How can you rebuild a marriage after infidelity?
Most people don’t recover from the soul-crushing effects of infidelity. However, there’s a certain percentage of them that still want to make their marriage work, despite the circumstances. The question is: Is it possible to rebuild a marriage after infidelity? This is something rather debatable and depends on the individual (and their partner) whether their relationship is going to have a future. If you have decided to give your marriage another chance or make efforts to fix it (depending on whether you’re on the receiving end or the one who has committed the infidelity), Consumer Opinion Guide has some valuable pointers for you.
Prepare for a long, step-by-step process of mending a broken marriage
It will take a continuous effort on both sides to heal and improve your marriage. It won’t be a straight line but rather a set of ups and downs you both have to be ready to face. If you are willing to put in the work, you’ll have to practice patience. This entire process will be a rollercoaster of emotions as well as challenges. Certainly, the effort required isn’t equal for a cheated spouse and the one who was unfaithful.
Things to do if you are the one who committed infidelity
- Own up to your mistake. Don’t try to shift the blame to your partner, even if you’ve found a myriad of excuses to do so. That way, you’ll just drive your hurt partner further away from their decision to give you another chance.
- Respect if your partner needs time and space. Let your partner breathe. Don’t push or pressure them.
- Cut the ties with a person you committed infidelity with. Your focus must go toward rebuilding your marriage.
- Be honest with yourself. Understand why you committed infidelity in the first place.
- Accept the fact it might take years to regain your partner’s trust back. A broken heart and wounded trust take time to heal.
- Don’t run away from the past. Saying things like, “I don’t know who that person was,” is just running away from reality. That translates as rejecting a responsibility. Plus, your partner won’t feel you’re willing to learn the lesson from your past action.
What to do if you’re on the receiving end of infidelity
Being on the receiving end of infidelity means you suffer the consequences of it the most. Recovering from all of it will take plenty of time and pose a challenge for you. Therefore, ask yourself why you want to continue this marriage. Once you know the reasons, it will be somewhat easier to stay the course. The steps you take towards rebuilding your marriage will make sense to you.
Here’s how to start:
- Accept the fact that you’re emotionally hurt. Your trust in your partner is undermined, and rightfully so. Trying to forcefully move on and pretend like infidelity never happened will only backfire on you and your mental well-being. Instead, acknowledge your emotions.
- Give yourself time and space. If necessary, stay away from your partner for a while and let yourself think about everything clearly.
- Keep in mind it will take a lot of mental and emotional effort to keep the marriage going. Therefore, list all the reasons why you want your marriage to work.
- Stay away from passive-aggressive comments, angry outbursts, blame, and other negative outlets. Since you’ve decided to forgive your partner and stay in a marriage, reminding them of the act is the last you should do.
- Find a healthy emotional outlet. Consider creative classes, going to the gym, or any activity you enjoy.
Your marriage needs restructuring
Both you and your spouse have to be honest with one another for the sake of your marriage, even when some things aren’t easy to admit. Dishonesty is what infidelity is all about. One of you didn’t want to face marital issues and instead sought comfort with someone else. Therefore, following that path into the next stage of your marriage isn’t the best option. Honesty is uncomfortable yet liberating.
A once-broken marriage can be rebuilt from the grounds only. That means addressing the root cause of infidelity and working on previous issues:
- Communication – Lack of communication and frequent misunderstandings already cause issues within the marriage. If you are to have an honest married life, start with communication issues you might have had in the past.
- Stress – While it’s not an excuse, stress can exacerbate existing marriage problems.
- Past grudges – Use this opportunity to address all the grudges you might have held against one another. Do it in a civil way, without interrupting each other.
- Problematic patterns – Try to identify problematic patterns in your relationship and start working on breaking them and starting anew.
Once you know what you need to focus on, here are the steps to take:
- Don’t get other people involved
- Create a set of rules to stick to
- Go on an outdoor adventure
- Define goals for your marriage
Leave friends and family out of this
The last you both need is to have your family and friends involved. Both of you have made a choice to rebuild a marriage after infidelity. Therefore no one should be a part of that process but you two. So, ask your closest ones to be respectful of your decision.
Also, if you need to talk to anyone, talk to your therapist instead of your friends. While there are many benefits to talking to your friends, they may be too close to you and too subjective. If you are the cheated one, your friends and family may express negative feelings and opinions about your partner, which can affect you and stand in the way of repairing your marriage. A therapist will provide an objective evaluation of the entire situation and offer helpful guidance toward healing.
Come up with a set of rules you’ll stick to
Once you go over all the marriage problems you’ve had so far, make a list of rules. For example, if you are bottling up all emotions, promise you’ll be straightforward when expressing yourself in the future. You can also make e a weekend trip at least once a month mandatory.
Moreover, don’t forget to state the purpose of each rule you bring. The goal is to make your mutual life different from it used to be. So, make sure the rules you set are there to bring you closer.
Go on an outdoor adventure
You probably have heard how healing nature can be. Practicing outdoor activities is excellent for your physical body and mind. There’s no better outlet than hiking, running, or kayaking in nature. Also, nature offers a safe space for both of you to resolve emotional obstacles and destress completely.
Set defined goals for your marriage
Solving previous issues leads to a healthier marriage. In addition, setting concrete goals helps you navigate the course of your newly-built marriage and keep it stable. So, get a paper and pen, and write some of the goals you wish to achieve as a couple. For example:
- Communicate misunderstandings right away
- Prioritize your plans
- Leave work and other external worries outside your home
- Make sure to dedicate enough attention to one another
- Participate in activities together: running marathons, going to the gym, swimming, etc.
Of course, you can add other goals to the list. Just make sure to commit to them every step of your journey.
Address the cause of infidelity with a licensed counselor
Chances are you and your partner need advice from a professional objective bystander. Therefore, spend time browsing the best online couples therapy together. Find an experienced couples therapist who will assist you throughout the process. However, don’t expect a marriage counselor to fix your marriage. That responsibility is only yours and your spouse’s. A counselor is there to help you dig into the causes of infidelity, face you with one another, and offer tools you can apply to heal your marriage.
However, if any of you is dealing with mental health struggles, then individual therapy might also be necessary. Therefore, make sure to look up the best online CBT therapy for anxiety or any other treatment that suits you. Your mental and emotional health is crucial, especially in this marriage-rebuilding process. In this case, having a professional to give you the proper guidance means a lot.
Why consider online therapy?
The past few years have shown the effectiveness of online therapy. In this constantly busy, fast-paced society, it has become challenging to make room in a tight schedule for one-on-one therapies. That’s why online sessions have gained popularity. They offer a convenient way to have a therapy session straight from the comfort of your home. If you and your spouse are often busy, then online therapy can be the solution you need. All you have to do is search for couples or CBT online therapy companies provide. In addition, they include other types of therapies you might seek.
Some of the best online therapies for depression are provided by companies consisting of expert mental health experts. That said, no matter what kind of treatment you need, you can find it online.
What to look for in an online therapy company?
Another benefit of online therapy vs. one-to-one therapy is affordability. Therefore, focus on companies that charge reasonable prices for their services. Another thing to consider is the team of therapists. Look into their credentials, experience, and ratings. Online reviews also come in handy when you can’t decide which online service to choose.
Spouses on the receiving end of infidelity often opt for individual therapies
Cheating doesn’t only influence the way you see your spouse but also the way you see yourself. A person who was cheated on often ends up questioning their attractiveness and self-worth. Hidden insecurities may also resurface. Furthermore, home doesn’t feel like a safe space, and sharing the same space with an unfaithful partner becomes draining. If this is your situation, rest assured that nothing is wrong with how you feel.
Besides broken marriage, it also takes time to rebuild self-confidence after learning about a partner’s unfaithfulness. Talking to a trusted friend and a family member certainly does help to some extent. However, what you need is a set of tools to apply to your daily life to get you back on your feet. That’s how you’ll make actual progress, unlike consuming a myriad of advice and content that will leave you confused. A licensed therapist will help you regain your self-esteem in a way that suits you best. If you’re on a tight schedule all the time, consider some of the best online therapy companies that offer quality sessions led by licensed therapists.
The therapist will help you learn healthier coping mechanisms
Nowadays, it’s common for a cheated partner to cheat back out of spite. Whatever you do, stay away from this behavior. Don’t use anyone as a tool to make your spouse jealous. Doing so won’t make you feel any better. In fact, you will only feel worse. It won’t change the fact that you feel betrayed or broken. Moreover, it won’t do your marriage any good, of course, if you want to give it another chance.
Also, if you feel the need to numb the emotional pain with drugs and alcohol, take a step back and think whether it’s good for you. Instead of engaging in self-destructive actions, make sure to consult with a therapist.
A therapist will show you the ways to cope with everything you go through and help you rebuild a marriage after infidelity. Besides physical activity, you’ll be advised to do certain tasks (journaling, bullet lists, etc.). You’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms that can assist you through emotional challenges, daily stress, etc.
Commitment is crucial if you want to rebuild a marriage after infidelity
To sum it up, it will take plenty of time, patience, and work to rebuild a marriage after infidelity. Overcoming such a painful experience doesn’t happen overnight. Therapy facilitated by a licensed professional is a sensible solution that will make it easier for both of you to power through. Trusting the process and letting go of controlling tendencies if you have them is essential. Time will show whether your attempt to rebuild a marriage will be a success story. While there are indeed couples who moved past infidelity and transformed their lives for the better, there are also those who decide to give up at some point. If this happens to you and your spouse, don’t see it as a failure. It’s better to go separate ways than to force unsalvagable marriage.
If you need more resources on online therapy or are looking for a suitable treatment option, feel free to explore the vast database that the team at Consumer Opinion Guide has prepared for you. We are happy to help you heal together and become the best versions of yourselves.