Your spouse strayed. Broke their vow to be with you and only you. It’s a devastating spiral of emotions, and it might seem like the marriage is never going to survive. Yet, there are married couples who do overcome such betrayals and come out stronger rather than getting divorced. If you and your spouse want to recover from infidelity, there are steps you need to take to get there.
There is more than one kind of affair or betrayal in relationships, making infidelity difficult to describe. But you can think of it as a breach of trust. Most couples have their own definitions of infidelity that might include emotional connections with other individuals.
Even if physical intimacy isn’t involved, it may count as an affair or entanglement. This is why it is important for each person in the relationship to define what would cause them to lose trust in their partner.
What Leads to Affairs
Infidelity may be a sign the relationship is in trouble, but it doesn’t always indicate that a marriage is bad. Content or not, affairs can happen. Often, affairs are caused by emotions like anger and boredom, but there are plenty of factors involved, including:
- Loss of fondness
- An imbalance of give and take
- No affection between the couple
- Addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, and so on
- Mental health struggles
- Physical health problems, such as pain and disability
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of communication
- Unmet sexual needs
- Life cycle changes
- Unaddressed issues within the marriage and an avoidance of conflict
Can a Married Couple Ever Recover From Infidelity?
After discovering an affair, you might feel like you have a raw wound in your chest that refuses to heal. It’s normal to be confused, to not know what step to take next. In the past, before your partner cheated, the thought of leaving them automatically was easy. But now?
It’s important to understand that the hurt will never go away 100%. You might struggle with the emotions and the concept of forgiveness for weeks, months, or years. But married couples who work on it can recover from broken trust. The relationship doesn’t have to end. Not if you don’t want it to.
See the act of infidelity as a chance to come together, work on your marriage, and make your relationship stronger than ever before. If both parties are willing to mend the marriage, you can thrive together like never before.
Mending The Marriage & Moving Forward
Recovering from infidelity is going to be challenging—no doubt about it. You’re going to feel uncertain, betrayed, and traumatized. It’s okay. Those emotions are all valid. But you can fight for peace and happiness together.
Here are some steps to take when recovering from infidelity:
Seek Out an Infidelity Recovery Specialist
The help of a nonjudgmental and experienced counselor can go a long way. There are many specialists out there like Couples Academy who can help you identify issues that lead to the affair. Together, you can learn how to put what happened into perspective and resolve problems within the marriage. You will also learn useful tools for how to strengthen your relationship.
Don’t Make Impulse Decisions
Shortly after the betrayal, you might feel like this is it, I need to end this marriage. But you’re also heated with emotions. Right now, you might feel things like hate and rage towards your partner. Don’t let that drive you to doing something you could regret later.
Take a breath. Tell yourself that it takes time to heal; and give yourself that time.
Fully Face The Feelings
Both the victim and the betrayer need to face their feelings. Whenever infidelity happens, someone is left feeling lost and judgmental, and blaming the betrayer might seem like the best course of action. Obviously, this isn’t going to be easy. You might need help, which is why infidelity recovery specialists and counselors exist. You can talk to them.
But most of all, you need to talk to one another. Regardless of who betrayed whose trust, you need to discuss why. If you can communicate about the affair with your partner, you’ll be able to rebuild your relationship much more quickly.
Talk About The Affair
After the affair happened, you might want to bury it in the dirt and let it die. But hiding it is only going to add to the tension between you and your partner.
Instead, try transparency. We already talked about facing your emotions with one another. Now, it’s time to consider being real with others, too. Yes, there was an affair. Yes, you still both love another, and you have decided to work together to get through it.
Find people you trust and who support your decision, be it a therapist or a best friend, and let them know. Sharing the load will lighten the burden, and it will strengthen your will to keep fighting for your marriage.
Do Things Together
The last thing you might want to do after your partner took your trust for granted is have sex. While intimacy is important to reestablish your relationship, there are other ways to help you recover your passion.
You both fell in love for more than just the sex. Think about the things you love doing together and do all of that. Go on walks. Take each other out on surprise dates. Try something new together, like that salsa lesson you always wanted to try. If you can find intimacy in the small things, you can gradually work back to regaining sexual chemistry.
Strengthen Your Marriage Today
Start over again, together. By recreating your relationship and rebuilding trust, a married couple can recover from infidelity. Let go of what wasn’t working, communicate, and seek up from a marriage counselor or infidelity recovery specialist. When you do that, anything is possible.
Couples Academy can help you recover from infidelity and strengthen your relationship. Our unique approach to counseling will give you the tools to rebuild—together. Fill out the contact form or give us a call to learn more about what we do.