After the affair it is extremely challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem next to impossible to believe that you can recover from infidelity in marriage. The good news is that it is possible to recover. It’s not easy, yet with a bit of guidance you can make it through this trying time.
#1 No Knife Throwing
No, not actual knives (though it’s probably not a good idea to throw those either), we’re talking about metaphorical knives. The sharp, harsh and intentionally hurtful words that are so easy to speak when you’re hurting and angry.
When an affair happens, anger is a very natural and real emotion. You have a right to be angry. However, when you’re trying to recover from infidelity in marriage, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively and constructively. That means choosing words that aren’t intentionally hurtful.
#2 Try To Understand Each Other’s Perspective
Empathy is an essential element of successful communication. In order to understand how to move forward together, it’s important to be able to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. The infidelity likely was caused by a number of things. Instead of blame and anger, move forward in your marriage and recover from infidelity by striving to understand your spouse’s experiences and perceptions.
#3 Ask Questions
Empathy is difficult if you don’t understand what happened. Instead of imagining the reasons your spouse had an affair, or assuming you know why it happened, try to get to the root causes of the affair. Letting your assumptions or imagination get in the way can actually slow down your ability to recover from the affair.
#4 Create Solutions Together
You cannot repair the marriage on your own. A marriage is a partnership of two people. It may not happen immediately, however the goal is to get to a place where the two of you can sit down and brainstorm solutions together. For example, if your spouse had an emotional affair and you’ve determined that one of the causes is a lack of mutual interests then you may decide together to try something new that you’re both interested in.
Creating solutions as a team helps you communicate and feel empowered about the direction of your marriage.
#5 Find Something to Get Excited About
For most, an affair is a very dark time in your life. It’s filled with anger, self-doubt, fear and myriad other negative emotions. One of the best ways to begin to recover from infidelity in marriage is to find something to get excited about.
Make a list of things that you have always wanted to learn or do. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to go skydiving or visit New York. Once you have your list, find the item on the list that most excites you and begin to plan how you’re going to make it happen. The planning alone will help fill you with positive emotions, excitement and a healthy outlook for the future.
#6 Regain Control Over Your Negative Thoughts
Once you learn about the affair it’s common to envision your spouse and the other person together. It’s okay to experience this. It’s part of the recovery process. However, it’s unhealthy to dwell on those images long term. They can take over your life and prevent you and your spouse from recovering.
So how do you get control? Try replacing the negative thoughts with positive images or affirmations.
#7 Make a Commitment to Honor the Truth – Whatever it May Be
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the truth will set you free.” The truth doesn’t just mean the truth about the infidelity. It’s also important to discover the truth about why the affair happened, what you feel about the affair, and how you want to recover from the infidelity. Be honest with yourself and your spouse.
Make a commitment both together and independently to honor the truth and you’ll begin to feel more in control of your life and your marriage.
#8 Learn to Communicate Productively
It’s common to want to blame and sling hurtful words at one another. However, to recover from infidelity in marriage it’s important to let blame go. When you’re communicating, instead of using the word “YOU” in a sentence, try using the word “I.”
For example, instead of “you always look at other women,” say “it makes me feel hurt and bad about myself when I see you looking at other women.”
This style of communication helps your partner understand your emotions instead of making them feel under attack. It’s much more productive.
#9 Accept That It takes Time and Patience
There’s no overnight cure for recovering from infidelity. It’s a process. It can take years to fully rebuild a marriage. If you want to repair your marriage then it’s important to accept that it can take time. There will be days, weeks and even months when it feels like you’re stuck. However, there will also be days, weeks and months where you’re filled with renewed hope and a positive attitude about your marriage. Knowing that it’s a process will help you recover.
#10 Get Help
There are so many emotions, reactions and challenges associated with infidelity in marriage. It can be incredibly difficult to manage it all on your own. Whether you find a counselor, marriage coach, book or step-by-step program it’s important to get outside help.
Find resources and experts who have a proven track record helping rebuild marriages. It can mean the difference between a long lasting and successful marriage, and divorce. If you believe you want to repair your marriage the first and most important step is often to find an expert resource to guide you through the process. It removes the burden from your shoulders and lights your way to a brighter future.
A Roadmap To Save Your Marriage
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