How to Save Your Marriage After an Affair – Tips and Advice
I have a blog which explains how my marriage was able to survive an affair, so I’m often contacted by people who want my advice on how they can do the same in their own marriages. Probably the most common question I get is “how can I save my marriage after an affair?” Many times, the folks who write me are women whose husbands have cheated. These women are often hurt and confused, but they still want to move on and save the marriage. Sometimes, the questions come from the spouse (mostly husbands) who have cheated, deeply regret it, and want advice on how to help their wives (and their marriages) heal. So, in this article, I will offer advice and tips to both parties – to the husbands who have cheated but who want desperately to save their marriage, and to the wives whose husbands have cheated, but who still don’t want to let one unfortunate decision cancel out years or shared memories and love.
Advice On How To Save Your Marriage After You Had An Affair Or Cheated: (Advice For Husbands Who Have Cheated On Their Wives): If you’ve found this article, it’s obvious that you are willing to take the initiative to help your wife heal. That is a great sign. The problem that you are likely facing right now is that your wife is scared to trust you again. I can not tell you how painful it is to put your trust, love, and commitment into one person only to find that it has been misplaced. The shock, betrayal, and blow to your self esteem and ability to trust is something I would never want to experience again. So, it’s very common for wives who have been cheated on to put up defense mechanisms so that you can’t hurt them in this way again, even if they want to or chose to stay in the marriage. You will have to have a bit of patience. Because your wife will go through many feelings, emotions, doubts, and mood swings, all of which are normal -and you should love her through them. But, there are some things that you can do to help facilitate her healing, as follows:
1. Take responsibility for the affair. Don’t place any of the blame on your wife. I understand that there are always contributing factors for an affair and you may have unappreciated or like an outsider in the marriage. But, the decision to cheat was yours and you should own up to it. Never hint or insinuate that the affair was in any way your wife’s fault.
2. Be honest with your wife about why the affair happened and fix the issues that contributed to your cheating. Your wife needs to understand why you made this decision. If you need more of her time, by all means tell her. If you lacked self esteem, are struggling with aging, or have other issues, express this to your wife so that she knows that the affair was not her fault and that your feelings for her, and your marriage never changed. These issues need to fixed so that you are both secure that this will never happen again.
3. Be accountable, reassuring, available, and patient. Your wife will need a lot of reassurance that you still find her physically attractive and desirable (but she may not feel comfortable being intimate again at first). Let her know where you will be and who you will be with. Be available to her. I know this may make you feel that she doesn’t trust you, but you will have to show to yourself to be trustworthy until you earn this back. And, if the affair happened at work, you will need to switch positions, departments or get a new job if you are still in contact with the other woman. Your wife can’t heal until she knows this woman is out of your life for good. The bottom line is that you need to be patient, you need to be where you say your are, and you need to spend time listening to and reassuring your wife.
How To Save Your Marriage After Your Husband’s Affair: Tips For Wives: If you’re a wife whose husband has cheated, understand that your healing will not happen overnight. You’re had a huge shock, and probably a large blow to your self esteem and your ability to trust. But, I can also tell you that statistically, the overwhelming majority of husbands who have had an affair deeply regret it and wish they could take it back. But, so much awkwardness, mistrust, and things left unsaid can seriously hurt your ability to save the marriage, even if you both want to save it very much. Here is the best advice I can give you, from my own experience:
1. Have patience with yourself and be honest with your husband. Many wives become frustrated because they want to save their marriages, but they have a very difficult time putting this in action. They may resolve to work on the marriage when they wake up in the morning, only to feel extremely angry with or resistant to their husbands by the time they get home. They don’t understand these swinging emotions (they are normal). It will take time to heal. The healing comes when your husband shows you over time that you he is not going to repeat the same mistake and that he will and can be trustworthy and still finds you and the marriage desirable.
You aren’t going to believe these things at first because not enough time has passed and not have not actions have occurred to make you feel reassured. But, as he begins to act in repetitive ways and take repeated actions that show you he means what he says, you will eventually respond by believing it. If you aren’t ready to commit, be intimate, or still have questions, be honest. Unspoken words and doubts will damage your marriage more than just saying what you really feel.
2. Work on your self esteem and self worth. Affairs are awful for a wife’s self esteem. It can be so difficult to believe that your husband still finds you desirable and sexy when you don’t believe it yourself. Don’t walk around like the walking wounded. Identify where you’re vulnerable and fix it. I dropped a few pounds, fixed my teeth, got a makeover, and the appreciative looks and complements that followed this helped reassure me that I indeed still had it. If my husband didn’t appreciate me, it was obvious that other people would. Soon, I was projecting this outwardly and there was no doubt that my husband found it very attractive.
3. Believe that your marriage can not only survive an affair, it can be better. I know that it’s hard to believe now (I never believed it either) but a marriage can be stronger after an affair. What ultimately happens is that the cheating brings a lot of issues that should have been addressed into the light. Seeing that your spouse could disappear usually is a wake call to both spouses. Communication improves. Loving gestures return and intimacy can even improve as you work on your self esteem and trust. The key is to create new positive experiences, memories, and intimacy that is better than before. Once you create a new reality that is positive, there is no reason to look back.