Someone was recently sharing with me that she was in a relationship where her husband cheated. So, she decided to cheat as well and now they are struggling to get past the situation. She has moved forward and she wants her marriage to work. When her husband becomes frustrated with the situation, he brings up her infidelity. The conversation becomes heated, they start fighting “dirty” and they create more problems than they had at first. They aren’t talking to each other, they are talking at each other, with no real communication.
Here 3 reasons why this couple is not able to move past their affair.
1. They Blame Their Spouse for the Affair
When you are upset and you fight dirty, you might say things like “If you weren’t out chasing those women, I wouldn’t have had to step out.” There might be truth in that statement, but there is no accountability or responsibility in it.
Acknowledge to your spouse (multiple times, if necessary) that what you did was something you made the decision to do. It was wrong and you sincerely apologize. Show that you are cognizant that you were wrong, it was a conscious decision, and it was a mistake which won’t happen again. The important takeaway here is that you hold yourself accountable to your spouse and you are sincere in your apology, and just as sincere in the fact it won’t happen again.
2. There is No Forgiveness.
This one is a tough one. There are times in situations like the one I described where we may have to forgive, yet we haven’t been forgiven. We have to make decisions to make a change in marriages. Marriage is worth fighting for. We know our marriages are worth the battle, so we have to fight in the best way we know how-with love, honor and respect. We don’t forgive to be forgiven, we forgive because it’s the right thing to do. It may take time for your spouse to come around, if ever. While this point is true, it’s irrelevant to the fact we must forgive, work to rebuild trust, learn again to respect your spouse and honor the position they hold in our lives. If you want a chance to move forward beyond infidelity in marriage, you have to forgive. Here is what Dr. George James, licensed marriage and family therapist and BMWK Infidelity expert, says about forgiveness:
“The betrayal you’re experiencing is difficult, but are you working on your anger. Like I said, it’s okay to be angry in the beginning, but you should be working on it so it’s not as intense especially if you’re the person who’s been betrayed. Try to think about what happened from your partner’s side. How can you forgive? How can you express what you want and need as you move forward? Don’t let your anger speak for you, ask for what you want.”
3. They Don’t Have Boundaries
If your husband has been stepping out on you, it goes without saying you’re going to have a hard time trusting him. If you have been “out on the town” so to speak, the same holds true for him. Back to the scenario which is the topic of the article, the husband continues to have the deeper struggle with moving forward. I think in this scenario, its key for them to agree to boundaries. If she has any connection to her former flame, it needs to be broken off. This could be deeper than deleting a number out of a cell phone. This may mean changing jobs, churches, schools, or even moving to another neighborhood or city. If you have done something to break your spouse’s trust, it’s not going to be easy to regain. Make the point to set a boundary which works for them (may not work for you, but this is the consequence you must accept for your actions). Embrace the new boundary and respect it to the utmost.
You both made the decision to stay, which means you believe your marriage is worth fighting for. So, you both must do everything possible to bring the love, respect and loyalty back to your marriage.
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