It is sad but true. More than 50% of marriages experience the emotional turmoil of infidelity. Sexual or emotional infidelity – leave a marriage riddled with doubt, hurt and the lingering question: “Can we ever really love again?” The answer to this question is a resounding “YES” – I have helped many couples do so over the years. Listed below are the secrets I reveal to couples who want to rekindle the love in their relationship AFTER the affair is over.
- Take full responsibility for the affair without any ands, ifs or buts. What I mean is the affair is not to be excused away based on the adulterer feeling unloved, ignored, unappreciated, or any number of reasons people have rationalized for stepping outside their marriage vows. No matter how you slice it, you broke a solemn vow for which there is no excuse. None.
- Apologize. Tell your partner you are genuinely sorry for the hurt and pain your affair has caused them. The sense of rejection one feels when they learn their partner has had an affair is excruciation. Say you are sorry and listen – without making any excuses.
- Build Trust. Ask your partner what you need to say and do that will help build and re-gain their trust in you. And once you have heard your partner’s needs – be trustworthy. If you make promises, keep them.
- Learn to effectively communicate what you want and need from each other – and make sure you are truly listening to each other.
- Forgiveness. At some point during the healing process, the partner who has been cheated on must make a conscious decision to let go of the pain – and all the other feelings surrounding the affair – and forgive your partner. You will never be able to move past an affair without forgiveness. Let go of resentment and build your future based on learning from this experience. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting – but you must forgive to move forward.
Most people believe an affair happens to other couples – until it happens to you. Implement these 5 secrets to help your marriage not only survive, but thrive after this painful experience.