Is Affair Recovery Possible in Your Marriage: 5 Ways to Know
The unbelievable has happened. Your spouse has been unfaithful. Amid the hurt, anger, and shame–the scalding emotions of betrayal– you wonder if recovery is possible. If you are the person who strayed and now regrets it, you wonder. Is it possible to rebuild your life together?
Affair recovery is immensely complicated, both for the individual and for the marriage. An affair represents betrayal, broken promises, secrets, and lost trust. Perhaps the damage done by lies is even worse than the hurt of the infidelity. To keep a spouse ignorant of essential information is to manipulate them.
To Stay or To Go?
Social pressure today suggests that divorce is inevitable, that affair recovery is a lost cause. Staying in the marriage may seem harder than leaving it. How do you know if the rewards are worth the struggle?
Five Ways to Know
Both spouses must be committed. Each must seek personal recovery first. The injured spouse must be willing to heal from injury, anger, and regret, or these feelings will further poison the marriage. The straying spouse must take responsibility for the affair, explore the reasons for it, and make necessary changes, or the affair might happen again.
You know that affair recovery is possible if you can answer “Yes” to these questions:
1. Was Your Marriage Before Discovery of the Affair Good for Both of You?
Your marriage is worth saving if you genuinely like each other. Do you enjoy each other’s company? If you share the same values and interests and prioritize the same things, you have an advantage. In the past, did you respect and appreciate each other? Do you see each other as equals? If either of you felt used or taken for granted, that will have to change.
The marriage is worth saving if you count on each other for support when you need it. And, of course, you must be able to satisfy each other sexually.
2. Are You Both Committed to Making Your Marriage Work?
The injured spouse, along with a commitment to the marriage, must move from humiliation to understanding. Accepting your spouse’s apology is crucial. You can’t heal if you still want revenge. Recognize your own role in the development of the affair. Were you emotionally unavailable? Angry or critical?
Of course, the cheating spouse must end the affair and cut all ties with the other man or woman. Examine how you got into the situation. What choices did you make that you now regret? Consider your deeper motivations. What was the affair supposed to do for you? Did you feel you couldn’t say “No?” Were you angry at your spouse?
If you work through these reasons and choices and commit to the marriage, you can have an improved relationship.
3. Can You Develop Effective Communication?
Effective communication includes feeling comfortable sharing your thoughts with each other. Can you talk about sensitive issues like sex? Do you listen to each other?
When you disagree, can you work together to resolve the argument? If you can disagree without hostility and contempt you increase your chances of weathering this storm.
4. Do You Both Promise Complete Honesty?
Transparency is crucial to affair recovery. Don’t withhold information. Besides acknowledging mistakes, the cheating spouse must be patient with questions, lack of trust, even snooping by the injured spouse. And don’t bury your feelings. Talk about them. Deal with the fallout.
5. Are You Willing to Seek Professional Counseling?
Learning to accept and live with what has happened is crucial. Focusing on building a better future is hard work. Consider finding professional help to guide you through these difficult times. Research finds that more than half the couples who use counseling to facilitate affair recovery are still married and happy five years later.
Summing Up Affair Recovery
Attempting affair recovery is perhaps a marriage’s most difficult challenge. Whether affair recovery is possible for you depends, to a great extent, upon various factors.
But, all in all, working to recover the formerly good parts of the relationship makes sense. Particularly if your marriage, prior to the discovery of the affair, was still mutually enjoyable in key ways that are important to you both.
You are more likely to put in the time and effort for recovery if you are both committed to making the marriage work.
If both partners learn to communicate effectively, you are on your way to rebuilding the trust necessary for affair recovery.
Your mutual commitment to honesty, to healing the damage done by lies as well as that done by infidelity, will make rebuilding trust possible. Increase your chances of recovering from an affair and developing a stronger marriage. Choose to seek the help of a professional counselor.
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