Unfortunately, so many marriages are impacted by the pain, betrayal and loss of trust caused by an affair. In fact 50% of marriages are impacted by some sort of infidelity at some point in the marriage. If you find you’re in this situation and you’re not sure what to do, here are six steps you can take to save your marriage.
Understand that it’s about meeting each other’s emotional needs. Research shows that 95% of affairs are caused by one or both parties feeling as if they are not understood, appreciated and loved. It’s not about the sex. It’s about feeling connected, wanted and meeting core emotional needs. One or both members of the couple need to stop getting these needs met outside the marriage and instead rely on each other to meet them.
Stop the infidelity in order to move forward with the marriage. The partner that had the indiscretion must stop having anything to do with the person that they’re seeing outside the marriage. The type of contact that must stop includes face-to-face meetings, email, phone, Facebook, chat or anything else. You can only move forward in the marriage if the affair is totally in the past and stays there.
Both members of the couple must accept some responsibility. Both members of the couple must recognize that they are both responsible for the state of their marriage. When the marriage has significant issues, it is vulnerable to an affair. Accepting some of the responsibility is typically extremely difficult for the injured party to understand but is essential in order to move forward. One of you may have stepped over the line but because both of you were not connecting and meeting each other's needs, the marriage was vulnerable.
Give the injured party time to heal. The injured party will need time to recover from the hurt and lack of trust that the infidelity caused and the partner that engaged in the affair needs to be generous with the time it takes to recover. Trust must be earned back.
Understand that your marriage will never be the same. But that’s a good thing because the state of the marriage caused this situation that led to the infidelity. You need to work together to create a new and better future. There are many marriages that end up much stronger after an affair because the couple knows how incredibly important it is to stay connected, supporting each other and strong together.
Learn relationship skills to build a new strong marriage. Being in a successful marriage is a learned skill that many of us never learned from the role models around us. The good news is that the skills that make a strong relationship can be learned and that’s exactly what we dedicate ourselves to at StrongMarriageNow.com. Learn more about our proven step-by-step Save My Marriage System. There are also many other great resources including self-help books, counselors, classes, retreats, etc. Take the time to learn the skills!
Can you both commit to those steps? If so, there is hope to save your marriage. If you have kids, I hope that you can both find it in your hearts to do the work. I'm sure you're aware that the impact of divorce on children is massive.
Recovering from an affair is never easy but it is possible. Your marriage does not have to be over. If you both commit to forgive and move forward and get the education you need, you can save your marriage.
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