If you are looking for affair recovery marriage counseling, there is a lot you need to know about getting over an affair. The good news is that if the one who had the affair is interested in saving the marriage and stopping the infidelity, and the other spouse is interested in staying in the relationship, you can make your marriage stronger than it ever was previously.
I would recommend showing your sincere remorse at what you did and validating your spouse’s feelings of hurt.
It is also likely there are some underlying issues that need to be addressed and I think it is possible to heal. I usually find that such situations need a more intensive approach-one that would include marriage counseling or a marriage therapy retreat (more info here)- that will help you get to the bottom of the situation and gain hope to move forward.
Listen to this podcast episode entitled: “What can you do if adultery has impacted your marriage? Here’s how to get over an affair”
Learning how to rebuild trust in a marriage is something that we teach in Step 1 (Commitment) of Marriage School- because without trust in a marriage, it’s almost impossible to have true expression of free flowing love and connection between a husband and wife, which is what you need for a happy marriage.
Beginning the Affair Recovery Marriage Counseling…
1) Rebuilding Trust– Often even more devastating than the affair itself is the lack of trust that is left in its aftermath. It will take effort and time to rebuild trust and it is possible. It’s important for both parties to have patience and realize this is a process. If you were the one who had the affair, it may be annoying to feel constantly questioned or suspected by your spouse. While it is annoying, it is a natural outcome of the decision that you made to be unfaithful. Try to see their perspective.
2) Transparency– One of the essential way to rebuild trust is to have transparency. If one knows that nothing is a secret, it’s much easier to trust again. Couples need to decide together what they feel comfortable doing. Some ways of being transparent is to share passwords on phone, social media, and email. While it may feel a little invasive, it is an unfortunate consequence of the lack of transparency that enabled the affair to happen in the first place. While people who want to hide things from their spouse, can always find ways to do so, it takes a lot more effort to do it.
Ensuring the affair doesn’t happen again
3) Understanding Context– No affair occurs in a vacuum. Your spouse didn’t wake up one morning and decided to cheat. While there is never an excuse for betrayal, it is important to understand the context in which the affair sprouted from in order to prevent it from happening again. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of cheating stems from a lack of emotional connection in the relationship. If a spouse’s emotional needs are not being met, they can begin to entertain the thought of looking elsewhere. With this understanding, in order to have successful Affair Recovery Marriage Counseling, we need to examine the relationship breakdown that made the dynamic ripe for exiting the marriage. This way, we can make sure everyone’s needs are being met, making recidivism a lot less likely.
4) Making amends and forgiveness– Once the actual affair is discussed and all unanswered questions are address, the next step is making amends for the affair by showing real remorse, asking for forgiveness, and resolving (sometimes silently) to do something that will help the other spouse feel loved, some type of consistent new behavior. This reassurance is going to have to be consistent and heartfelt, something which will need to happen over time- more than once most likely- and will require effort.
Protecting Your New and Improved Marriage
5) Implement new healthy relationship practices– If you are engaging in Affair Recovery Marriage Counseling, you’ll begin a new and improved relationship together by learning and implementing better practices for your relationship so you both can be emotionally satisfied. This includes creating safety with a process that enables you to communicate more effectively, creating a vision for your relationship, and new rituals to implement positivity on a daily and weekly basis.