Can Your Marriage Recover From An Affair?
Marriage is hard, plain and simple. Even couples who are very much in love struggle to grapple with the longevity of their relationship, even when on the outside they appear incandescently happy all the time. Unhappiness comes and goes in marriages, even happy ones – the key is how we deal with these waves of discontent. In some marriage or long term partnerships, people deal with their unhappiness by having affairs. No matter what the issue, we can all agree that cheating is a big mistake. Yet according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 15% of women and 25% of men in marriages have had affairs. So what’s the solution? Can a marriage recover from an affair, or is it game over?
Taking On The Problems
The answer to this lies purely in the couple’s ability to tackle their issues head-on. When infidelity occurs, on either side or even sometimes on both sides, the heartbreak can feel too raw and too much of a betrayal to continue with the relationship. Hence, couples split up over affairs. However, there is a chance that as a couple, you can emerge from this painful point in your marriage as stronger and more unified than ever. The way you must do this is by tackling your problems head-on. If you decide to stay in the marriage and work on things, there is a danger of letting yourselves slip back into old patterns – the patterns which created the environment in which the affair happened. Changing the fabric of your relationship is the only solution.
Laying It All Out On The Table
When a major breach of trust has occurred, nothing is off the table. It’s time to get all your feelings out in the open. Only after the truth is out can you begin to heal as a couple. This can be a very vulnerable process which hurts a lot. Here are a few ways to deal with this healthily.
- Couple therapy. It is highly advisable that you see a couples therapist when trying to heal from an affair. This is because therapists are skilled mediators; they can help you to communicate with each other in a structured space. This means that all the emotions that will pour out can be taken in properly, and used to fortify your relationship, rather than further break it down. Affair recovery for couples is a long, hard road, but with a mediator, things are easier.
- Spending time alone. Even if you decide to stay together, it is helpful for your personal recuperation to spend more time apart than usual. This helps you clear your head and understand what it is you truly feel, and what you want.
- Writing things down. If you are struggling to articulate what you feel, write a letter to your spouse. Let all your feelings pour onto the page; this is very cathartic and can help you express your true feelings.
In conclusion: marriages can recover from affairs with careful guidance and commitment to changing how your relationship operates. There is still hope!
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