Infidelity hits couples differently. One morning everything feels perfect; the next you discover that your spouse has been having an affair behind your back. You think, “This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. We’re not supposed to be like this.” Affairs are hard to accept when you have been betrayed. For those who had the affair, sometimes accepting that they did wrong or that they have hurt you is also difficult. How hard is it to rebuild a marriage after infidelity? It’s hard—but it is not impossible.
3 Reasons Rebuilding A Marriage After Infidelity Is Hard
Infidelity changes everything from the moment it happens. Whether you had the affair, or you were the one betrayed, the dynamics of the marriage were altered. That change is one of the reasons why rebuilding is a struggle after an affair. Here are a few more reasons:
Infidelity Is Hard To Accept
As mentioned earlier, the first thing many people think when their spouse confesses to an affair or they find out is, “Why did this happen to us?” You went about life thinking that your marriage was safe. Sure, there were some difficulties, but isn’t that what relationships are all about? Sadly, no matter how you spin it, one of you has done something awful. Trying to make sense of it alone is going to be hard, and coping with the betrayal can take a very long time for both of you.
You Struggle To Communicate
Infidelity opens a gaping rift between you and your partner. Whatever problems in the communication you had before the affair are going to be exacerbated. Furthermore, all trust between the two of you has been demolished. You might ask yourself why you would listen to anything your spouse has to say when they have betrayed you so horribly. If things were so bad, why couldn’t they just tell you instead of going behind your back like that?
Thus, walls are built between you. Even when you try to talk it out, you are both on the defensive, and you won’t listen to one another.
Re-Establishing Intimacy Is Difficult
When trust goes out the window, intimacy follows close behind. Infidelity drives a wedge between you and your spouse, so much that you may not be able to tolerate their proximity. Plus, if you cannot talk to one another or accept what your spouse has done, how can you ever be intimate? Yet, without that
connection, your marriage is going to continue to crumble.
3 Successful Steps To Rebuilding A Marriage After An Affair
Now that you know why it is so challenging to rebuild a marriage after an affair, let’s discuss some proven methods for getting you and your partner working together again.
1. Visit Therapy Together
Infidelity therapy and marriage or couples counseling are all extremely effective at helping people heal in the most healthy way possible. Infidelity is such a jarring experience, and the emotions you feel are so strong that you both sometimes work against yourselves and each other, even when trying to get better. That is why a therapist sometimes needs to step in.
Therapy not only provides a safe, unbiased environment, but it also gives you access to someone who does not judge. In therapy, you can be vulnerable. You are instead guided towards a resolution that involves identifying the underlying reasons for the affair. Once you and your partner acknowledge why the affair happened, you can begin to work towards closure.
The ultimate goal in therapy is to give you and your spouse the tools needed to adequately discuss your emotions as well as listen to one another. As you begin to rebuild trust, you will find that rebuilding your marriage is easier.
2. Commit To Quitting
In order to fully overcome an affair, the betrayer must come completely clean and commit to staying that way. It is for the best that the spouse who cheated cut off communication with whoever they had an affair with. This also means no future affairs. By setting this hard boundary that both partners follow, you also lay a foundation for a loving future together. Remember, affairs change everything. Now, you need to establish a new relationship that is stronger than the last.
Both partners should hold one another accountable in the days ahead because that is how you trust and rebuild together.
3. Have Open, Honest Discussions
Beyond discussing the reasons for the affair and working alongside a therapist to open up about the issues that caused the infidelity to occur, you also need to be able to communicate freely all the time. That is why open, honest discussions are a must. Relationships require effective communication in order to work, because how else is your partner going to know what you need? If neither of you discusses what troubles you, you are going to end up right where you started.
To rebuild your marriage, you must discuss boundaries, including where you draw the line when it comes to friendships and cheating. So long as both of you are honest about your feelings, wants, and needs, and you respect one another, your marriage will heal.
Infidelity Does Not Have To Be The End Of Your Marriage
Infidelity is one of the ultimate hardships married couples have to face. But it does not mean your marriage is ruined. Infidelity is challenging, and it can make you see the worst in your partner. Yet, by being proactive, and working with a couples counselor, like those at Couples Academy, you can find a way back to one another and recommit to your relationship.
Couples Academy believes that struggles are opportunities for growth, even in your marriage. Contact us today to learn more about how you and your partner can build a stronger marriage together.