Marriage Repair After an Affair
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He knew the road wouldn't be easy, but when faced with the reality of losing his best friend, the mother to his children and the dream of growing old together, Josh's heart was broken with remorse. If you desire to pursue healing in your marriage after being unfaithful to your husband or wife, here are some steps to consider:. End the affair completely. Stop all contact with the other person — including face-to-face meetings, text messages, phone calls, quick meetings, and especially any romantic or sexual contact.
If the other person contacts you, report to your spouse before he or she asks you about it.
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This will begin to rebuild trust and complete honesty. Take percent responsibility for the affair. Although an affair usually indicates underlying issues within your marriage, you must take responsibility for your choices and actions. You betrayed your marriage vows — regardless of the issues at home. Although it would be easy to slide into the blame game, you need to own your choices and set all excuses aside.
Attempt to empathize with your spouse. Your husband or wife will have many emotional responses to your unfaithfulness. As you empathize with him or her, seek to understand what this has been like for the betrayed partner. This is not the time to demand that your spouse own his or her imperfections or faults.
Right now you must help establish your commitment and fidelity to the marriage relationship. Being empathetic can lead you to ultimately seek true heartfelt forgiveness. Some marriage experts contend that the No. Although you will likely want to defend yourself or fight back, it's essential that you do everything you can to be empathetic and understanding of your spouse. Try to validate his or her pain, showing compassion and tenderness; understanding that your choices have caused the turmoil your spouse is experiencing.
Although it may be difficult, allow your husband or wife as much time as is needed to process these deep emotions, consistently responding to him or her with honesty and regret. Recommit to your husband or wife. This kind of commitment can be expressed by clarifying that you are all in and will do whatever it takes to fight for your relationship. Your spouse's level of trust with you has been deeply impacted, even lost, and rebuilding it will take time. The proactive steps you take now will be vital to his or her recovery. Be completely honest and transparent with your spouse.
Although answering questions with complete honesty and openness seems counter-intuitive, it is an essential part of rebuilding trust with your spouse. Tell the whole truth about the affair, honestly explaining how it transpired and then how you have ended it. These are important pieces of information if your spouse is going to understand the timeline of the affair.
Your husband or wife should feel confident that you have no secrets about life — in social media, phone records, text messages and in all information pertaining to your whereabouts. Allow your spouse to ask questions and inquire about the details of your life. Transparency will help in the healing process. Be careful to protect your spouse from details that will bring images to his or her mind. It has often been described as a 4 steps forward 2 steps back journey. There are going to be days when you may feel hopeless.
There will be days when you feel like you or your spouse will never get beyond it. There may be days when you feel like kicking your spouse to the curb. My husband, Brian, described the journey like running a marathon. So it is with an athlete training for the Olympics. Do they feel like getting up at five am every morning to train … again? Do they feel like eating all the right foods all the time?
Do they agree with or feel like taking the advice from their coach always? Do they win if they only do it on the days when they feel like it? Are there days when they think: This is too hard, what am I doing?
An Important Key to Healing a Marriage after an Affair …
The answer is yes. The key is they are committed. They are committed to the process. They keep before their minds eye the prize that they desire. They honor the commitment they have made to themselves and to others. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup. We do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win.
Like an athlete, I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to, otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside.
Signs Your Marriage Is Over After Infidelity | Kira Gould
You cannot succeed at anything great in life with a half-hearted commitment. You will not succeed if you are running your healing journey according to your feelings. In many cases it would be unwise to commit to the marriage too soon. For most not all that is a happy, healed and fulfilling marriage on the other side of the pain. It does take both spouses being willing to do the work to get to fulfilled and healed.
In an Olympic race there is only one gold medal winner. In healing from affairs, every marriage can win if they are willing to commit to the journey, follow the roadmap, and use the tools. We need to focus on what we can control, changing ourselves. You are committing to the healing process for a period of time. When we work with clients we require a 4-month minimum commitment. There is no giving up, quitting, separating, throwing each other out, or threats during the specific time period to which you commit.
The betrayed makes it safe for the unfaithful to tell the truth, and the unfaithful tells the truth. Both spouses need to commit to the process and together they both do the work and make it happen. They grow up.
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They mature. They listen.
They engage. Commitment is one of the 12 secrets those that experience a loving, passionate, fulfilling, lifelong monogamous marriage choose to live by. There is incredible fulfillment and happiness in standing beside your spouse and loving them both in the good times and in the bad. We do not imply that this includes the bad times of an affair.
Helping Families Thrive™
To heal from an affair, you use a healthy marriage as your standard. So it is with healing from an affair. On my own journey, I first committed myself to 3 months, and I promised myself that if we had not moved forward in 3 months, I would give myself permission to leave. After 3 months, I was just a tad more hopeful.
Overall there had been minimal progress. So I decided to commit to another 3 months. And so on I went until I reached the 2-year mark. It was 2 years after Brian disclosed his affair to me, and he at that point had done all I could think of that any man could do to make it up to me, that I decided that I needed to make a decision about my marriage. At 2 years I fully recommitted myself to our marriage, not before. After that commitment, I never bring up his affair anymore.
I made a decision to forgive and let it go.
Restoring Your Marriage After Admitting to Infidelity
Remember, though, that Brian first gave me the gift of fully committing to the healing process, as I did with him. I looked for the good in what he was doing, and resisted the temptation to expect perfection or for everything to be my way.
He did the same with me. We cannot tell you how incredibly worthwhile the rewards have been. Back then healing from the affair seemed insurmountable. Today, eleven years later, the healing process seems comparably short, and not that bad, but the rewards have been so worth it. If we can do it, so can you!
For information about confidential coaching with Brian or Anne click here. If you would like to share a success story, helpful insight or comment on this article we welcome your remarks. Due to the large volume of emails we receive, we cannot answer all emails, but we care about every person who contacts us and will do our best to respond personally to you.
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