As you go through the feelings associated with infidelity, anger, sadness and an absolutely broken heart, it can be hard to imagine ever feeling normal again.
Much less actually saving your marriage and healing it to the point where you feel good about it again. The pain is so deep it feels irreparable.
It’s natural to guard your heart after an experience like that. When you get hurt, you tend to put up blocks to help avoid it happening again.
In fact, when people divorce due to infidelity sadly, it’s not due to a lack of love, it’s due to fear of it happening again.
Fear is the guiding feeling and force that pushes people to avoid the issue, get a divorce, and try to move on and find someone else. Problem is, often people tend to repeat the same mistake again in another marriage.
Therefore, why not fix the marriage you have. As long as you both want to heal the marriage, it can be done. And, you’re more likely to have a successful marriage after infidelity with your current spouse than you are to have a successful marriage with someone else.
Divorce rates for second marriages are much higher than first marriages. According to the US Census, divorce rates for second marriages is 60 percent and third marriages is 73 percent. Since divorce rates for first marriages are more around 30 percent, you can see the issue.
Be Vulnerable – It can be scary to let go and risk being hurt again. But, if you hang on to that fear you risk the possibility of losing your marriage and once you go through with a divorce you can’t go back. Why not place your hope into the marriage due to the love and history that you share rather than put all your faith into leaving? Both are difficult choices, but only one can bring you true happiness if it’s what you both want.
Accept the Apology – When the cheating spouse offers an apology, and is truly working on themselves to become a better person of strong character, as the offended partner you must learn to accept their apology and believe that they mean what they say.
In all honesty, you know your spouse better than anyone. You can tell if they are being truthful or not at this point, and by accepting them at their word, you can move on and work on other issues making your marriage better than ever.
Keep Communication Open – One of the biggest killers of marriages isn’t infidelity, it’s lack of communication. The two of you need to find a way to keep communication open so that you can talk about your hopes and dreams together, building on what you always wanted for your lives together.
You’ll need to be able to freely communicate anger, sadness, and other issues without going back to the affair other past transgressions.
Start Fresh with Real Forgiveness – Within a marriage, true forgiveness means a fresh start. It might take some time before you get there. But, together you and your spouse should set a date for the fresh start to happen. No, it’s not going to happen the day you find out about the affair, but it should happen within the next couple of months. If it can’t happen the marriage won’t survive.
Work On Yourself – It’s also important that each spouse work on themselves. As the spouse who has been hurt, you need to build your self-confidence. Take time for things that interest you. Maybe you want to join a book club, a garden club, or go back to school.
Perhaps you want to get a makeover. Whatever you need to feel better about yourself and work on your self-esteem and image you need to do as long as it’s uplifting and healthy.
Get Back to Basics – What was your marriage like before the problems started? Don’t try to fool yourself into believing that your marriage was perfect before the infidelity. If it was perfect, there would be no cheating.
Not that this is an excuse for the cheater, but it is a fact that strong, happy marriages don’t have infidelity. If you can get back to how your marriage was when it was solid, you can make it work and heal your broken heart.
When you think about it, as long as both spouses are on board for fixing the marriage, you’re a lot better off doing that than moving on. Despite your broken heart, which, no matter how bad it feels right now, will heal, you can move past it and heal your marriage.
You simply have to be willing to do what it takes to move past it. If you hang on to the anger, hurt, and fear, it will be difficult to make it work. Not only that, if you hang on to the hurt, and get a divorce – you’re no more likely to have a happy marriage with someone else than you are to have it with your current spouse.
Honestly, infidelity is something that you can recover from. But, the unwillingness to move past it isn’t. While your heart feels as if it will not get better, time and effort really will make it better. You will become strong again and the hurt will be in the past.
Not only that, if you and your spouse really work hard your marriage may actually become even stronger. Plus, you can develop a new confidence in yourself through serious work on your own problems and issues outside of the infidelity.
What are you most afraid of if you try to get past your broken heart to make your marriage work?