A marital affair is a major life altering event. Similar to a fire that has ravaged your home, there is potential to rebuild your lives out of the ashes of your experience once you have had time to recover from the initial shock. Recovering from an affair is a process that requires two people who are willing to examine themselves and face the cold, hard truth of reality.
Surviving Emotions After an Affair
The greatest impact that an affair will have on both partners is the emotional fallout that will destroy your ability to communicate effectively. Give each other the time and space that is necessary to adapt to the initial impact of these emotions. Within a very short while, though, you must find a way to come together and begin to honestly communicate your feelings; you’ve got to lay your torn hearts out there on the table.
Rarely is an affair the result of a momentary lapse in judgment. An affair is usually the impetus that forces a couple to finally face the underlying issues that have been going on in their marriage. Focusing solely on the act of the affair reduces a couple’s ability to take responsibility for the individual roles they have played in failing to build a loving, honorable relationship. The initial instinct to place blame is a natural process that must be quickly acknowledged and then moved past.
How to Survive an Affair – Together
Avoiding the pain of dealing with an affair by choosing to end a marriage is a mistake that many couples make. Two people that truly loved each other prior to an affair can find their way back to each other by learning how to recover from infidelity. Seeking help through a marital counselor will give both spouses the opportunity to speak from their hearts. A skilled, un-biased therapist will be able to moderate the conversations that need to take place between both parties. This will enable each person to honestly share their true feelings. This very process is the point at which a couple can begin to understand and forgive what has taken place.
Surviving an Affair with Grace and Forgiveness in the Long-Term
Surviving an affair is a long-term endeavor. When the trust and the integrity of a relationship has been shattered, there is a long road towards finding peace with each other. Each individual will have to learn forgiveness; towards each other and towards themselves. After the affair has been brought out into the open the conflict that results will be the greatest obstacle to overcome.
A spouse that has been cheated on will have the greatest difficulty in learning to forgive and trust. The spouse that had the affair will find it virtually impossible to expect forgiveness and trust. The trauma and emotional fallout after the affair can only be resolved by each person learning to deal with their own emotional reactions. Counseling and therapy can assist in this area but each person must be willing to participate in their own ability to understand and resolve their feelings. At the same time, they must also work on their feelings together.
Recovering from an affair and salvaging your relationship can be the greatest learning and growth opportunity that two individuals will ever experience. Through the turmoil, the rage, the jealousy and the guilt, great personal growth can be achieved. As a result of an act that is so egregious, two people can learn forgiveness and humility. This will be the most difficult process that any relationship can endure but the end result can produce a life-long loving, mutually respectful, stronger marriage. Do not let the fear of facing your worst emotions cause you to run away by ending a relationship that can be saved.