An affair can wreck everything your relationship stood for. You may find yourself grasping at anything to hold it together, but the rage, jealousy, and heartbreak that follow the unfaithfulness of a partner can sometimes be irreparable. The APA cites that 42 percent of divorced individuals report having had more than one affair, making it a prevalent occurrence in marriages.
While an affair may completely destroy some relationships, others choose to stay and make an effort to rebuild their relationship because they think it’s worth salvaging.
How does one rebuild trust and intimacy after it has been shattered by an affair?
Can you forgive them?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself if you’re deciding to stay. If you can’t forgive their indiscretion and move on from it, it may continue to haunt you forever. Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting what happened but about accepting and growing from it.
It’s difficult to expect another person to whole-heartedly accept and move on from infidelity, the feelings of mistrust and jealousy may linger.
Can you trust them again?
Forgiving them for past events is one aspect of moving on; it’s what happens in the future that can be tricky. If your spouse cheated with a co-worker or someone they met at a bar, would you be able to trust them if they’re staying late at the office or heading to the bar with some friends?
Trusting is a process and the cheating partner will have to put in the effort to allow their spouse to be comfortable again. They’ll need to understand that trust must be earned so they should tread with patience.
When the affair is discovered, the feelings of betrayal and resentment are palpable. Making amends for what has been done is necessary. You may not be able to go back in time and change what you did but there are ways you can make reparations for it.
If there are certain behaviors or habits that bother your partner, it’s important to take the necessary steps to change them. When your spouse decides to stay, it’s imperative that you’re not doing anything to exacerbate their healing process.
This is the most crucial element of moving forward after an affair. Without open communication, you can’t make the amends that are needed. Without voicing what makes you uncomfortable and drawing boundaries, you’ll find your relationship become a source of stress for you.
To rebuild intimacy after an affair, both partners need to openly communicate their expectations from the relationship and reassess their life goals. Only when you talk about the things that truly matter can you assess how you can make it work.
After a partner has engaged in infidelity, it can take years to rebuild the trust and intimacy that was violated. While someone may have an affair for a variety of reasons, the outcome is always heartbreak, hurt, disappointment, and a loss of trust.
If you and your partner are looking to repair your marriage after infidelity, seek the help of a specialist in couples and marriage counseling. Azizeh E. Rezaiyan of Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling in Palo Alto has extensive experience in helping couples seek closure and aid in moving on from an affair.
Not only will she help you identify the root cause, she’ll walk you through the process of finding viable solutions.
Call today at (650)-206-9973 and avail a free, 20-minute consultation before you make an appointment.