One of the most pervasive myths is that affairs only happen to bad marriages. This myth is perpetuated by all of us. We try to help people learn how to recover from an affair and get their marriages back on track and sometimes people take the advice as if that means something was wrong with them and that’s why their husband or wife cheated.
While sometimes affairs can be a sign that something was deeply wrong with the marriage, sometimes a cheating incident has nothing whatsoever to do with the marriage or the victim. Sometimes people in happy marriages cheat. They do it because it’s just easier today to get away with it and find someone to cheat with. It may have seemed exciting at that moment, but probably empty later.
In these types of situations, the wronged spouse thinks the marriage is perfectly wonderful. Their spouse pays attention to them, nothing is amiss in their sex life, and in fact, everything seems so wonderful that someone cheating seems impossible. But, then you find out your spouse cheated and you’re so blindsided and hurt that you don’t think you can recover. But, you can recover if you really want to.
Confront Your Spouse
Now that you know, it’s best that they know you know. Empty the house of kids, pets or distractions, and make an appointment to talk to your spouse. Do not set your spouse up to lie more. It’ll just make things worse. Just let them know that you know how you know, and what it means to you and what you need to move forward.
Forgive if Asked For Forgiveness
If your spouse asks you to forgive them, and you really want your marriage to work, you need to get there as soon as possible. It’s okay to say that you need some time, but the best way to recover after cheating happens, even if you’re blindsided is to forgive them as soon as possible.
You need to realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean things going on as normal, just that you’re willing to work together.
Forgive Even if They Don’t Ask
If you have a stubborn spouse, and you know this going into the conversation, if you’re already ready to forgive tell them. Tell them that you forgive them and you want to keep your marriage together and work on things so that this never happens again.
Your spouse may not know what they really want right now, so allow them some time to recover from being found out. Because it’s likely since you had a good marriage to start with your spouse will realize this is their fault totally which will make them feel like a failure.
Get Personal Help
You have to take care of yourself, and both of you need separate and specific help. Find a coach or counselor who specializes in your particular situation and will see you together and separately to work on things. You’re going to be on a roller coaster ride of emotions for at least the next year or two, so you have to be willing to jump in and get a lot of help to make it work.
Realize This Is About Your Spouse Not You
Your spouse has basically thrown a rock into your lives and shook up your happy life in a way that you never expected. You have been blindsided by an affair in your good marriage and you don’t know how to fix it since nothing was wrong. But, realize that something may have been wrong with your spouse that you just did not know.
They might be going through depression, have a mental disorder, or have something else wrong with them that have nothing to do with you. As their spouse, if they want the marriage to work and are sorry, it’s your job to forgive them and help them improve themselves so that they can become a better-rounded person with improved character.
Find Ways to Be Grateful
Even though this is a hard time for you, recovering from an affair even when you didn’t see it coming requires you to find ways to be grateful even when your faith in humanity is being tested. It might help to start a gratitude journal. You can even use social media as a way to show your appreciation for life by making memes, finding quotes, and sharing them with the world.
How to recover from an affair is dependent upon each couple and how far they want to take their recovery. Sometimes it can be harder in situations where the marriage was great to start with and the cheater just wanted a little excitement or took drinks after work too far. This is something they’ll need to work on within themselves to fix their own problems with fidelity, but you can survive an affair even if you’re blindsided.