Do you know you can fix a marriage after cheating? Infidelity can deal a deadly blow to even the most vital marriage.
The offended spouse not only experiences overwhelming anger but also undergoes heartache, vowing to sue for divorce. While it is natural to want out of a broken, it takes a generous couple to try to work things out.
It is now easy! With patience and work, the two of you can reconcile and put the marriage back on the path to recovery. How is that possible, given the emotional rollercoaster that comes upon discovering a cheating partner?
In this article, we explain how to fix a marriage after cheating. We invite you to take the front-row seat as we start:
Talk About the Cheating Incident
Rebuilding a marriage after cheating should start with having a conversation about the affair that caused the misunderstanding. This step isn’t just uncomfortable for you but also for your partner.
Your partner doesn’t want to listen to you describing details of you ending up in someone else’s bed. In the same way, you feel it isn’t right to define what transpired. In her book: How to Fix a Broken Marriage, Claire Robin says about initiating the healing process.
Take time to talk to your spouse about your cheating partner, why and when you cheated, and how you felt. It is also essential to talk about how long the affair lasted. Did you have sex at the spur of a moment? Or was it something that had been on for a while?
How many times did you sleep together? As uncomfortable as these questions may seem, your spouse deserves to know what happened. After talking about a tricky subject like infidelity, you and your spouse are likely to heal faster. With time, you will fix the broken marriage.
Avoid Meeting, Contacting, Or Talking to Your Cheating Partner
This step is a must if you hope your spouse can trust you and rebuild the marriage. So, stop meeting, contacting, or talking to the person with whom you cheated.
What does that mean? It would help if you cut off all communication networks, including blocking their phone numbers, unfriending them on social media, and stopping all meetings. That will show your partner that you are remorseful for the infidelity and willing to change.
You may have a child with your cheating partner. That may mean maintaining some level of communication but only when there is a need. When you communicate with him or her, you should ensure that your partner knows what’s happening.
Where no child is involved, it will be much easier to disconnect entirely from the one with whom you cheated. If the person persists in pursuing a relationship, then you should implement the drastic measures discussed above.
While at it, you should never allow your spouse to have any doubts about your resolve to rebuild the marriage.
Also Related: 17 Warning Signs Your Spouse is Cheating.
Identify and Acknowledge the Underlying Causes
It is not enough to talk about the infidelity incident that has driven your relationship into headwinds. It would help if you also spoke about the disconnect in your relationship that could have led you to cheat on your spouse.
In the book: Divorce, Causes, and Consequences, Professor Alison Clarke-Stewart identifies several types of disconnections in marriages. She says emotional disconnection is the biggest issue causing infidelity.
Emotional disconnection indicates the lack of connection at the emotional level. You or your partner needs to feel loved, worthy, and valued for you to connect emotionally. If that’s lacking, then you are likely to end up cheating on each other.
Another possible cause of infidelity could be your partner’s attachment style. The attachment theory posits that the emotional connection or bond you had with your caregiver as a child affects adulthood relationships.
If caregivers didn’t meet your childhood emotional needs, you might not know how to form reliable, meaningful, and trusting bonds. That could escalate into your adulthood relationships, including marriage.
Identifying and acknowledging the underlying causes of infidelity is a step towards repairing your marriage.
Get Rid of Old Tendencies and Habits
Infidelity never happens out of the blue. There must be a pattern of habits, tendencies, and events that lead to it.
Perhaps you got involved with a co-worker after spending too much time together, including after-work drinks. Or, you were working on a project and could not avoid drawing too close to each other.
It’s also possible that you flirt too much with your acquaintances. While on social media, you entertain intimate, dirty conversations with the people you meet there. Possibly, you are also fond of visiting nightclubs without your spouse.
In the past, you have communicated intimately with someone and developed a stronger affinity than your spouse.
As you can see, infidelity is encouraged, nurtured, and developed over time. It doesn’t just materialize from nothing. Once you find out the behaviors that could have made you cheat, you should implement changes.
As Michele Weiner-Davis says in her book: Healing from Infidelity, making these changes will help you rebuild trust. In the future, you will be in a better position to avoid falling into a similar trap.
Take Steps to Strengthen Your Marriage
Just because your marriage is going through infidelity doesn’t mean you should hit the clubs and start drinking with abandon.
Instead, you should find ways to be together with your spouse to make the marriage stronger. Without that, it will be impossible to rebuild a broken marriage after infidelity. When you decide to go out, let your spouse know your location to remove any suspicions.
What can you do to strengthen your marriage? Have dinner out or go on that vacation for which you have always longed. If you can’t afford that for now, cook a meal and have the entire evening to yourselves.
For those who are religious, read the Bible and pray together. Invite your spouse to a random lunch date, sit down, and talk about your relationship. Doing these things will not only rebuild trust but also strengthen your marriage for a better future together.
Also Related: 17 Proven Ways to Fix Your Marriage after Infidelity.
Be Humble and Empathetic
Your partner has just caught you cheating on him or her. Instead of treating them with contempt, learn to be humble and empathetic. Your infidelity has humiliated and embarrassed your spouse for real.
So, you can’t play the victim or hero because you are neither or that. Recognize how much you hurt your spouse and put yourself in his or her shoes. How would you feel if your spouse had cheated on you? Would you forgive them and sit down to talk about the relationship? Or, would you pack up and go?
Empathy means recognizing the hurt you put your spouse and their right to feel pain and anger. Even if your spouse forgives you, it will take time before he or she can forget what happened.
In the book: Healing From Infidelity, Jackson A. Thomas, you should remain humble and empathetic until your partner heals. Once he or she gets over the emotional hurt, you will be able to fix the broken marriage after infidelity.
Avoid Blaming Your Partner for Your Deeds
Regardless of their role in causing the infidelity, your partner isn’t to blame for what happened. Only you and your decisions drove you into another person’s hands, not your partner.
Your relationship might have had issues like a lack of intimacy or emotional disconnection. It doesn’t matter what your spouse did to cause these issues.
Instead of cheating on him or her, you had the choice to work things out, but you didn’t. Now that he or she has caught you in the act, you start apportioning the blame. Quit! Regardless of the number of fights you have every day, cheating is never the best option.
In the book: After the Affair, Janis Abrahams says you should realize that you made a mistake! You should then repent and ask your spouse for forgiveness. After you have reconciled, you can work towards fixing your broken marriage. Otherwise, blaming your spouse may only lead to even more fights, escalating a worse situation.
Reassure Your Partner of Your Commitment
We have already talked about how infidelity often leads to an emotional rollercoaster in the jilted partner. Your partner may end up taking the blame for your affair.
They might think they led you to cheat by neglecting the relationship. Or your partner may feel unloved and inadequate. They may think you cheated because you found them not being good enough for you in their estimation. When you see any of these signs, it’s time to start reassuring your spouse of your love.
What actions can you take? Tell your partner how much they mean to you. Also, make it clear the extend you will go to save your marriage from imminent collapse. But words are not enough and need reinforcement with straightforward actions.
Treat your partner to a hot breakfast in bed, take them on a lunch date, and arrive home with a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t have to be something you love. What matters is that your actions show the price you are willing to pay to fix a marriage after cheating.
Also Related: 21 Proven Ways Prevent Your Man from Cheating.
Strive to Become Better
You can only realistically fix a broken marriage by changing who you are. Without that, the aftermath of infidelity will mean the end of the relationship as you knew it. Besides, you are likely to continue with the same habits and tendencies that led to the cheating incident.
In the book: Healing from Infidelity, Jackson A. Thomas says you should take time to build yourself into a better person. By strengthening yourself, you will have a lot to contribute towards rebuilding the marriage.
However, before you start working on yourself, you should do a thorough self-evaluation. Do you have any deep-seated habits that could cause rifts in your marriage? Which of your qualities are likely to push your spouse away rather than closer?
Perhaps you need to learn how to be compassionate and sympathetic. Or, you need to develop the skills of a good listener. If there are aspects of the marriage you can fix working together with your spouse, why not? As you improve your wedding after infidelity, it would help you listen more than you talk.
Seek Help from A Marriage Counsellor
Sometimes you may need a neutral third party to help you draw closer with your spouse. With the help of a qualified marriage counselor, you will be able to diagnose your marriage’s underlying issues.
Also, the counselor will suggest strategies to brings healing to your relationship. You will also find it easier to set actionable goals to implement every day to heal your marriage.
Besides, marriage counselors know how to bring the emotions you feel after cheating. You will discuss the feelings and how to meet the needs arising from each one of them.
The counselor will also help you develop the forms of communication you need to fulfill your emotional needs. As you continue attending the counseling sessions, you and your partner will be able to rebuild trust. With time, you will rebuild the marriage, making it stronger than before.
Also Related: Top 17 Proven Ways to Rebuild Trust After Cheating.
From the discussion above, it is clear that you can fix a marriage after cheating. The first thing you should do is to talk about how you ended up cheating on your partner.
While at it, you should avoid meeting, contacting, or talking to the person with whom you cheated. While at it, you might have to cut off all communication forms, including unfriending them on social media.
You also need to identify and acknowledge the underlying issues and avoid old habits. Step-by-step, you should work to strengthen your marriage while remaining humble and empathetic.
Whatever you do, don’t blame your partner for cheating. Instead, you should reassure them, strive to become better and ask for help from a counselor.