Betrayed By Spouse Having An Affair
Marriage Help After Being Betrayed By Infidelity
Finding out your spouse had an affair is a terrible experience. You have just been dropped into emotional turmoil, unsure of which way is up or down, no telling what to do, no clue of whom to go to.
You’ve Been Betrayed by Your Cheating Spouse
Your spouse cheated and lied, and now you’re left angry, deeply hurt and disappointed. After you find out you were betrayed by your cheating spouse you wonder if there’s anything worth saving.
Your friends and family have their ideas of what you should do, but they can’t possibly have all the information you have about your relationship. You are the only one who can make the decision whether to go or stay.
For those who make a firm, unchangeable decision that the marriage is over, there is not much else to discuss. However, realize that many marriages have thrived after an affair, and can become a happy and healthy marriage that lasts for decades afterwards.
If You Want To Repair Your Marriage
If you want to put your marriage back together after an extra-marital affair, you should think about making it better than it ever was. There are steps each of you should take to help the process. I will list some of the important early considerations and some of the steps you can do to move your process along.
Some people will read this and be able to follow the steps and succeed. However, many people will need additional marriage help. You can check out my self-help program How to Survive An Affair, or for individualized help and instruction you can work with me directly in marriage counseling sessions or in a marriage retreat.
Free Tips To Save Your Marriage After An Affair:
You can’t make a better history for yourself, but you can create a better future.
Even though your spouse had the extra-marital affair without your knowledge or permission, you will both have to make changes.
Treat information from the extra-marital affair as your wake-up call and look to yourself for some of the solutions. For example, even though it may not be the truth, you should find out what your spouse perceives to be missing in your relationship and cover that perceived gap even though you think you’ve been doing that all along.
You probably don’t feel like satisfying any of your partner’s emotional needs after discovering the infidelity. This is a normal feeling, but if your goal is to save your marriage, your best chance is for each of you to be an active participant in improving your relationship.
CAUTION: Don’t Play The Trump Card
I want to caution you about one of the most common problems the betrayed spouse presents in my practice.
The person who was cheated on often uses the affair and its associated hurt as a “trump card”, which means using the emotional pain as if it were a valid reason to take charge of any and all decisions.
For example, the hurt spouse may demand to go to a particular restaurant because the cheating spouse owes him/her because of the hurt created by the extra-marital affair.
Another common way this is used is to demand something, usually of significant monetary value, in exchange for the hurt. For example, demanding a diamond necklace, or a two-week vacation, even though you cannot reasonably afford these.
You are understandably hurt. It will take time to heal. Forcing your wishes on your spouse, or spending more than you can afford, are not going to solve the issues. These will create brief feelings of vindication followed by more emptiness and memories of betrayal. In order to forgive and move past the infidelity, you must work with your spouse to create a better marriage for the long run.
Negative Feelings Are Normal
Many strong negative feelings are a normal response to marital infidelity. It may seem difficult to even imagine right now, but if your spouse turns his or her character around and is consistently honest and thoughtful over time, and together you do the other repair work involved, you will learn to trust your spouse again.
Your love will return and the intense bad feelings you’ve been experiencing will fade to the background, and probably sooner than you think.
I wish you personal strength and a willing partner in your quest for healing your marriage. Warmest regards,
I encourage you to check out my self-help program for surviving an affair for detailed instructions for repairing your marriage. If you want to work with me directly, we can schedule marriage counseling sessions or a marriage retreat.
Stop Divorce Articles
P.S. In addition to the articles on infidelity, you may want to learn more about stopping divorce.