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Rebuilding your Marriage After Infidelity

Updated on February 2, 2017

What Now?

We live in society, where cheating in relationships, is the norm rather than the exception. You can see it portrayed on television everywhere, as well as the hurt and devastation it causes. When a partner is unfaithful, it not only affects the other person but the family, the finances and emotional health of all involved.

The emotional fallout after infidelity is not easy to avoid, even after it has ended. Guilt, self-loathing and depression, are some things that need to be addressed. It will take some self-examination, and honest on your part if you are to move on in a healthy manner.

Some marriages can not be saved, and if this is your situation, let no one make you feel condemned. If you choose to try to save your relationship, there are steps you can take to find restoration and move on with a new and healthier approach to intimacy.

Looking in the Mirror

Admit your part in the affair: Do not try to justify your behavior, by blaming your spouse. Some will make excuses, that, I was not happy or I was not fulfilled. You will never overcome your downfall until you are able to own your part in the situation.

You have been a willing participant in this action and it was your decision to cheat, not them. Perhaps a lack of communication was the underlying problem in the relationship, but marriage takes work and commitment, but you took the easy way out.

Ask yourself, "what could I have done differently and what do I need to do to improve the communication between my spouse"?

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To Tell or Not to Tell

Should you confess?: OK, so you think you have gotten away with your affair and no one knows; should you tell your spouse? I have news for you; they probably already know. Marriage is not just the joining of two people on paper, but of the heart and spirit.

Chances are your spouse knows in their heart, there is something wrong, and that you are being unfaithful. They may not have caught you in the act, or have pictures to prove it, but they know.

There are two lines of thought in counseling. One is, do not tell, because why hurt your spouse so that you can feel better.

Christian marriage counselors will always advise confession of your sin to your spouse. The scripture says that he who covers his sin, shall not prosper.

There is something about the human mind, that makes us uncomfortable with secrets. A normal person with a conscious will find it painful to hide something like this from someone they love. You have not been exposed, but you will suffer because you have not been honest with the one you love.

It is up to you whether you tell your spouse or not. It is said that confession is good for the soul. Lies and secrets will build fences and slowly cause your relationship to erode. So, find a way to sit down and talk to your spouse. You may want to bring a third party to the discussion, such as a good friend, minister or counselor.


What to do when you get caught: If your spouse has discovered your infidelity, this is a situation that needs to be addressed immediately. It is best, not to try to brush it under the rug or deny the damage that has been done. You will need a third unrelated party to help you try to repair the marriage.

If both have agreed on the relationship, then move forward to get the help you need. If your spouse is talking divorce, they may decide to move out or ask you to do so. Try to keep things as amicable as possible and allow the spouse the space to sort out their feelings alone.

If the offended spouse does not want to go into counseling, go for yourself. If your marriage does not survive the affair, you still want to correct behavior, that could ruin your next relationship.

Counselling when the Spouse Does not Know

Get counseling: Self-examination is healthy and may help you to discover why you had the affair in the first place. If you have a problem with intimacy or pornography, these root issues need to be addressed if you are to have any time of long-term success in your relationships.

Schedule a few private sessions with a marriage counselor or psychologist to help you re-establish your priorities and move forward. Get help as a couple as well from a professional mental health worker or a licensed marriage worker.


Fortify your present relationship: Spend time making your relationship with your spouse stronger. Learn to communicate on a more open level, and let your spouse know your emotional and physical needs. Go to a marriage retreat to learn to nurture your relationship and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.

Rebuilding trust will take time, patience and hard work. There will be times of anger and sadness. This is a necessary part of grieving the infidelity. If you both are willing to work at it, you can rebuild your relationship.


Forgiving is a very personal thing, but it is one of the most important parts to marriage restoration. It may seem unreasonable that the party that had the affair be forgiven. You are forgiving first of all for yourself and that you may be free.

Holding resentment can be like a cancer-causing the one who refuses to forgive much heartache and emotional agony. You can not move forward without forgiving others. Pray and ask God to help you. He will give you the strength you need to forgive and release your pain.


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    • 4seazons profile image


      7 years ago from Queens

      Thanks 2besure...I'll be pondering your suggestion. I see BobbiRant's point and do agree that cheating causes many to go their own way, case closed. Re-establishing trust is a very hard road for those who want to try. I'm speaking from my personal experience. And yes, forgetting is nearly impossible.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I totally understand your sentiments bobbirant!

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      I lived in an absolutely awful marriage, the first time around. That marriage lasted 16 years and I Never considered cheating, even though we all have plenty of opportunity. I ended the marriage because it was abusive and he'll never change. I think, no matter what, cheating is the deal breaker. I'd never trust my partner again so bring on the divorce papers. I believe there is NO reason to think two wrongs make a right. Bless those who can forgive and forget. But for me, forgiving is one thing, Forgetting quite another. But good hub for those who can.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks you so much for your insight 4seasons! I know that you have had experience ministering to women. I would love to see you write some hubs that can help women and mothers. I love your point. "but they can if they want to. It's a choice." and there is still hope. Thanks again!

    • 4seazons profile image


      7 years ago from Queens

      This is a good article. It presents the possibilities of rebuilding. I agree with Unchained Grace. God is the glue that holds marriages together. Many marriages don't have that. Even in Christian families the rate of troubled marriage, divorce or separation is almost as high as those couples who do not have Jesus in their lives. So, what is the problem? Spiritual side...flush against the spirit...the Bible gives instruction, guidance, warnings, a place for forgiveness and empowerment to staying wife or husband is exempt from stepping into adultery. But they can if they want to. It's a choice. Those who have not should be grateful and compassionate...those who have must know there is forgiveness and hope. Even when the marriage is never repaired, there is still hope. Thank you 2besure - you're really perculating these days -the articles are awesome and though provoking.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I agree with you totally, I will incorporate this in my article.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Sure. Infidelity happens and it happens even in Christian homes. My background in the military and then with the Lord is and was focused on four things. Loyalty, trust, honor and respect. Essentially, you break one, you've broken them all. The Lord is all I have. Without Him, my wife and I would be a mess. So, from the very beginning, infidelity just wasn't a factor no matter how hard things got. Read some of my own Hubs and you'll see we started out homeless. We lived, loved and when necessary fought as a team. We still do.

      2besure, I shall not be judgmental. Satan can get to many in different ways and the marriage vows under God are always a prime target of his and unless you are very tuned in to God and also to Satan's manipulative ways, there are many ways a spouse can get duped long enough to drive a wedge into that which God has put together. At Unchained Grace, we do a lot of marriage counseling and infidelity certainly comes up.

      I thank you for your insight and breakdown. I can tell you this from direct experience, though. Those who do try to keep it to themselves will get eaten up with guilt and that in fact WILL manifest itself in other ways.


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