3 Key Components To Keeping Your Marriage Together After An Affair

The aftermath of an affair can be catastrophic for most couples. In some cases, a couple might decide they want to try and work through the affair and hopefully become a stronger couple in the future. There is little chance at success if both people involved are not fully committed to the recovery process.

1. Empathy

The person who had an affair needs to be capable of genuine empathy. It is not enough to verbally express how your partner feels and how much you have hurt them. The act of having an affair is only one part of the pain a partner feels, while having their trust violated tends to be the most significant source of pain. Affairs can become more complex, depending on who the other person is and if there are children involved. True empathy also involves accountability. Regardless of the reason for the affair, your partner cannot drive you to cheat. Some reasons frequently given for having an affair are not receiving enough attention from your partner, changes in your partner's looks, or an unfulfilling sexual relationship.

2. Forgiveness

When a partner has an affair, they need to realize it is unfair to expect forgiveness quickly since the process of working toward forgiveness can be lengthy. Counseling and frequently attending sessions to work through relationship issues, including the affair, will help the other partner potentially be able to forgive. True forgiveness is difficult. Although a person might say they have forgiven their partner, they may continue to throw the affair back their partner's face whenever they become mad. If you cannot reach a point in the relationship where you can truly forgive your partner for the affair, then it may be impossible to move past this hurdle in your relationship.

3. Rebuilding Trust

Since the trust in the relationship has been violated, it may take months or years of both partners working together to rebuild trust. The partner who had the affair must realize they need to interact with their partner differently to show they are being faithful. They should also understand why some behaviors can make them look deceptive, especially after the affair. For example, if someone engaged in an affair with a co-worker, the reason a person might be suspicious of their partner staying unusually late at work or taking a sudden interest in hanging out with co-workers should be obvious. To reduce suspicion and show they are making an effort to work on the relationship, the partner might agree to spend more time at home and engage in activities with their partner or the family. If they must spend extra time at work, they will call home to tell their partner what is happening.

Recovering after an affair is one of the most challenging hurdles couples will face. If staying together after the affair is an option, it will take significant work and time from both people involved. To learn more, contact your local Christian marriage counselor today.