreed that it is worth the effort to try and work through the issue? Both partners need to believe that the marriage is worth saving, that the relationship is the top priority to them, and that their love is stronger than the situation they now face.
If you’ve gotten this far, it is time for some open conversation where both the husband and the wife can express all their concerns and feelings regarding the incident. The hardest part here is listening and withholding judgement and spontaneous reaction, so you can give and receive all the facts without the need to become defensive or accusatory.
To save marriage after infidelity, the person who strayed will have to agree to cut off all communication with the person they cheated with. Not necessarily just to remove temptation, but to completely blot out that stain on the relationship, and to make the injured party feel more security and devotion. It might not even be necessary logistically, as there may be no more temptation, but it is the least he or she can do to demonstrate their full commitment to saving the marriage and to their partner.
As much as one of you might not like the idea, it may be wise to seek some couple’s counseling, or a local support group that can offer you some support and perspective on the situation. Talking with people who have seen these kinds of problems before can really help in your understanding, and make it apparent that others have been there as well, and some have survived to tell the tale.
Ultimately, the person who suffered the infidelity will have to come to a point of forgiveness, of understanding their partner’s weakness, and of using the love between them to provide the strength and courage to forge a renewed bond of trust and commitment. This is the turning point where you will truly know if it is possible to save marriage after infidelity.