Have you ever had an affair? Or perhaps your spouse or significant other has cheated on you?
The semantics of who did what and why aren’t so much important for this topic of discussion. Now wait a minute, I can hear your thoughts already and I’m not saying that who, why, when, and where are not important…trust me they are! Just not today.
The most important question you can answer is this…can your marriage not only survive infidelity but rather thrive despite infidelity? Infidelity is truly heart wrenching and crushing for those impacted and it is one of the difficult betrayals to overcome. Take it from someone who has been there and done that, and I have the shirt to prove it!
Can you really get over this? Is it really possible for both parties to move on successfully from infidelity? Did you know that 78% of couples actually survive after an affair? However, only 22% of couples actually thrive after an affair!
Note there is a clear distinction to be made between surviving and thriving. So do you want your marriage to simply survive the affair or thrive flawlessly after? Depending on where you are in the process, you may not even see the possibility.
When you reach deep on the inside of you, do you believe thriving after an affair is even possible?
At the same time, let me be crystal clear. It is much easier said than done and there is no “easy button” for the two of you to press. However, I assure you if you press forward, many blessings await you and your spouse. So, pick up your marital mirror and reflect on a few things:
Do you want to confront and conquer the infidelity? What about your spouse? Do they want the same? In the actual affair, it took two to tango. However, in my experience, it takes three to thrive…God, my husband, and me.
The point here is, yes, you can not only survive but thrive after a partner’s infidelity. If you truly want to AND you are willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to do it, it can be done successfully.
Make a Decision
As you get down to the nuts and bolts of it. You, as a couple, have to take the first step and decide TOGETHER that you both want to not only survive but thrive like never before. You want and need your relationship to come out of the fire flourishing fruitfully!
You want to show the world, but most importantly yourselves, that love, forgiveness, and persistence can make you better, stronger, and more in love in the long run. Understand anything worth having in life (especially marriage) will require hard work, and this is no different!
Your next step, after both deciding to reconcile and remain a couple, is to become accountable. Let me explain what I mean by this while providing a disclaimer. The disclaimer is that it is never okay or excusable to have an affair.
At the same time, we must understand the cause of the affair in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Brace yourself, but, my husband and I both had affairs. Mine was during our engagement and his was during our marriage.
Mine occurred as a result of being naïve to my environment and trying to help someone. My husband’s affair occurred as a result of his need to have quality time with me. However, during this year of marriage I was a slave to corporate America working very long strenuous and tiring hours.
Now again, I do not condone the above. At the same time, we are both now proactive in NOT putting ourselves in temptation’s way AND making our marriage a priority by ensuring we go out on date nights to giving ourselves to one another with plenty of quality time.
In a majority of cases, affairs do not just happen. Affairs occur because there’s damage of some kind. In other words, something was not right in the marriage/relationship. Maybe you quit talking. Maybe priorities got mixed up. Maybe you forgot to say “I love you.” Sit back and think for a moment. What is your maybe? Turn your maybe and mayhem into something magical and manageable.
In spite of this daunting topic, let me be the first to deliver some GOOD NEWS! Your marriage can THRIVE like never before after infidelity…mine did…along with many others and yours can too!
You just need to recommit to one another that you will do whatever it takes. Commit to one another that you will no longer blame the other and instead accept responsibility where it is warranted. Be honest with each other and especially yourself. Vow today to recommit, not taking it lightly but rather recommit like never before to your vows and you will indeed thrive!
Remember to love one another unconditionally and draw a line in the sand. The line in the sand allows you to begin to leave the past in past and focus on all that’s good in starting anew and designing your new start. Allow your marriage to no longer live by default, but rather design it and breathe new life and love into one another! Cheers to many more anniversaries!!!
BMWK, what are some other keys to thriving after an affair?