“How my marriage after infidelity by my wife not only survived … but also thrived!”
Hi, George here again.
Rather than giving general information today I wanted to tell you a little about how I personally overcame infidelity in marriage. I wont pull any punches either, I like to tell it like it is (or was at least) because some of the dumb things I did are important lessons on how NOT to save a marriage from the specter of an affair. I wanted to do this because I feel this might be able to help you avoid these mistakes and get through the bad stuff and come out the other end with a stronger marriage.
That bad stuff covers a lot though, I know it did for me. Lack of trust, anger, resentment, self pity, guilt, suspicion, vengeful thoughts, misery, depression and even blind rage! If at least some of that sounds familiar to you for your situation then I understand and I hope you read on.
You see, after 14 years of marriage my wife had an affair with her colleague at work. Our marriage was not perfect and had its ups and downs during those 14 years but I never thought it was in such bad shape that she would sleep with another man!
I was destroyed by this news when she finally told me.
I acted badly to be honest. I guess I felt justified because she had betrayed my trust … however deep down I knew I still loved her but I did not know how to do that any more. For her part I don’t think she knew how to deal with her own emotions and actions either which led to so many miscommunications, fights and straight out yelling matches that it became impossible to live with.
I move out to give each of us some space to think.
Sitting in a hotel room with my laptop on a crappy internet connection watching bad late night TV I wallowed in self pity at how low my life had sunk and that I could see a divorce looming and I seemed incapable of stopping it! Infidelity in marriage was like a poison I could not stop spreading to all other parts of my life too. My work and my relationship with friends and family were also suffering.
I needed an answer! I needed some guidance! I also wanted to quick because I did not want to sing any lower than this i thought as i watched cockroaches crawl across a dirty carpet.
I started searching for an answer online and found a lot of advice. However most was terrible, some was good but hardly covered everything I needed and the rest I have to say was dodgy links to porn sites. Before I gave up though I managed to find a gem amongst the rubbish which has led me to forgiveness and a happy marriage now.
Written by an expert it was not just a collection of half baked ideas and advice but was instead exactly what I needed. Something to give me a plan to follow as well as a clear view of exactly how our emotions work in such a terrible situation. Using this guide first of all allowed me to move back in with my wife, then to break down the walls of resentment we had built up and finally to a point which can only be described as a release from a prison of distrust which allowed an almost spiritual point of forgiveness.
Quite frankly this was not a flashy book nor was it a long book full of details. However it was a concise book that detailed why I had been failing to heal my marriage. It was no so much I was doing the wrong things but I was doing them in the wrong order! By the time I had applied all the advice on this guide we had created a new relationship out of the ashes. It would never be the way it was before so instead we built a new, better and stronger marriage for which I thank god every day.
Suffice to say, marriage after infidelity does not need to be plagued by misery. If you want the help that I got click below to visit the authors page.
If you feel like the affair has damaged but not destroyed your marriage then you need to know how to make your marriage better after infidelity. Such a task is not easy however as there are so many emotions to navigate and so many issues that can boil to the surface due to the tiniest little things that may happen.
With my own marriage it took quite some time to get back to what it was, even when I thought we had buried everything and overcome the resentment, jealousy and hurt. The truth is that you never fully bury the memories. You can never forget infidelity but you can forgive in time which requires more than just words. It requires a change in how you think about your relationship and the future.
As such here are a few steps that helped me make a better marriage after infidelity:
1. Focus on the Future
This does not mean forgetting the past of course. However, putting your mental emphasis on the future and how great you can make it is like drowning out another noise, the noise is still there but the resounding blast of forward facing thinking will mean it cannot hurt you as much.
So if something is bothering you about what happened try to focus on something in the future to do with you marriage that is good and happy. You may not squash the negaqtive feelings completely but it will lower your anxiety somewhat.
2. Rebuild a Marriage – Do Not “Fix” a Marriage
Now these might sound like he same thing but they have very different meanings when you think about it. Rebuilding something is about starting from scratch to build a structure or anything again. It can be rebuilt better and it can be rebuilt differently (and has to as you will see). Fixing a marriage sounds like trying to plug the gaps and stop the whole thing falling down. A band-aid solution which will not hold and the entire marriage ends up falling apart.
These metaphors can be explained as such. If you try to continue your marriage as it was and just try to make the rough bits a little bit better then you may be doomed to repeat the same problems that caused your partner to stray in the first place. If you however see this as a new start to your lives and your marriage then you can build a stronger foundation based on what you have learned about each other and what your marriage once was.
3. Date Again
This ties in with the previous point but really helped me become closer to my wife. In the interests of rebuilding from the beginning and also to remind each other of the passion and love that you once had consider going on proper dates once again.
If you stay within the same context that the affair happened over and again it becomes harder to disengage from the memory and create new ones. Rekindling the desire you once felt outside of the home life can often mean that your intimate moments will not be plagued with negative thoughts and can have a chance to become fresh and new. Try to also do soem different things and new things when going on dates to remember the old times before he problems and dd that element of newness that is needed for a fresh start.
For more information on how to make your marriage better after infidelity though I as always recommend Dr Gunzburg’s most excellent e-book on the subject. Click below to visit the official site.
Marriage and infidelity; overcoming this heartbreaking combination seems like an impossible task for many and with good reason. The bitterness, the fear, the anger and the distrust that are unleashed upon a marriage where an affair rears its ugly head is nothing short of disastrous to a marriage and most simply end it because they cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel … or refuse it can possible exist.
I disagree that marriages cannot survive infidelity however a there is within all of us a god given ability to forgive and love, and also an ability to change who we are and how we see the world and our relationships. As such cheaters can change their tune and the victims of their affairs can learn to forgive and love without reproach again. I can not lie though, this is not easy for most. It can however be done if you do it right and keep an open mind. So if you are the victim of an affair who wants to keep the marriage together and learn to trust and love again or if you are the one who had the affair and wants to turn over a new leaf; read on.
Compensation & Forgiveness
As I mentioend before, humans has an amazing god given ability to be extremely forgiving of the greatest sins. This does not mean we can always do this however and it does not mean we are all saints of patience and turning the other cheek. It does however mean we have the ability to move on and live a better life without the past bothering us and destroying our future.
I do not believe that most people can forgive easily though. There must be some compensation given from the perptrator of the affair or there will be no sense of real aplogy or remorse of the events. With real tangible remorse and willingness to show change comes a form of emotional compensation. Such things as taking real steps to never see the lover again by changing jobs or doing whatever is nessecary to show remorse and willingness to build a marriage again. Only through actions of compensation can forgiveness start. You and your spouse should sit down and discuss this.
Hearing the details of an affair is like having someone turn the knife that is already stuck through your heart. Despite this, knowing how and why and affair started, continued and why it is ending (hopfully) is essential to the healing process. Without the knoweldge of all of these things the affair remains a mystery, the problems with your spouse and within your marriage may still remain to caue further problems. It will also be harder to achieve forgiveness ebcause you cannot fathom what you are really forgiving …
You must control your emotions and discuss with yoru parnter these things without laying blame and without devolvign into an argument. This was where I found it most difficult, just eharing about the faair made my blood boil and I could never sit through one of our scheduled “chats” on the subject without yelling and storming out. Control your emotions and find out the real reasons behind this infidelity an you can begin to heal properly.
One big problem that sinks marriages after infidelity is lingering resentment. even if you think you have an udnerstanding of teh affair and have forgiven the cheating to a large degree the memory of your spouse in the arms of another lover can haunt you for years unless you can reject the resentment that builds inside you.
This is again not an easy thing. Some people are more adept at remembering these things while others can move on more easily. This difference is usually in an attitude that some people carry with them. Those that dwell on the past will of course be more effected by resentment while those with a more forward facing outlook on life may never forget but can forgive because of one important difference, they believe the past is gone and cannot harm you anymore. The only thing that now matters is buildging a better brighter future.
If you focus on change and moving forward you can coem to the realisation that veryone can change, including yoruself and your spouse and the future can only be held hostage by the past if YOU let it! Now this part only comes after you have rebuilt trust of course but once you have that back you can become a better and less resentful person.
For more information on how to rebuild this trust and the important things you MUST do before you try to understand the affair I highly recommend Frank Gunzburg’s amazing e-book on marriage, infidelity & overcoming it.
Just what are the real reasons for infidelity in marriage? We all have quite skewed opinions on this, but the more you delve into it the less clear cut it gets. The reality is often quite sad in fact, quite fraught with ordinary human frailty and wrong headed thinking rather than pure lust and ego.
This is a list I have compiled from my own research into the matter and I am convinced that men and women have basically the same reasons despite most people thinking that men do it out of lust alone.
- Cultural differences – Sometimes people’s backgrounds of culture or ethnicity are so far apart that there is a gap between them, a distance that seems impossible to cross. This can sometimes lead to one partner falling into something more culturally familiar and leads to an affair.
- Disappointment in partners growth – When we get together we do so because we share something and to begin with we grow together and in the same ways. Somewhere along the way however our growth as people can stagnate or change paths. Our personalities change and suddenly one day one partner cannot see the same lover they fell in love with.
- Unrealistic expectations – This one speaks for itself. What we perceive of marriage being like is often such a lofty ideal that the reality of hard work in a relationship becomes too much of a strain because of our unrealistic beliefs.
- Curiosity – As terrible as it sounds some people simply have to know if the grass is greener and are not satisfied until they know. Most tend to find it is not as good as they think and it ends at that but the temptation is always there.
- Lack of Fun – A lack of excitement and falling into a rut can drive most people crazy. This is easy to remedy in most cases but sometimes communication breaks down so much that this can be a tipping point when an exciting person enters their life that can lead to infidelity in marriage.
- Lack of physical intimacy – Despite what most women think this is the same for both genders in many cases. Physical intimacy is a part of marriage and love and is not simply lust driven but acceptance driven. Being intimate and fulfilled in that regard is essential to a good marriage and when this falters it can spark very bad thoughts in some men and women who seek it elsewhere to fill the hole.
- Unable to accommodate a partner’s needs or expectations – Sometimes a relationship is hard and if you cannot accommodate certain needs or expectations of your partner they might see opportunities elsewhere.
- Poor Communication – So many problems can be solved by talking them through and communicating clearly the needs and desires that should be in a marriage. Sometimes this communication either never existed or broke down somewhere along the way driving them to someone else who could provide what they felt is missing.
You see, I believe that it is rarely that a man cheats on his wife just because his young 20 year old secretary has a tiny waist. It is rare that the poolboy just has such a hard toned body that a woman gives in to him and creates Infidelity in Marriage. These cases may happen but they are usually in the realms of Hollywood and their desire to show the bad guy/girl and not the real emotional drive behind such a thing.
Knowing the reasons behind the affair is a very important thing also. Without knowledge of why they did such a thing your mind will invent reasons and you will chase your own tail and cause all sorts of drama. Understanding brings a level of acceptance which allows healing to begin. It can be hard to get this out of your spouse however as they might know always really understand themselves either!
For more information on this subject check the e-book guide I recommend on this site. Click below to find out more.
Can a marriage survive infidelity? You might be wondering as you sit there thinking about your future, the future of your marriage and the meaning of love and commitment. The easy answer is to say YES a marriage CAN survive infidelity … however this does not mean all marriage can do this or should do this even.
I of course encourage everyone living in a marriage after infidelity to try to make things work but I do understand that everyone’s situation is different. Some marriage perhaps should not be saved for the betterment of both partners and some infidelities are so far beyond the pale that the pain may be too great. However, I believe these are the minority of cases and not the overwhelming majority as most people seem to think.
Really what determines the success of a marriage after an affair is the ability to understand not only your partner’s actions but also your own emotions, actions and your marriage up until this point. The affair never exists in a vacuum and while this does not mean you have any fault in it knowing the reasons behind it really makes the difference when deciding whether to take on this challenge and fix your marriage, or to call it quits.
I would say that the chances of overcoming infidelity I a marriage if you can understand everything surrounding it and you still want to find a way to make it work and heal the hurt and anger is quite high. Certainly if you do the right things and learn to handle your emotions and get a deeper understanding the success rate becomes higher and higher. If this desire to make your marriage endure is also driven by a love that exists despite the betrayal then the chances rise even further.
What makes these attempts fail is lack of understanding, lack of control and lack of direction and purpose. I had all of these things when I first tried to patch things up with my wife after her affair but managed to pull back from the brink despite my many mistakes.
So if you are encourages and think that your marriage is still worth saving then I applaud you because love CAN overcome and marriage CAN survive infidelity. For more help on how to get through this touch period though I do recommend hearing from an expert in the field. Dr Frank Gunzburg is one such man … his guide will not guarantee you will save your marriage but it will help you increase your chances at lasting happiness by a huge amount.
Dealing with infidelity in your marriage is not an easy path. I know from experience that your best laid plans can be torn apart at any moment when heated emotions get involved.
This has given me a long list of things NOT to do because I have done a number of these and each one set back my marriage even further. Looking at it again I have to say that I am surprised I am still with my wife now because we were both such fools back then. I must thank Frank Gunzburg again for his amazing guide to surviving infidelity.
1.Yell and Scream – Never EVER get into a yelling match. It is the easiest thing to do and you are angry and they are defensive and a simple conversation can turn ugly and then all bets are off. Obviously this never helps but why do we always end up doing it? Often it is because the other party starts it … then it escalates. However knowing how to end a conversation before it gets to this stage will help a great deal with fixing your marriage after infidelity.
2. Forcing Apologies – If you are the victim in this sometimes you will feel a powerful desire to have your husband or your wife to BEG you for forgiveness. You will want them to confess everything and say they were wrong and everything they did was completely their fault and make you feel like you have won somehow. This is a dangerous thought. There are no winners in an affair and forgiveness … true meaningful forgiveness will come in time. Trying to force it will simply make them bitter and angry and may push them simply to leave.
3. Beg Them - The opposite end to this is begging the cheater to stay if they are still involved in the affair or are simply deciding whether they can handle staying in a marriage anymore. If you want the marriage to work and you are fearful of them leaving even when you might also loathe them for their actions begging and pleading is the wrong way to go about it. IT can also be incredibly hard to stop yourself from doing this when you are so in love and also so hurt so the emotions just roar to the surface coming out in tears and phrases like “Please don’t go”, “Think of the children” and so forth. You need strength now to fix this and begging often makes them feel more guilty and so they run rather than facing it right now.
4. Plot Revenge - I never did this but I heard of a lot of people and a lot of websites even ENCOURAGING people to take vengeance on their cheating partners. Even if you don’t want to make your marriage work this is a bad idea. Giving in to vengeance can never erase what happened and it does not make you really feel better. It just makes you a sadistic person who may now have trouble trusting others later on. Going through the grieving process without taunts or acts of revenge will make you a better person and can save your marriage too.
I might come back with some more of these ways NOT to deal with infidelity in your marriage but that’s all I can think of at the moment. For how you SHOULD deal with an affair see the e-book I recommend on this site by Frank Gunzburg a marriage counsellor of 30 years experience.
Just how does one go about putting marriage back together after infidelity? As the title of this suggests I believe that love does have the power to do this but only if it is given a chance to shine which is the hard part.
Before we can delve into this much further, just what is love? Perhaps this is the eternal question that can never be truly answered but we all know it when we feel it. Love, if you have to quantify it, is about a deep sense of care and affection for the other person. It is about really wanting them to be happy but not at the expense of your own happiness. It is about wanting to grow together and to become closer spiritually. Many may completely disagree or think this is too simplistic but at its heart this si what I personally believe.
Now you may have questioned what love is if you found your spouse cheated on you. If you are the cheating party looking to patch things up after your infidelity you might also be reassessing what love is (maybe in a better way). In the end though you need to work out what it means to you and hang onto that through the emotional turmoil as a touchstone.
What I mean is that all the terrible thoughts that you have, the hurt, the betrayal, the anger and the sadness can all be transient and all pass once you go through these stages as we all must. What is important is they do not corrupt your love, if you want your marriage to work you must love your partner. You may not be happy with them, you may even think you HATE them … but it is amazing how we can both love and hate people at the same time. Hatred cannot be sustained though and love can.
So before you take action, find that core of love through your emotional tangle. Really look hard and if it is there latch onto it hard! If you cannot find it … perhaps the infidelity was too great. I believe that putting your marriage back together has to come with love though and not logical pragmatism as love holds the keys to forgiveness, happiness and success.
Again, I highly recommend Frank Gunzburgs Guide to Surviving an affair if you want to now more about saving your marriage from infidelity if you are the victim or the perpetrator. It has very practical advice you can follow unlike my piece here where I simply wanted to voice an opinion (but an important one!)
Forgiving infidelity sounds like it can be the most difficult thing in the world. The hurt of an affair, the loss of trust, the betrayal of the love you swore to each other and the feeling that you will never be able to trust this person again all conspire to leave this act of cheating a festering wound in your relationship that can poison your marriage and lead to divorce.
To forgive infidelity however is possible, but it is not something you can do like switching a light on or off. It takes time and it is different for everyone because every affair is different and everyone has different ways of working towards the psychological stage of forgiveness which is when you do not forget, but it is no longer negatively influencing your life .. or your marriage.
I would say that forgiveness IS the hardest part of marriage after infidelity as m,any couples can rebuild a marriage and even learn to love and trust again but many people can never fully learn to forgive so whenever an argument breaks out (as often happens in any marriage!) th first fallback position is to bring up the affair again.
This is not healthy nor is it constructive so tackling the forgiveness issue needs to be done no matter how hard it seems.
This can only be done by having a keen understanding of the affair, knowing exactly why your spouse cheated on you which is painful to hear but it like piercing a festering wound so that the healing can take place.
Then it comes down to communication and dedicated time to solving issues raised from that painful conversation. Gently you can work your way back to a Forgiving Infidelity in a loving, trusting relationship because you know the reasons behind the affair can be fixed and because your relationship had been laid open and bare before each other and god … the ultimate in forgiveness.
Rebuilding marriage after infidelity is not an easy task but one that can and in most cases should be done. However the road to recovery from an affair is fraught with pitfalls for husband and wife, cheater and victim that often trip them up and send a healing relationship down a fast track to divorce.
Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when coping with infidelity and rebuilding the trust and love that has been so shaken.
- Revenge Cheating – Sleeping with someone else as a way to get revenge on your spouse is the ultimate in hypocrisy and is a sure fire way to destroy whatever chance you had to actually make a marriage work. Do not do this as you will regret it and your spouse, though a cheater them self will be pushed away.
- Emotional Blackmail – Do not hold your partner to ransom because of their actions. While you may feel powerless and want some way to control your spouse this will breed a deep resentment that will not help you rebuild your marriage!
- Intentional Hurt – Sniping and cutting remarks designed to hurt your partner because you think they ‘deserve it’ does not help matters. While they certainly may have earned such disdain ask yourself “Will this help me love this person again and them me?” Unless you WANT a divorce learn to hold your tongue or it can make matters worse … I know from experience …
- Forgetting – Never forgot the infidelity of your partner. You need to learn to understand and forgive but forgetting is not possible as all you do it “not talk about it”. Not talking about an affair means it is always there looking over your shoulder and no emotional healing and trust building can happen while it festers beneath the surface.
Rebuilding a marriage after infidelity is possible is you avoid these pitfalls but it takes effort, understanding and sometimes a little bit of help. If you want to salvage your marriage then you must take control and make it happen!
It will never be the same …. but it can be good and even better … just different. Discover more about this here
If your marriage is at crisis point because of an affair then saving marriage after infidelity should be your first course of action. I firmly believe that 99% of all marriages can and should be saved from divorce and can grow stronger as a result.
The first thing that must be done however is stopping the destructive cycle that most couples enter into after infidelity occurs. This is a trap of anger, resentment and regret that is perfectly understandable but is also poisonous and not constructive in any way. Here are three tips that I used to get back on a course of healing and rebuilding of trust after my wife cheated on me.
1. Temper Control
It is only natural to feel angry at your partner for their actions but you need to ask yourself ‘is this going to save my marriage?’ every time you open your mouth. As soon as you lose your temper and get angry or bitter and lash out against your spouse you have just lost an opportunity to heal the rift.
It is an instinct designed to hurt them and make yourself feel better for just a moment.;the primal act of revenge. However what it does is distance yourself from your partner even further, makes them feel more guilty and also more angry towards YOU even if they were the one who had the affair!
In short, if you want to get to the point where you can communicate your anger and hurt in a constructive way that allows you to mend the rift at least a little you must control your temper. Think before you speak, never raise your voice and if you are simply too angry to even talk just say this line: “I cannot talk with you at the moment. We will talk about it later but not now.” … then go for a walk, get out of their way and cool down.
2. Delve into the Affair
Only take this step once you know how to communicate without getting angry! It may sound strange to talk about the one that is destroying your marriage but it must be done. If you ignore the affair and try to forget it then it will fester beneath the surface of your marriage forever and in the end it will come to divorce or a long and unhappy marriage.
You must understand the reasons behind your partners betrayal to be able to work on the problems in your relationship that led to this event. You must understand before you can ever truly forgive … you will never forget, but you can forgive by being close to your partners emotions.
Ask your partner about the details of the affair and never judge or interrupt or get angry (externally at least) when doing this and you will go a long way to saving marriage after infidelity.
EDIT: It forgot to mention one thing when I first wrote this. While this is essential if you try to undertake this BEFORE you fix some other issues this will fail!