The discovery of an affair in your marriage can bring you intense pain. You will feel several emotions all at once - guilt, shame, anger, fear and disbelief as your mind processes the truth.
An affair in a marriage is one of the hardest setbacks to overcome. You feel helpless and powerless and do not know to whom to turn to. Several questions run through your head and no immediate solutions are in sight.
When faced with this harrowing experience, it is good to know that there are steps that you can take to overcome the grief of suffering an affair in your marriage. Take it one step at a time, giving both your and your spouse the time to heal and accept what had happened.
- When you have discovered the affair, seek the support of people you trust completely. It can be your next of kin, your closest friends, a pastor, a priest or a counselor. Talk with them - about the affair, what you felt when you discovered the affair, what you are feeling now. Get moral support from your loved ones and close friends and get objective support from other people who can help you assess the problem, put it into perspective and provide you constructive advice. It will not help if you confide in people who are likely to take sides as this will only escalate the problem.
- As the emotional wound is still very fresh, it is best that you give each other space. You can stay apart for the meantime, enough to calm your nerves and give balance to your emotional state. Talking right away will only result in a slanging match and you will end up hurting each other more. Words that leave your lips cannot be taken back.
- Talk about the affair when you are emotionally ready. You have to be calm and ready to listen before you and your spouse can begin to discuss the problem. Take it slowly. Begin with a discussion of how it happened, how long it had been going on, are there other people who know about the affair and other general questions. You can delve deeper into it as you become stronger and able to discuss the whole thing objectively.
- As soon as you are ready to talk without getting too emotional, talk openly with your spouse. Let the other person who how much the affair hurt you, the emotional upheaval that you went through without being accusatory. Identify the issues your partner have with you, your relationship, other people and other underlying problems that led to the affair. You also have to talk about what needs to be done to prevent it from recurring. Restore your trust in each other and make the commitment to work together in healing each other and forgetting the whole affair.
- To fully recover from the emotional ordeal, learn to forgive. It may prove to be the hardest things for you to do but this is a huge step towards healing. It can take time, but have the firm resolve to forgive. But do not use it as a weapon that you can g\dangle in front of your spouse every time a problem comes up.
You can overcome an affair in a marriage with a right and positive attitude to face the issue objectively. Resolve to be committed to your spouse despite the problems and work together to remain married to each other.