Recovering from infidelity is not an easy thing to do. It is first and foremost important to recognize that your trial in this respect, is not one unfamiliar to marriages. According to recent statistics, as much as half of all marriages will be facing infidelity; and these are only the marriages where the infidelity has been found out. Infidelity also accounts for around 2/3rds of all divorces. Infidelity involves so many emotions, from anger and rage to sadness and insecurity that many couples never recover and are never completely able to move from that moment. It is almost as if they become frozen in time. For those that do make, the marriage can be stronger however there is an awful lot of personal and couple work that needs to be done.
One of the most difficult aspects of recovering from infidelity is that in most cases the person the spouse cheats with, is someone they see often (even every day). In order for a marriage to bounce back all ties with this person, need to be cut. This might mean changing jobs, moving or even cutting ties with friends or family members that may have known or been involved in the act of cheating. In so many cases, couples are unable to see or put an action plan into action that makes this complete break possible. And honestly, it must happen if you want to recover from infidelity.
The next difficult step in recovering from an affair, is for the couples to find a level playing field with which they can use to rebuild their relationship. What often happens is that the cheater, seen as the perpetrator and the other spouse, seen as the victim never move from these roles. Each time the cheater does one little thing, all of the anger and resentment over the infidelity is brought back to the relationship. The victim can easily begin playing up his or her role as the victim, and use that to impose guilt. Of course, the person who cheats should feel guilty. But if you really want to recover from infidelity, you have to be able to move past these roles so the two of you can talk.
Counseling is a great way to move past these two roles. A counselor can help to mediate the conversations and communication so that each of you can actually talk about what went wrong and possible solutions rather than center all conversations on the act itself. Try to avoid using children, friends, or family members as your mediator because they will be unable to stand on mutual ground. Instead, if you really want things to work out for the long haul, consult a professional that will at the very least get the two of you on speaking terms again.
Blame is another reason that it can be difficult to recover from infidelity. When something goes wrong in any aspect of life, it is sheer human nature to want to blame someone or something else, outside of yourself. It is better to look at cheating as a blameless act. Instead, see it as a choice. There are far too many people out there that use terms like, ‘She drove him to cheat,’ or ‘If he was more attentive, she wouldn’t have turned to another man, that seem to justify and even glorify cheating. Sure, there were some problems in the relationship, but each and every one of them can be doubled back to communication. Couples have to talk to one another, and they have to feel comfortable enough in the relationship to share their feelings no matter what they are. Casting blame is futile and useless.
The next step in recovering from infidelity is to spend some time apart. Literally! Separate yourselves from one another so that each of you has some time to think about what transpired and make good decisions. There is a grief process that must be followed when a couple deals with infidelity. The loss is of ideals, trust, and even dreams for the future. While the affair can be an eye opener it has to be dealt with individually before a couple can begin dealing with it together. There is no time limit to how long this separation should take. There also is no right or wrong way to do it. Make sure that you allow yourself to feel and motion through all of your feelings, one by one, before you start trying to combine them with someone else’s. No matter who you are in the relationship the cheater or the one cheated on, you have some soul searching to do.
Last but certainly not least, you should take a personal inventory. There are some people who will never be able to move past and forgive the infidelity. If you know in your core that you are one of these people, you will be doing yourself a favor by just letting the relationship go. This may sound harsh, but the reality is that staying with someone you know will make you angry for the rest of you life, only punishes yourself and your partner for eternity. Life is way too short to live this way.
The worst thing you can do when trying to recover from infidelity of any kind, is to ignore it. In many households involving children couples try to pass and repass, making things seem okay for the sake of the kids, or to avoid shame from others. Remember, your life and happiness are too important to ignore something that will loom over you. Use the infidelity to make positive changes in your life and in your relationship rather than choose a life that has you wallowing. Infidelity happens and with hard work and dedication, it is something that you can move past.