As a marriage expert, I am asked the question – How do I rebuild my marriage after an affair? To many people, this is a logical question. But it’s the wrong place to start. If you are the victim of infidelity, the pain is all-consuming. Healing is a process and will take longer than you think. To make the healing process work, you want to focus on the decision to rebuild your marriage. In the first part of this article series, we will focus on rebuilding your marriage from the perspective of the injured spouse.
Establish a new start
You know about the affair. However, you haven’t walked out on the marriage or sought revenge in the arms of another. You both have decided to make your marriage work. Your spouse’s cooperation involves total openness and honesty. No more secrets, no lies, and no attempts at deceit. Working together makes establishing a new course for your relationship easier. Being open and honest is necessary for healing and mutual forgiveness.
Communicate. Don’t Condemn
It is important that you communicate all your feelings. It is normal to have intense and chaotic feelings like you have never experienced before. It is not constructive to beat up or condemn your spouse. Doing this makes them feel unsafe to be open and makes you feel out of control. A better way is to set aside 30 minutes and let your spouse know what you plan to share. Set a timer and change the subject to something more pleasant. If this is not working, then a joint session with a coach or therapist is the next step.
Admit your pain
Speak from your heart. Do not attempt to downplay the impact of an affair. It is imperative that you articulate your disappointment and hurt. This may involve screaming, crying, journaling, or even moving out of the bedroom for a while. Men are socialized to hide emotion. If a husband was the injured party, he may choose to clam up. If clamming up or not talking is a response, you may want to talk to a professional counselor. Sharing the depth of your pain with your spouse is critical. You won’t be able to achieve great sex again if one of you are feeling victimized or betrayed.
Focus on you
There is a huge temptation to blame yourself for an affair. You may question your lack of attractiveness or sexiness. This is particularly true of women. It will take great effort to reach inside yourself and find a worthy, sensual woman. If the husband is the injured spouse, he has to refuse blame and not question his sexual prowess. It is not your fault that your spouse was weak and lacked the discipline to resist. Focus on getting rid of those images in your mind of the infidelity. Redirect your focus to your new and better marriage.
Examine your contribution
This may seem to contradict the previous point. But it doesn’t. Look objectively. Take a look at any responsibility you may have had in creating the situation. This is not easy, but important. It is rare when a relationship issue is totally of one partner’s making.
Think about your spouse
Remember that your spouse is in a different emotional place than you. Being in a different place doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t love you. It also doesn’t mean that they are sorry.
In part two of this article series, we will focus on rebuilding your marriage from the perspective of the cheating spouse. Rebuilding your marriage takes two and it’s important to understand the emotional, spiritual, and mental state of the guilty party in order to move forward in your relationship. Tune in tomorrow as we complete this engaging article from a different view.
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/.