Survive An Affair And Rebuild Your MarriageBy Renata PalfyIt will take more than an article – or even a mountain of books ...
I believe you already know that constant lying is extremely tiresome. This is the time to startbeing honest with your spou...
Don’t Dwell on Past MistakesAfter apologizing to each other, both should concentrate on the task of rebuilding theirrelati...
resentment. The unfaithful spouse might find it difficult to speak about it too, by the way,fearing the reaction, and not ...
Let’s sum this up. The most crucial factor in successfully rebuilding marriage after an affair isactually the same factor ...
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Survive an affair and rebuild your marriage

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It will take more than an article – or even a mountain of books – to discuss the task of rebuilding marriage after an affair, or to cover even a small part of the issues that arise from this painful situation. But we need something to begin with. This article was written both for those who suffered an affair and those who have or had an affair themselves.

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Survive an affair and rebuild your marriage

  1. 1. Survive An Affair And Rebuild Your MarriageBy Renata PalfyIt will take more than an article – or even a mountain of books – to discuss the task of rebuildingmarriage after an affair, or to cover even a small part of the issues that arise from this painfulsituation. But we need something to begin with. This article was written both for those whosuffered an affair and those who have or had an affair themselves.Most people cannot imagine having a normal marriage after an affair. After discovering thattheir spouse was unfaithful, the first reaction of most people is to get a divorce (or kill theirspouse, more like).Should I Get A Divorce?A divorce is certainly a legitimate way to deal with the situation. The betrayed spouse has everyright to decide that this relationship is over. The cheating spouse may choose to live with thelover, and if the reason for infidelity was suffering abuse on the hands of the betrayed spouse,this decision is easy to understand.But, believe it or not, most affairs do not lead to divorce. In fact, most couples make efforts toreconcile, and often succeed. Your marriage can survive an affair. Healing from infidelity is hardwork – both must be committed to reviving the relationship and rebuilding the lost feelings oflove and trust.Avoid Seeing Your LoverFor a start, the cheating spouse must promise to stop the affair and sever all contacts with thelover right away. How can you restore the love to your spouse when the lover is still hangingaround? All meetings, phone calls and forum chats must stop. If you and your former lover workin the same place, keep your encounters strictly formal.In addition, the cheating spouse must express a plan to demonstrate his or her commitment tothe promise to stop the affair. If your ex- lover contacts you or if you bump into each other onthe street, you better tell your spouse about it before they find out about in from someone else.
  2. 2. I believe you already know that constant lying is extremely tiresome. This is the time to startbeing honest with your spouse.The cheating spouse might find that the first few weeks of separation from the lover can be verypainful. It’s like an addiction, and separation has led to a compulsive craving accompanied byanxiety and depression. However, if you stick to your decision not to communicate with yourlover, those feelings will gradually subside. It might take a few weeks, but it’s absolutelynecessary to stick to your decision if you want to revive your feelings for your spouse and repairyour marriage.Take Responsibility and ApologizeUnfortunately, most affairs do not end with the cheating spouse’s choice to end the relationshipwith their lover. That’s why the recovery stage usually begins with much bitterness from bothsides. Strange as it may seem, it’s very common that the cheating spouse doesn’t feel remorseat all. And it’s also very common for the betrayed spouse to feel that it wasn’t his or her fault.Neither is ready to take responsibility and apologize, preferring to blame the other side.Of course, an apology is not really necessary. But it can certainly make the process of rebuildingyour relationship much easier. The unfaithful spouse should apologize for the infidelity andlying. The betrayed spouse should also apologize for having failed to meet important emotionalneeds, which might has led to the affair.Talk About Your MarriageBut in many cases, the blame for not meeting each other’s needs prior to the affair lies withboth spouses, so that the relationship is mutually unsatisfying. Many have no idea what theirpartner expects from them and their relationship and how to meet each other’s emotionalneeds. Each of the spouses should talk about his or her feelings, and to explain what wasmissing in the relationship from their point of view. You should know what went wrong beforerepairing it, right? But try not to make accusative speeches. Speak in a sincere, calm tone. And ifyou can, try to maintain physical contact. It’s much harder to throw accusations and insults at aperson while you’re hugging them. Can’t possibly think of hugging this person right now? That’sunderstandable. Try to sit as close as possible to each other. Don’t talk in a formal-likeenvironment, like sitting on the opposite sides of the table. Sit cozily together on a couch. Thesedetails might sound silly, but believe me, they help to create the atmosphere considerably.
  3. 3. Don’t Dwell on Past MistakesAfter apologizing to each other, both should concentrate on the task of rebuilding theirrelationship, and not dwell on the mistakes of the past. Once you decided to give therelationship one more chance, both spouses should take responsibility for the task and makeevery effort to rebuild the marriage. Trying to make the unfaithful spouse feel guilty won’t helpyour marriage. Guilt will turn to resentment and resentment will turn to anger. The best thingboth can do is to ignore the past as much as possible, and focus on what you can do to repairthe damage.So the first and crucial step a couple should take is to lay down the weapons. The second stepfor both spouses is to “compensate” each other by meeting each other’s unmet emotional orphysical needs that may have given the unfaithful spouse an excuse to have an affair. Of course,nothing can really compensate for infidelity. But it’s much more logical to forgive your spouseafter he or she makes an effort to rebuild your marriage.Spend Time With Your SpouseThe couple should spend time together every week (without family or friends), whether goingout or doing things together at home, like cooking together. You probably don’t feel like youwant to be together right now. However, it is crucial for both to get to know each other fromanew and to listen to each other. So when together, both should avoid expressing anger anddemands. Try treating each other with gentleness and consideration. Simply be together.Talking About the AffairAnother important issue is talking about the details of the affair. It is natural for the betrayedspouse to want to know the details. It is also natural to hesitate to ask for those details, becausehearing about it might make us feel even worse. So, should the spouses talk about the affair?Many marriage specialists are of the opinion that they should, claiming that couples that “talkabout it” have more chances to successfully rebuild their relationship and the trust betweenthem. There’s much truth in that. But in reality, we are all different. While some might be strongenough to hear the bitter details, others need some more time to heal. Dr. Frank Gunzburg, awell-known marriage specialist, believes that it won’t do any good trying to speed up theprocess of healing by forcing the details of the affair from your spouse and ignoring your
  4. 4. resentment. The unfaithful spouse might find it difficult to speak about it too, by the way,fearing the reaction, and not wanting to give the betrayed spouse another chance to makehim/her feel guilty again.It doesn’t mean that the couple should act as if nothing happened. Both may agree not to talkabout it for the moment until both are ready. Take your time, and when you feel you’re ready,try to talk about it and see how it goes. And you don’t have to talk about everything right now.You can discuss a bit now, and a bit more later. It is a big thing to digest.Reviving Your Sex-LifeNow, let’s say a few words about the intimacy issue. Rekindling the sexual passion between thespouses might take a while. Imagining your spouse with his or her lover is unbearable, and manytorment themselves wondering whether their spouse compares their body and sexualperformances with those of the former lover. Who can make love feeling like that?!It might take about half a year after the affair for desire to return. The unfaithful spouseshouldn’t expect much from their partner sexually. Show some consideration and give them achance to overcome their negative feelings.Overcoming ResentmentEven if you truly and sincerely forgave your spouse and rebuilt your relationship, resentmentoften lingers on. A blow is that is hard to forget, and many find that the memory of the affairhaunts them decades after it happened.Resentment is a normal reaction. A betrayed spouse has to deal with the unbearable memoriesof the pain and the lies. However, when there is no longer danger for another affair and themarriage was successfully rebuilt, this reaction might ruin the reconciliation.We cannot actually forget what happened. But we can overcome the resentment. It fades overtime as long as nothing similar happens and both spouses learn to build a physically andemotionally satisfying relationship.Summary
  5. 5. Let’s sum this up. The most crucial factor in successfully rebuilding marriage after an affair isactually the same factor that enables couples to maintain a stable relationship in ordinarycircumstances: both should want this to happen and be ready to work for it. Each has a right todecide that he or she is not interested to make this effort, but once both decide they want togive themselves once more chance despite all that had happened, it is a mutual responsibility todo whatever they can to help each other heal, and to create a warm, satisfying relationship thatwill make both of you think twice before endangering it in any way in the future.

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