Why did this have to happen to me?
What I have done to be treated this way?
I feel crushed, humiliated and in pain.
And I just can’t stop thinking about the affair no matter how hard I try.
I’m at a loss as to what to do.
How can I get the marriage on the right track.
And will I ever be able to trust him again?
If you’re in a relationship that is dealing with the devastation of infidelity, you’ve probably uttered those very same words. I know I did.
The affair has turned your world upside down and inside out. Your spouse isn’t who you thought he was and your marriage isn’t what you thought it was either. As destructive as infidelity is, it does not automatically sound the death knell of your marriage.
Just like most obstacles in life, with patience, perseverance and hard work, you can heal and your relationship can survive after the affair.
After the affair, there’s only one of two roads which you can embark on:
1. You can either try to forgive your spouse and rebuild your marriage
2. Or you can let the relationship go and start over.
Here’s Dr. Bob Huizenga with some tips on dealing with infidelity and the 8 Stages of Recovery:
Recovery after the affair
Recovering from infidelity is a two-step process:
1. There is personal recovery which involves healing from the emotional impact of the affair (whether the marriage survives or not)
2. And then there is reconciling and rebuilding your marriage.
There is a strong chance that you’ll achieve both objectives if your cheating spouse has:
- broken off all ties with the other person
- has reaffirmed his commitment to the marriage
- answers all your questions
- and makes every effort to show his remorse
But you need to be patient and give it time, lots of time, it is not going to happen overnight or not even in a few months.
Statistics show that it takes anywhere from two to fours years to heal after an affair, so you are going down a long and uncertain road strewn with obstacles seemingly at every turn. And in the midst of it all you have to learn how to deal with your profound feelings and emotions that are unique to dealing with infidelity.
I’m not saying all of this to make you feel bad or think that your situation is hopeless, on the contrary, knowing what you are up against will give you the power to take control. Most couples survive infidelity and in fact emerge out of the infidelity mess stronger and more committed to each other and the marriage.
Having been cheated on myself, I understand how you feel and I want to help you save your sanity and your marriage. Though I’m not a professional – just an ordinary everyday person – I can point you to resources that will give you the help and support you need so you can heal, rebuild, and strengthen your relationship.
Best way to overcome infidelity
Why is order important?
Studies show that couples who do the right things, BUT more importantly, do them in the right order are more successful at repairing the relationship than couples who don’t.
For example; when you first learned about the infidelity you may find that you have an overwhelming desire to talk about the affair with your cheating spouse.
But when you find yourself caught up in the aftermath of the emotional devastation caused by your spouse cheating and betrayal, talking about the details at this stage in the game may do more harm than good.
Certainly it is important to discuss the affair but only after you have taken control of your runaway emotions.
It’s not easy working through the stumbling blocks to surviving your spouse’s affair as there is a lot of confusion, anger, grief, sorrow, hopelessness that has to be dealt with. However, there is hope and you can eventually heal the pain and rebuild a better marriage, but it will take the fully committed and combined efforts of both you and your spouse to make it happen.
Taking the Next Step
Once you and your spouse decide that what you want is a better marriage now and for the rest of your life, you can start working to make it happen. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to wait for your spouse to come onboard, you can start your personal healing right away. Sure it would be nice to have him/her commit to rebuilding and be there right along with you, but sometimes that just does not happen. Your spouse may still be caught up in the “affair fog” and not ready to do what they need to do.
Anyway to navigate the road to recovery you need a roadmap so that you don’t get lost along the way. Aside from shredding your relationship with and trust in your spouse and your sense of peace, adultery can also be very overwhelming to deal with since you have more going on in your life than just the affair.
Healing from an affair takes time but with a solid plan it can be done. You CAN heal the pain and survive if you know exactly what to say and do. From experience I know you cannot do it alone, you need help, and the sooner the better. I know time heals all wounds but time without doing anything constructive, will only make matters worse. The longer you take to start the healing process, the longer you’ll be wallowing in your misery and letting your chance of ever restoring your marriage slip away.
Decide that today is the day you are going to recover from this painful experience with or without the support of your wayward spouse and make it happen.