Infidelity can wreck havoc in a marriage and very rarely do couples survive. It takes a long to rebuild trust and it takes a lot of hard work and intense counseling to make it through. If you discover your spouse is guilty of cheating, here’s what you need to do.
- Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel betrayed, angry, resentful and frustrated. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Don’t keep things bottled up inside. You may need to unload and tell a trusted confidant or your pastor to help you sort through your feelings.
- Confront your spouse. There is no point in denying the affair or pretending it’s not happening. If you want to change things, you need to acknowledge it, and then decide how to move from there.
- Give yourself some time to calm down. Though your natural inclination may be to head straight away to divorce court, don’t act rash. Don’t take out revenge on your spouse by having an affair yourself or throwing out all his belongings. Give yourself some time to truly pray and meditate on your next step.
- Get help. An affair is traumatic and highly damaging. You will need professional help to help you work on issues. Choose to seek help from your pastor, or a licensed marriage counselor or therapist. You will need to have joint sessions as well as individual sessions to see if you want and can salvage the relationship.
- Do not talk badly about your spouse to your children. If you get a divorce, he will still be their parent so you must ensure that their relationship is maintained. He may have been a cheating spouse, but he may still well be an excellent father. Don’t deprive your children the opportunity to have a coparent just because you are angry and want to retaliate. Do not use the children as a pawn to punish your spouse. It will be your children who will suffer in the end. You can be honest with them but avoid speaking negatively about your spouse to the children.
- If your spouse shows remorse and wants to still work on the relationship, give it careful thought. Some affairs are just the result of an underlying problem in the relationship. If your spouse is willing to work on those issues, then give it a try.
- Know that it will take a lot of work to fix the relationship. It will take at least several months and maybe even years before you can rebuild trust and are able to forgive. You will just need to take each day one day at a time.
- Demand complete transparency and honesty. You can only rebuild trust if you find that your spouse is deserving of it. Only time will tell if he is worthy of your trust again. Also, demand that he end the affair and all communication immediately.
There is still hope for the relationship as long as there is love and a willingness to work on things. Let time help heal your emotional scars and hopefully, you can rebuild from there.