Infidelity in a marriage does not have to lead to divorce. Although infidelity is very painful there are often ways to work through it and re-establish a more healthful partnership; with a foundation of love, trust, and happiness. Tips on Working Through Infidelity:
Avoid Revenge: If you find out your partner has cheated, showing them how it feels by having an affair of your own is not going to help. Give yourself time to think things through and to pay attention to all of your feelings.
Close Your Borders: It is possible that strong boundaries were not in place in your marriage. Now is the time to correct this. During the few weeks after infidelity do not allow anyone in or out of your marriage. Take this opportunity to communicate with your partner about what happened, the reasons why it happened, and discuss options for moving forward.
Get Rid of the Third Person: If you are going to rebuild your marriage, you must break it off with the mistress/mister. Continuing to have contact with him/her, even as friends, will hurt your marriage.
Get Rid of Secretive Electronics: Now is the time to build trust in your marriage and this means being transparent. Do this by getting rid of your secret cell phones, secret email accounts, etc. For now, share an e-mail with your spouse and/or create a shared facebook account. Exchange passwords to voicemail and other electronics as appropriate.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Frequent communication with your spouse about where you are and what you’re doing will be important. Call your spouse from work during the day. Give your spouse your schedule for the day. Be where you say you are at all times and be available to your partner whenever they need you.
Be Patient with your Feelings: Expect to go through emotional ups and downs. Hurt often turns to anger. Try not to act on these feelings. Focus on remaining calm, and trying to understand your feelings; deep breathing or other relaxation exercises can help.
Go to a Doctor: If your spouse was sexually active with someone else it will be important for both of you to get STD testing. Many STD’s do not show up for 6 to 12 months after contact.
With a healthy foundation your marriage may be able withstand infidelity. Some marriages can even become stronger after an affair. Treat your spouse with respect and kindness and be flexible as both of you will have to work through your feelings as you work to improve your relationship.
If you or a loved one are in relationship distress please call us, often people wait till there have been other transgressions, or more hurt feelings. Early intervention is often key in saving a relationship when infidelity has occurred. Several of our therapists have extensive experience in couples therapy and are eager to help..