If the unthinkable has happened and you or your spouse has had an extramarital affair, there’s a lot that’s uncertain. Read on to find how to salvage a relationship breaking from infidelity.
The one question on everyone’s mind is, “can we recover from this?”
And the answer is yes — and we know this because couples have successfully recovered — but it can be a long and challenging road.
In this post, we’re going to cover a few tips to salvage a relationship after infidelity.
Get the facts out in the open
Infidelity, or cheating, means different things to different people. Some people may consider watching porn as infidelity, while others wouldn’t bat an eye. But the fact is that there are many different types of cheating, and you want to discuss exactly what you’re dealing with before you can even think about moving forward.
Did someone date outside the marriage? Did they have intercourse? Or maybe it was an emotional affair. While you don’t have to disclose every detail, it’s important that both parties know exactly what type of infidelity you’re dealing with.
End the affair
This should probably go without saying, but if you want to move forward after infidelity, there must be a clear and obvious end to the affair.
Both parties must be clear on how it ends and the reasons why it will not continue.
There is no way to move forward after infidelity if there’s any doubt that the affair is over. At this point, you’re going to have to rebuild trust, so it’s important to be transparent about how this extramarital relationship will end.
Get couples counseling
Not every couple is going to be able to recover from infidelity, but those who do definitely need help. This is a job for a professional, so you should seriously consider going to couples counseling.
If you’re not a fan of therapy, you may be able to find a religious counselor to help, but be sure this person is well-versed in dealing with infidelity. Betrayal is one of the most complicated and difficult things for a couple to get past, and if your counselor doesn’t know how to handle it, you may not have a chance.
Agree on the goal
One important step before finding a counselor is to agree on the desired outcome. You’re coming from a place where you’re extremely disconnected, so this can be difficult. But do try your best to discuss and come to some conclusions on the desired outcome. What do you want to get out of counseling? What does success look like to each of you?
And this will be a difficult conversation, but you must also ensure that you both want to work through the infidelity before you expend any energy trying to solve the problem. If someone is unwilling to forgive or do the necessary work to recover, it may be time to break up. Admitting it’s time to call it quits can actually save a lot of time and heartache when it’s really the best option.
Work on everything
Couples who do successfully recover from infidelity find that their relationship can be stronger on the other side. And while this may seem impossible now, it works out that way because the couple was willing to work through their most difficult issues.
This often means digging much deeper than the infidelity itself and attacking the issues that caused your initial rift. Typically, there are relationship issues long before one partner decides to cheat. And if you can figure out what yours are and address them, your relationship may be stronger for it.
This can be especially challenging for the partner dealing with betrayal because they’ll be asked to practice self-awareness and possibly take accountability for their part in marital issues. But the end result can be beautiful.
Salvage a relationship, if you’re struggling with infidelity in your relationship, know that breaking up isn’t the only answer. It’s possible to recover from infidelity when both partners are willing.