In part one of this two-part article series, How to Rebuild Marital Trust After an Affair, we zoned in on how the injured spouse could begin to heal for themselves and for their marriage. However, this is a two-part series because marriage takes two. In this second half, we will focus on how the cheating spouse can do their part to help their partner heal from their infidelity.
As the unfaithful spouse, you have to be patient in the beginning. The longer the deception/lying persisted, the longer the recovery may take.
Stop all contact with the cheating partner
The sooner you completely stop all contact with the affair partner the better. It is normal to feel a sense of loss. You may miss the good feelings or admiration you had during the infidelity. Don’t expect your spouse to be able to listen to this in the beginning. You may need to talk to someone else about those feelings. At some point, you will talk with your spouse about creating those good feelings in your marriage.
Your Spouse is in a Different Place Right Now
Realize that your spouse has a different perspective on the affair. They have a lot of questions and need answers for their peace of mind. Answer all the questions. ‘I don’t know’ may be the right answer, but don’t use it as a cover for your true feelings. The questions may become too much for you. Then find a third party to help you through the process. You may need clarification and support as well
Spend time examining your actions
Do some introspection and try to figure out why you engaged in this behavior. Infidelity doesn’t mean something is missing in the relationship. You want to do some soul-searching. This will help with healing and with determining the direction of your marriage.
Apologize, Apologize, Apologize
Often and in different ways like with cards, poems, and verbal expressions. One tip is to find out what a genuine apology sounds like to your spouse. Don’t expect that the early apologies to be accepted–but still offer them. Praise your partner for having the courage to work this out with you despite being so wounded.
Expect Emotional Fireworks
Expect emotional fireworks from your partner. He/she is shattered and trying to find a way to cope. Do your best to be patient, kind and NON-DEFENSIVE. Give your partner reassurance. What are their most vulnerable areas? Try to address them like “I have never loved anyone but you.” Or ”You are so much more_______ than he/she ever was or will be.”
Recommit to monogamy
Tell your spouse you want monogamy as a goal in your marriage. Think of ways you can change to show your commitment. Expect this part of the process to be a struggle in the beginning. Expect infrequent flashbacks out of the blue when everything seems wonderful. Remember that each flash of negative times in your marriage can help your marriage grow. Come up with some simple ways to turn that negativity into something positive.
Once you are on the path to a restored marriage, you will need to do the following:
Resist the temptation to compare
Obsessing about who was better in bed – you or your spouse’s lover – is counter-productive. Resist comparing yourself. Focus on how you can make your love life even better. Dwell on the fact you and your spouse have decided to stay together. Remind yourself of what you love about one another.
Redefine to reconnect
You may grieve that your marriage will never be the same. Take the time to redefine your marriage. This involves acceptance of the affair (not approval) as an event of the past. Your marriage has survived a test and now make the journey a happy ending till death do you part.
About the Author: Gail Crowder is a certified marriage and life coach plus best-selling author. She has been on dozens of television and radio shows for her expert advice on lifestyles and relationships. Her company focuses on “Bringing Sexy Back to the Marriage” (BSB) and provides a safe space dedicated to the spiritual and sexual enhancement of marriages for the modern-day wife. Visit Gail online: https://gailcrowder.com/.