One of the hardest things a married couple can do is rebuild their relationship after one of them cheated. The time, energy, dedication, and willpower involved is enormous, and let’s be honest, most couples simply don’t recover. However, if you and your spouse are hoping to save your marriage, know that there’s hope. You just need a few points to consider before you start, and a few guidelines to help you along the way….
First, here are a few talking points and items to consider before you and your partner set off down this road together:
You have to be on the same page, right from the start.
It’s critical that you BOTH do a little soul searching before you start. Be totally and completely honest with yourselves, and each other, about your motivations for why you want your marriage saved in the first place. This is critical, because if you start on this journey toward healing with the wrong mentality and expectations, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.
The unfaithful spouse needs to do a little soul searching…
First, the spouse who cheated needs to do some very serious thinking about their hopes and goals for the future of their marriage. Ask yourself a few pointed questions…..
- Did you have the affair because secretly you just wanted to get out of the marriage and didn’t know how else to bring about an end?
- Do you really love your spouse and want to save your relationship, or are you choosing this because you’re driven by guilt and shame?
It’s important to know and acknowledge what you really want. Why? Because if your true intention was never to stay in this relationship, then all your efforts to rebuild are at best, a waste, and at worst, a cruel and heartless way to drag out the pain.
The other spouse needs to be honest about their expectations…
Secondly, the spouse who didn’t cheat needs to spend a little time considering all the eventualities, and all of their own intentions. Ask yourself a few pointed questions, and then answer yourself honestly…
- Are you trying to save your marriage because you truly love your partner?
- Do you believe the relationship can be restored, despite your spouse’s infidelity?
- Or do you want a metaphorical club to beat them with for the rest of your married life?
If you intend to use the affair as a way to control, manipulate or guilt your partner into giving you your way in the future, your efforts to save this marriage are doomed to fail. Staying in a relationship simply because you will always have the ‘moral upper hand’ in future arguments is a terrible reason to stay with someone!
Your intentions have to be clear, and your motivations must be good.
You must both be completely certain, going in, that your intentions are to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to fix what is wrong and grow past it. The focus must be on healing and reparation, not on guilt, shame or control. Only when you are both certain that your heads and hearts are aligned, can you move forward with success.
Take a little time to consider your feelings, your hopes, and your goals. Discuss them with a trusted friend or counselor if it helps, and then talk to each other again when you’ve reached a truthful decision. Until then, if you or a loved one have decided your marriage can’t be saved, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family lawyers can help you navigate every aspect of your divorce. In the next installment we be talking about the steps a couple can take toward the healing and restoration of their relationship.