When your spouse has had an affair, you will naturally experience negative emotions such as hurt and anger when you first discover the infidelity. As time passes you will feel calmer and start to wonder how to save a marriage after an affair.
Saving a marriage when one party has been unfaithful is possible but it is never easy and there is never any certainty that the relationship can be saved. All close relationships are based on trust. By having an affair your spouse has destroyed the foundations on which your marriage was built.
Trying to rebuild a marriage following an affair is not like starting over; it is much harder than that and less simple. When you and your spouse first met, you were working with a blank canvas and created a picture as you got to know each other. When it is the second time round for a relationship, the canvas is not blank. This time, the canvas is marred with the ugly picture of your spouse’s affair and you have to learn how to paint that out before you can create a fresh picture.
To rebuild the marriage after your spouse’s affair, both of you will have to be honest with yourself and honest with each other. You must both be prepared to work at saving your marriage and this means re-establishing trust. To have the best chance of surviving, your marriage has to be based on love and trust. You must ask yourself “can I trust my spouse?” before you decide to put all your energy into an attempt to save the marriage.
There is never any justification for cheating. If there were already problems within the relationship, the reasons for your spouse’s infidelity might be understandable, but this is not the same as there is an “excuse”. The first thing to do is to consider the following issues:
1. Has your spouse cheated before? A serial cheater is illegal to ever make a good partner. If you know that your spouse has cheated on you before, or cheated on previous partners, you probably know in your heart that you will never be able to truly trust your spouse again. If this was the first and only incidence of cheating, there is a greater chance of healing the relationship.
2. Was the affair the real cause of the rift between you and your spouse? You need to be certain that the affair was the actual cause of the marriage breakdown and not a symptom of underlying problems. If there were already problems in the marriage, they need to be addressed if the relationship is to stand any chance of being saved.
3. Are you sure the marriage is worth saving? You will have to put a lot of effort into rebuilding your relationship, so you need to be sure you are not wasting your time. Every aspect of the relationship prior to your spouse cheating needs to be examined. You need to be 100% sure that you want to save the marriage for the right reasons. If true love and trust were absent from the relationship before the affair, reconciliation is less likely to be successful.