Unfaithful: Saving Your Marriage After Marital Infidelity
Marriage is not just founded on love and intimacy – it is also based strongly on trust and commitment. Infidelity is like a wrecking ball that can demolish this foundation and leave the marriage in shambles.
What is Infidelity?
Infidelity can be manifested in various ways, depending on how an individual and couple see it. The bottom line is that there are strong feelings for someone else other than your spouse. These feelings of connection are usually surrounded by deceit and secrecy. This can be an outright sexual affair, an emotional affair, a fling or one-night stand, an online dalliance or even unrequited feelings by a spouse that does not involve any physical contact.
The discovery of your spouse’s infidelity can turn your world upside down – the emotional morass of denial, anger, bitterness, shame, fear and guilt can be overwhelming. The pain of finding out your spouse’s betrayal can make you ready to call it quits. But then, you need to look at how strong your commitment is towards marriage and your belief of whether the marriage is worth saving or not.
Trust, once it is lost, will be hard to bring back. The same goes with respect and loyalty. Rebuilding a marriage that has been shaken in its very foundations will take time and commitment. But with hard work, two spouses can come out with a stronger marriage.
Here are some things that two spouses who have committed to the marriage can do:
– Put an end to the affair. First, before the work of rebuilding can be done, you must stop the things that harm the marriage. Cut the affair cleanly, with no plans of going back to it.
– Be responsible. Apologize without making excuses or assigning blame. Don’t say, “I only did it because you were not paying any attention to me.”, “I was drawn to him because you don’t make me feel sexy anymore.” You are responsible for your choices. For the one who was cheated on, think about what you could have contributed that led to your spouse having an affair.
– Take a break. The time after the discovery of an affair is an emotionally-charged time. Give each other time to think things through by not pressuring him or her to make a decision at a time that emotions are running high. Don’t rush the betrayed spouse into “forgetting about it and moving on”. Give him or her time to lick his or her proverbial wounds and let them heal.
– Get help. If you have both decided that the marriage is worth saving, you can consider getting into marriage therapy. Utah marriage counseling can provide a non-confrontational venue for the two spouses to talk with an objective third-party facilitating. Each spouse must be willing to work it out with the help of a Utah counselor to put things in proper perspective for both of you, one who will help you thresh out the issues without being swept away by emotions.
How Marriage Counseling Can Help
Couples counseling in Utah can provide a great benefit to spouses seeking to survive the storms of infidelity. It can:
– Deal with negative feelings. This can include guilt, shame, anger, depression and fear that can result from the infidelity.
– Help thresh out issues. Infidelity can be a symptom of deep-seated problems in a marriage. Family counseling in Utah can help identify the issues that need resolving so that each spouse recognizes his or her part in making a stronger marriage that puts a premium on openness and honesty.
– Give support to the healing and forgiving process. Couples can start forgiving. For the betrayed, to forgive the unfaithful spouse for his wrongdoing. For the one who cheated, to forgive himself or herself for what he or she did and start the process of recovery.
– Equip with essential tools for repairing the relationship and building a better marriage. Provo marriage counseling can provide couples with tools that can lead to a union that is more open, more receptive and with each person recognizing his or her accountability towards the marriage.
– Determining whether the marriage could or should be kept intact. Sometimes, the foundation has not only been shaken but utterly torn down. It may be that the other spouse is not willing to work towards the marriage. Counseling can help you towards the decision to keep or let go of your marriage, but with the benefit of an experienced and impartial party providing guidance.