You’ve recently discovered that your spouse was unfaithful and are trying to decide how to proceed.
You don’t want to walk away from the person you committed to spending your entire life with, but the journey to forgiveness and healing seems daunting.
If you think that you’d like to give your relationship a fighting chance but don’t know where to start, here are some tips for surviving infidelity in marriage.
Know that there is hope.
Most people who have experienced a betrayal by their spouse think that they could never trust them again.
But you can’t go into this already believing it to be impossible. 31% of marriages survive after an affair has been discovered, according to the website.
You are entitled to feelings of anger and hurt, but maintaining an overly negative outlook isn’t going to help you move past this betrayal; it is only going to keep you in a place of resentment longer.
If trusting your spouse again seems truly impossible, then the best option is to walk away before things get messier. If moving forward is something you really want, you are going to have to believe that trust can be rebuilt.
Get the answers you need
The details of your spouse’s affair are going to be difficult to hear. However, your imagination will get the best of you if you keep yourself guessing.
Sit down with your spouse and have them lay it all out for you in an environment that is as calm as possible so that a conversation can be had.
With this information, your mind can stop wondering and start to actually process what has happened. Being given this information willingly by your spouse will also help you to begin the process of rebuilding trust.
There is no excuse for cheating, and it most certainly isn’t your fault that your spouse betrayed you. Still, moving forward in this relationship is going to require a willingness from both parties to accept responsibility for where the relationship ended up.
Acknowledge your spouse’s feelings the same way you want yours acknowledged, and humble yourself enough to apologize despite your resentments.
Relationships don’t turn sour because one person messes it up; you have both likely made mistakes and hurt the other. Taking responsibility during this time is not a sign of weakness, and does not pardon your spouse’s transgressions.
Do not become invasive
Your spouse cheating on you does not take away their right to privacy. You do not have a right to go through their cellphones, computers, or other belongings. This type of anxiety is only hurting you in the long run, and it can be a habit that is difficult to break. The truth is that messages can be deleted and if a spouse wants to hide something, they will.
Demanding information and proof from your spouse creates a controlling or even abusive dynamic to the relationship, and you want to avoid this if there is any chance of returning to a healthy and happy place in your marriage. Creating new problems is not the answer.
Do not try to recreate what you had
Your relationship with your spouse will never be what it was before the infidelity, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have something amazing. In many cases, the work that couples put into their relationship after it is at its breaking point is enough to create something even better than you had before.
Focus on creating new feelings of love for your partner, and new ways of communicating. Going through this together may show you that you have something worth fighting for, and seeing that your spouse admitted their faults and worked with you could bring you closer together than ever before.
It may not seem like it right now, but with the right effort from both parties, your relationship could be on its way to healing sooner than you would think.
By Sonya Schwartz
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