When one of the spouses goes astray and becomes unfaithful, the usual course that a marriage goes through is divorce. This is actually expected, because infidelity is a culprit that can instantly devastate a marriage. There is nothing more painful for a spouse than to discover that the other spouse has been cheating and playing around. The hurt that infidelity can cause is very bitter and agonizing.
Yet despite the damage that infidelity inflicts in a marriage, there are still couples who don't consider divorce as the best way out from the turmoil they are in. They are willing to patch things up, although it may not be clear to them as to how they are going to do it. If you are in such a fix, whether you are the aggrieved party or the offending, you should realize that saving your marriage after infidelity is a big challenge but still doable.
- First of all, in trying to save your marriage after infidelity, the aggrieved spouse should be ready to accept the wrong done by the other. This is the first step, because without acceptance, all efforts to save the marriage will be rendered futile.
- Next, there should be forgiveness. Though forgiving may not mean forgetting, the offended spouse should be willing to forgive the unfaithful partner wholeheartedly. Without forgiveness, they won't be able to start anew with their relationship.
- When forgiveness and acceptance have set in, the next move is to decide what to do with the marriage. Should you stick with one another, or should there be an amicable separation? The pros and cons should be studied, and the direction of the marriage analyzed if ever the couple decides to stay together.
- If you opt for a second chance, a serious talk is necessary. Pour out everything - your emotions, thoughts and hurts. The offending spouse should be willing to divulge everything that the aggrieved partner wants to know. There should be no hesitation from either party to empty their hearts out. However, in this step, blaming one another will not help, but the guilty spouse must bear the brunt of the other spouse's rage. The guilty spouse should admit it's his fault and that even if there was a reason that drove him to do wrong, no excuse can justify the act of infidelity.
- After the talk, the offending spouse must decide and resolve firmly that he will cut off the illicit relationship with the third party. Communications should be terminated, and if possible, the spouses should relocate to another place to avoid possible encounter between the erring spouse and his lover.
It is also helpful if there is an intervention from a counselor or anyone who can give sound advice to the spouses. Counseling will help them regard their situation with more objectivity and clarity. Often, when caught up in so much emotion, the spouses may not be able to think very clearly, hence the need for a mediator to step in.
If there is wholehearted forgiveness from the aggrieved spouse and true repentance from the offending spouse, and if love still prevails in the marriage, there is no reason why a marriage after infidelity cannot be saved.