Marriage is act of two people being joined together as one. Married couples often think alike, act alike and even dress alike. So when this balance is thrown off because of an act of infidelity, the foundation of the relationship is rocked to the core. It is possible to fix a marriage after cheating, but doing so will require full dedication and cooperation from you and your spouse.
1) The very first thing you both must do is forgive. The person who was cheated on has to find it in their heart to forgive the other person, while the spouse who was unfaithful must find a way to forgive themselves. Without total forgiveness, it will be very difficult to move ahead.
2) Next, the person who was unfaithful must take responsibility for their actions. No matter what their spouse may have done to make them unhappy in the marriage, cheating is an action that must be admitted. The person who cheated ultimately made this decision in their own heart, and it really has nothing to do with their spouse, and everything to do with their own thought and decision process.
3) Repair trust. Infidelity is so hurtful to a marriage because it defeats the purpose of a marriage bond. The bond of marriage is held together by trust, and if this trust is not repaired, the marriage will often suffer greater problems in the future because a shadow of doubt will be cast over every aspect of the relationship. Though it may be difficult at first, the person who was unfaithful must find tangible ways to prove to their spouse that they are trustworthy, and that spouse must allow themselves to trust again.
4) Cheating often takes a toll on the confidence of the person who was betrayed. That person must understand that the affair was not their fault, so there is no reason to feel or act as though they are inadequate in the relationship. That person, should, however, take active steps to engage in activities that help them to regain their confidence. This could mean pursuing a career goal, getting in shape, or taking up a new hobby. Their spouse should also try to affirm them as they go through this process, in order to help boost their self esteem.
5) Set boundaries for the future. Infidelity occurs when the boundaries around a marriage relationship are poorly constructed. Identify trigger areas that can lead to risky behavior or developing unsafe relationships that may lead to another affair. This may mean that the person who cheated may need to stop flirting with random strangers, even though it seems harmless. The same goes for spending lots of time online is chat rooms and social networking sites where a spouse may develop close friends of the opposite sex.
6) See a counselor. Many times, despite our best efforts, professional mediation is the key to unlocking the reasons why an affair happened, and in determining how to stop it from happening again.
No matter what steps you take, keep an eye toward the future and determine to move on with a fresh start.
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