Affairs tend to be extremely polarizing events. With good reason. It’s a violation of trust and an extremely painful experience for the uninvolved spouse. However, not every affair ends in divorce. Some couples decide that they are willing to work hard to save their marriage in the wake of an affair, despite the hurt and anger it caused. If you are one of those people, and you are hoping to save your relationship after your spouse was unfaithful, here are a few points to remember…
Your spouse’s affair partner is no longer their partner. The affair is over, and so is that partnership. Don’t make them more important in your mind than they are, and don’t give them more power than they already have. In most cases they are not of value to your spouse as a person. They were nothing more than a means to an end, or a chance at a fantasy.
If your spouse is willing to work with you to rebuild trust slowly and attempt to restore the relationship, then you need to realize that the “other person” is not as important as your marriage, or your future.
Don’t ask your spouse questions about them, don’t think about them more than you have to, and don’t discuss them with your friends and family. The more space you give them in your mind, the more control you allow them over your thoughts. They are not a part of your future, so you need to banish them to the past – where they belong.
An affair is an illusion. It is a fantasy in which two people indulge their desires for illicit excitement and that intoxicating cocktail of chemicals produced by a “new” relationship. It’s not a real relationship, in which two people who love and respect each other live their lives in a way that honors or values their partner.
You need to focus on the truth, so that you can work towards healing. It may have seemed exciting and fun at the time, but the affair was based on deceit and did not in any way replace what a marriage offers. Remind yourself, when you are feeling down, that your spouse’s “other” was not your replacement – they were an illusion, and that the affair was dishonest and unlikely to survive in the long run.
Nothing could be more natural after your spouse has an affair, than to feel sorrow and self pity. But the affair was a choice made by your spouse, not you! Don’t blame yourself for their choices, and don’t choose to see yourself as anything less than a valuable and lovable person who deserves respect.
If you allow negative emotions like shame or guilt to monopolize your thoughts, you are effectively signing up for a hefty serving of depression with a side of anxiety and a self-loathing sauce. Don’t do it! Not only will it make rebuilding trust harder for you, it will slow the healing process exponentially.
If you truly want to save your marriage, make a concerted effort to remain as positive as you can, for as long as you can. This doesn’t mean “putting on a happy face and pretending everything is OK“. It means trying to stay focused on a positive outcome, and not allowing yourself to wallow in self-pity and misery.
However, it is important to remember that not every attempt as reconciliation is going to be successful. Trust takes a long time to rebuild, and not every relationship can rebound from such staggering deceit and betrayal. If this is the case for you, and you decide in the end that you simply can’t go on, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled and compassionate divorce attorneys can help you prepare for your best possible future.