Nothing can break the heart of a spouse like infidelity. As you can see from the divorce rate, not many marriages can withstand the pain that infidelity causes. If you are in a marriage that has been scarred by infidelity, it is going to take a lot of time, patience, love and forgiveness to repair the relationship. While there is no easy how-to article on fixing the broken heart of a spouse, there are some steps you can take to rebuild your marriage after infidelity.
As you read through the list remember, your spouse is still with you and willing to work through the pain and that’s the most important thing.
Communicate: Now that your spouse knows about the incident, open up and talk about it. Let your spouse know where you were mentally and emotionally when you cheated. Be honest and vulnerable, and answer the tough questions. Acknowledge the pain: When we hurt someone we want to apologize and move on as quickly as possible. When a spouse discovers they’ve been cheated on, life is anything but business as usual. Acknowledge their pain, stand by them, hurt with them and love them. Take full responsibility for your actions and allow them to hurt but never leave them to hurt alone. Reconnect/Rebuild: It’s a slow process but remember, you didn’t gain their trust overnight in the beginning. If at all possible, take a getaway, just the two of you. Spend quality time alone talking and bonding. Imagine your better half as an apprehensive, new love. Both of you have to learn each other and build confidence in each other. Take each day and each moment as an opportunity to gain trust. Love: Make every day a holiday. Leave those morning love notes on the fridge. Let your partner know all of the little things that you love about them. Send text messages from work just to show you’re thinking of them. Show your love, it doesn’t have to be done on a grand scale but it has to be done. Counseling: Sometimes the pain is too great to work through. Before you give up, seek counseling. Don’t be afraid to bring in a non-biased third party. Sometimes you need a different perspective. Focus inward: You’ve made a big mistake and you’re sorry but the best way to show your remorse is to work on changes within yourself. Do you truly understand what prompted your actions? You may need counseling apart from your spouse. Taking action to correct and avoid future missteps will help rebuild trust. No sex: Don’t rush to make things physical with your spouse unless they ask, instead focus on emotional connections. Keep personal things personal: Don’t tell friends and family what has happened in your marriage. Talk with each other and a counselor, if needed. The input of family and friends could put additional stress on your very fragile situation. Be patient: Patience can’t be stressed enough. No matter how many steps you take to rebuild your marriage remember, your spouse is a human with a real heart and real emotions. You have hurt someone deeply and are in no position to rush the healing process. Stay positive: Believe in the love that you share with your spouse and continue to look ahead to brighter days. Marriage is hard work with many ups and downs but together you and your spouse can push through anything. Pray and continue to work toward a better relationship and you will get there.
Rebuilding a marriage after infidelity takes much more than 10 steps but they’re a start. Sometimes relationships and marriages never recover but that fate lies with the individuals involved.
If you’ve suffered through a break in your marriage/relationship, you’re not alone. It’s not your fault and, yes, you can recover. You can love again.