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8 Brilliant Ways to Survive an Affair in Marriage
How to Survive an Affair in Marriage
Infidelity in marriage is a serious problem that plagues many marriages around the world. In about 41% of marriages in the US, for example, one or both spouses admit that they have had an affair before, according to InfidelityFacts.
However, many couples are able to survive an affair in marriage and you and your spouse can also survive, if you make up your mind that you will not let the experience defeat your resolve to make your marriage work.
No matter the varied circumstances that you may face, your marriage can survive an affair. “Can a marriage survive an affair resulting in a child?” Yes it can.
“Will your marriage survive infidelity if you are very bitter towards your spouse?” Yes it can, if you feel you still love your spouse and are willing to make compromises. Your marriage can survive an affair and you can learn valuable lessons from the experience which will make you build a stronger, eternal marriage.
In this article, I want to show you how you can survive an affair, if you are a married man whose wife has cheated on you, or if you are a married woman whose husband is involved in an affair.
Accept the Reality
One thing you can do to survive an affair in marriage is to accept the fact that your spouse is just an imperfect human being capable of hurting you at times, just as you have also hurt a lot of people in your life. This will prevent you from becoming so shocked that it will make you suffer a nervous breakdown or it will make you decide to harm your spouse.
Thus, you should try to calm yourself by saying words that will make you come to terms with the betrayal. When you hear of the affair, say something such as, “I must be calm. I have also hurt people in my life. They tolerated me. Isaac is only human just as I am. I knew he could fail me sometimes when I chose to marry him. I must control myself. I must tolerate his behavior”
Do Not Blame Yourself
You may feel it is something you said or something you did that caused your wife or husband to have the affair. “Isaac would not have cheated if I spent more time with him or if I had not been so jealous of his relationship with the women at his office or if I had paid more attention to my appearance,” you may say to try to convince yourself that you are at fault.
In addition, you may condemn yourself because you feel angry. This may cause you to become depressed, which is bad for your mental health.
Therefore, decide that you will not put all the blame for the affair on yourself. Instead, focus your mind on the fact that your spouse had a choice to make and he could have chosen to remain faithful to you, even if you did something that hurt him badly. Tell yourself that he is responsible for the affair because he chose to engage in that affair.
Deal with Anger
You may go through a series of reactions, such as numbness, disbelief, and anger towards your wife or husband, when you get to know your spouse is having an affair. Furthermore, you may be angry with some of your friends or family members, especially at those who are not on good terms with your spouse. It is just another sign that you are sad that your spouse cheated on you.
You need to deal with your anger so that you can move on. If you hold on to anger, it will imprison you, you will be a slave to it, and you will find it difficult to focus on important matters, such as your career, your relationship with your family and friends, and fulfilling your life goals.
How do you deal with the anger?
- Say to yourself, “I cannot do my part to solve the problem of the affair if I am angry. Anger will cloud my judgment and prevent me from thinking logically. Anger will only make matters worse. I must remain calm and focused.”
- Replace thoughts of hatred against your spouse with thoughts of the good things that are happening to you in your office, or with thoughts of the love your family and friends give to you. Whenever you are tempted to think about the affair, say something such as, “God loves me. My parents love me. My friends and work colleagues love me. I am going to get a promotion at work soon. I will not waste my time and emotions on Isaac for who chose to have that affair.” When you adopt such an attitude, you will be positive about life and that will help to keep your anger in check.
- Think to yourself, “Isaac is not worth my anger. A man who does not respect himself and chooses to be unfaithful to me does not deserve to be the object of my emotions. I must use my anger to motivate me to improve my academic qualifications or to develop new skills.” Then, try to think about something else.
- Pray to God to help you control the bitterness and anger in your heart.
Deal with Guilt
You may think that some neglect on your part made your spouse have that affair. You must realize that when you feel guilty, whether it is real or imagined, it is a normal reaction. Then, remind yourself that although you are one with your spouse and you love him, you cannot have absolute control over his life. He is a mature adult, an independent human being whom you cannot prevent from choosing to do the wrong thing. This realization will make you see that it is not your fault that your spouse had the affair. You will see that it is the fault of your spouse and he must feel guilty.
Therefore, say something such as, “It is ridiculous for me to feel guilty. Isaac is not a child. He knew what he was doing when he slept with that woman. He must feel guilty. He is at fault here. The fact that I am not great fun in bed does not mean he should go around sleeping with other women. I am not guilty. I will not see myself as the culprit in this matter.”
Make a Decision to Go On with Life
Decide that you will not let the affair stop you from making your dreams come to life. Moreover, do not let the affair stop you from thinking about developing yourself or enjoying life. You can say something such as, “I feel very hurt, but I must go on living. Isaac enjoyed every moment he spent with that woman. I am not going to sit around pitying myself when he is enjoying himself. My life does not depend on Isaac, but on God. If Isaac chooses to destroy his life by sleeping with women, I will get on in life because I am a unique, independent individual. What Isaac does must not stop me from fulfilling my dreams and visions for my life”. Thinking in such a manner will help you to focus on your life and this will help you to stop worrying about the affair.
Seek Knowledge from Experienced People
People may give you all sorts of advice when they get to know that your spouse has cheated on you. Some of this advice may make matters worse instead of improving the situation. Therefore, be very circumspect about whom you turn to for advice, or whom you listen to.
Choose to consult matured married people who have survived an affair and are still married. Learn from their experiences so that you can build your capacity to manage the situation and survive the infidelity and betrayal.
Look to Your Friends for Moral Support
Talk to your friends who have also experienced the heartache of dealing with an affair, and who have survived the ordeal and are still living happily with their spouses. Choose to talk to those friends who you know are patient people who listen a lot.
Talking to these friends who will listen patiently and sympathetically, will give you some emotional and psychological relief. Furthermore, because these friends have also gone through this experience before, they can give you practical suggestions on how to survive an affair in your marriage.
Release Your Grief
One way to survive an affair in a marriage is to release the grief in your heart that accompanies the knowledge that your spouse has had an affair so that you can lessen the pain you feel. This will help you to cope with the emotional and psychological stress better for releasing your grief will prevent you from harboring bitterness in your heart.
Some people find it easier to express themselves in writing than in talking to someone. If you are one of such people, one thing you can do to release your grief is to write a letter to yourself. Before you do, read the story of David, in 2 Samuel 1v 17-27 in the Bible, who wrote a very emotional dirge in which he poured out his grief, when Jonathan, his bosom friend, was killed.
Likewise, compose a letter such as this to yourself, “Dear Isaac, 21 st July,2017 was a very sad day for you. It was the day on which you discovered that Yaa was cheating on you. The moment you heard the news, it was as if a hot knife had pierced your heart, as though there was a conflagration in your body. You have never been that sad in your life before. You never imagined that Yaa of all women could do that to you. O Yaa, my love, how could you do that to me? We were so close that air found it difficult to pass in between us. We vowed to love each other till the icy hands of death, that wicked foe, separated us. Little did I know that you, Yaa, are the wicked foe. O Yaa, you have betrayed me! You have disappointed me! But I feel sorry for you, Yaa, for you are destroying yourself! You may think you are having fun but you are wasting your life. What happened to you, Yaa? You used to love me so much that I felt that apart from God, no one else could love me that much. Your love for me was pleasing, so delightful. It made me feel so good. But, you chose to betray me! Well, you are human after all. I forgot that because I loved you so much. It was as if I was living a dream. Well, I am now very wide awake and I am going to keep my eyes open from now on.”
Print out the letter and keep a copy. Whenever you feel sad because of the affair, pick it up and read it. I have practiced this many times when I have faced disappointments. It gives me helpful release and I know it will help you too to release the feelings of sadness associated with the affair.
You can improve your chances of surviving infidelity in marriage with these simple tips.
What About the Future?
So far, I have looked at what you can do to survive an affair in marriage as an individual. However, you may still love your spouse and wish to continue the marriage. What do you do when you want the marriage to continue?
How to Fix a Marriage after Infidelity
Research has shown that when you pray for your spouse when you are in a close relationship such as a marriage, it can make your spouse feel satisfied in the marriage thereby helping to improve the stability of the marriage. Furthermore, praying for your spouse can make him or her become more committed to the marriage. When your spouse is committed to the marriage, he will take it seriously and that can lead to an improvement in the relationship.
Therefore, lift up your marriage and your spouse before the throne of God every day. You may pray a prayer such as, “Dear God, Isaac has betrayed my love, but I do not want to leave him because you hate divorce. Father, please help me to forgive Isaac for what he did to me, for I have also wronged you many times and You have forgiven me. Help us resolve our differences. Change Isaac so that he will love me as he used to. Teach us each day to make compromises, to make sacrifices for each other, just as you sacrificed your Son so that we could have eternal life. Help us to bond again as a couple and just as Peter betrayed Jesus but later loved Jesus with all his heart and was prepared to even die for Jesus, help us to build a love far stronger than the love we had for each other before Isaac had the affair. Amen.”
Forgive Your Spouse
Studies have shown that forgiving your spouse can lead to an enhanced relationship between the two of you. When you forgive your spouse and give him another chance, it shows that you are admitting you are a mature human being capable of facing disappointments, which is an unavoidable part of life. Forgiving your spouse will help you to let go so that you can bond again emotionally with your spouse.
Therefore, choose to forgive your spouse. Say something such as, “I forgive Isaac from the bottom of my heart. I will not hang on to bitterness and resentment.” Whenever the affair comes to mind and you feel as though bitterness is coming back into your heart, just repeat, “I forgive Isaac. I forgive Isaac.” Keep repeating it until the feeling of resentment leaves.
Rebuild Trust in Your Marriage
An affair will destroy the trust between your spouse and yourself and you will have to rebuild that trust if you want to survive an affair in your marriage and make the marriage work again. Otherwise, the bond of love between the two of you will be weak and that marriage may not survive.
Demand Fresh Commitments from Your Spouse
- Let your spouse give you a written commitment that he will change his behavior. Type it and have it printed out. Make two copies of the contract. Each spouse should sign his copy. Keep your copy for future reference. Writing the contract will help to make your spouse more committed to doing his part to help fix the marriage. Moreover, you can use the written contract to make your spouse accountable to his words.
- Furthermore, let him promise that he will seek help, such as professional psychological counseling from a psychologist or spiritual counseling from a pastor. Subsequently, make sure he follows up on his promise. “Can a marriage survive infidelity without counseling?” you may ask. Yes it can, but seeking counseling also helps.
- Do your best to support him and encourage him to deal with his behavior. Motivate him by giving incentives and bonuses. For example, accompany him to see the psychologist or pastor. Your presence will tell him that he is not carrying his problem alone but that you are both solving the problem as a team. Furthermore, cook his favorite meal for him or give him a wonderful time in the bedroom when he takes steps to change his behavior.
Many marriages survive infidelity, and yours will too if you take the right steps. To survive an affair in marriage, deal with your negative emotions, make a choice to go on living as opposed to making your life come to a halt, and seek the support and counsel of people who have also experienced what you are experiencing.
In addition, if you want to continue with the relationship, learn to trust your spouse again, try to be more romantic, and do your best to sustain the love in the marriage so that your spouse will never feel he has to seek love elsewhere.
How to Survive an Affair in Marriage
Will you forgive your spouse if he has an affair?
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio