There are many challenges that couples face in their marriage, infidelity being one of the most devastating. When your spouse cheats on you, you would feel angry, betrayed, hurt, and in despair. The broken trust is very difficult to restore and the damage that you feel will seem irreparable. But if your husband has ended the affair and is committed to saving your marriage, he must also be willing to initiate the first step of reconciliation by being remorseful and honest about his infidelity and should be ready to tell you everything. Studies suggest that more marriages are saved when the unfaithful partner opens up about the affair.
If your relationship has hit a rocky patch, confronting the issues now could transform your marriage — and save it from destruction in the future. — April Eldemire LMFT
As for the aggrieved – you – your marriage can only be saved if you also agree to try and fix things with you and your husband. Forgiving takes time, as does the healing. You will go through a process that may have several roadblocks along the way, but if you are both in it to save it, your marriage has a chance.
Here are a few essential steps that experts recommend for couples to help them heal after infidelity.
- Honesty is the best policy. It’s a cliché, I know, but it’s the most factual cliché ever – always is, always has been. This should be something that your husband should give freely after the wrongful act he did. He should be prepared to tell you everything about the affair and vow never to continue it – or do it again. He should allow you to check his phones and emails as a first step to regaining your trust in him. It will take a while, and if your husband is serious about wanting you back then it shouldn’t be a problem for him.
- The adulterous spouse must be responsible for the consequences of his actions. This means that your husband should accept the guilt of having to see the pain he has caused you. The guilt will kill him but he must accept that what he did hurt you and broke you, and he must mend that hurt by doing what he can to save your marriage and your love for each other.
You may or may not be familiar or comfortable with a therapeutic relationship and are not convinced it can really help at this point. — Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW
- Try to connect with each other by spending time with each other doing anything. A gap is definitely formed after the infidelity, and the passion may not be present for a while. Both of you – not only your adulterous husband but also you – should find time to be alone together and spend quality time. Perhaps you would still remember the pain you’ve been through and still be mad at your husband, but at least he is there to accept the fault. Spending time watching television, having meaningful conversations, and doing the things you used to enjoy will slowly heal your wounds in time.
- Seek support if you can’t resolve your issues without help. Find support initially from your family and friends and allow them to mediate if there are things you can’t agree on. If you find that you cannot control your anger towards your husband when you remember the infidelity, express your emotions to your significant others to avoid saying something that might aggravate the situation. If you think you need more help, you can join support groups or even seek guidance from a therapist who can talk with both of you and walk you through the process of healing.
Healing From Infidelity
Forgiving your husband and saving your marriage after infidelity is not at all easy. You will be battling with low self-esteem, insecurities, and an uncontrollable anger amidst your willingness to save the marriage. But in the end, it is you and your husband’s commitment to do the best you can that matters – because only both of you can decide if your marriage deserves a second chance.