Rebuilding Your Marriage After YOU Had the Affair

Dollar Photo - Rebuilding MarriageWhat can you do to rebuild your marriage and get beyond the past after you have had an affair? There’s no going around it, there really is not going to be any easy way out of getting past the matter. It’s going to be a tough one. This is especially true as you try to help your spouse get past the devastation of the affair. You will have a lot of difficult work ahead of you. You can’t just close your eyes and wish the event away.

“Trying to rush the wounded spouse. You, who have committed the adultery, must avoid saying to your spouse, ‘That is over now. Let’s forget it, and not talk about it any more and move on.’ Your spouse is still devastated and bleeding. This is an open wound that you won’t slap a quick band aid on and hope they will be okay.” (Jackie and Ronnie Calloway, from the article “10 Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes to Avoid After Infidelity“)

Give Your Spouse Consideration Here

And from everyone we’ve talked to that has lived through this situation, and every article we’ve read, truer words couldn’t be written. Just because you don’t want to deal with the issue any longer, or you feel like you have dealt with it long and deeply enough, your spouse needs top consideration here. She or he is the one who was betrayed. And as long as there are more unsettled issues that she/he needs to work through, they will always cause separation in your marriage relationship. When emotional wounds are deep, it’s unrealistic for one spouse to decide when an offending situation should be closed and no longer dealt with. Marriage is a partnership where both spouses need to work together on such issues “until” both spouses come to a mutual agreement that all is well.

Articles to Help You

To help you further on this and other points, you will find links below to articles that we encourage you to read. Ask the Lord to help you learn what is important for you to apply in your heart, mind and actions.

The following article was written by James Vaughan. He knows first hand how difficult this journey can be because he has been there after he had an affair. He gives the following practical advice that might help you, as you read and apply:

Weathering the Tough Times in Rebuilding the Marriage

To help you further, the following article was written by his wife Peggy, which might help you to better know how to help your spouse heal from the damage the affair has caused. Please click onto the web site link to read:

Figuring Out and Expressing What You Think and Feel

Question to Consider

The following question was posed to author Anne Bercht on the subject of rebuilding trust:

Question: “I have destroyed my husband’s trust in me as I have lied to him over the last year. I desperately want to regain his trust. Is there anything I can say or propose to him besides saying, “I’m sorry — I won’t do it again.” to make him open to at least giving me a chance to try to rebuild the trust?”

For the answer, please go to Anne’s web site to read:

Rebuilding Trust With Your Husband After You’ve Had An Affair

To learn from other perspectives on this topic from the Dear web site, please read:

Steps to Restoring Trust

How Can You Rebuild Trust After An Affair?

The “Need to Know”

Another Question

Here’s a portion of another question that you might be dealing with after you have had an affair:

Question: “I have admitted to an affair. Part of my plan to gain trust is to contact the girl I had an affair with (who is no longer in my life).  My wife wants me to convince this woman to send her emails she may have kept, that we sent to each other. Naturally, I deleted all of my e-mails. …I’m afraid if this woman does have something saved it will do the opposite of helping my wife. We really spiral out of control and go to a dark place when we discuss this. …What should I/we do?”

To read the answer given by Anne Bercht, please go to the linked article on the Beyond Affairs web site to read:

What if My Wife Wants to Read Affair Emails?

Live AND Learn

It’s not just what you’ve lived through that’s as important as what you’ve “learned through.” Author, Becky Gain discovered that all too well. She wrote that she discovered: “Although I ended my illicit relationship, I could not stop the memories.” To find out what Becky “learned through” we encourage you to read:


You may be struggling forgiving yourself and finding a way to get beyond the hurt you have caused. But:

“It’s important to accept the fact that our actions cannot be erased or undone. However, we can dig deep inside and discover some way to become a better person by virtue of this experience. This focus and process can be of great help in counteracting the feelings of guilt or regret. So the first step is letting go of “if only…” and looking toward “what can I do to demonstrate that I’ve learned an important lesson” from this experience. And, further, consider how I can take this learning and use it to become a better person. No matter how difficult something is to deal with, there’s always the potential for learning from it. Using these learnings to forge a more responsible and fulfilling life can help counteract the feelings of guilt or regret.”

To read more advice from Peggy, please click onto the web site link to read:

Where Can I Find Help for the Person Who Had the Affair?

Another Question and Answer

This last article poses a question and then answers it as well. Author, Nancy C. Anderson was the person who had the affair. She has since spent her life helping others who are struggling in marriages rocked by infidelity. After reading the article (and reading her book, “Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome“) you may consider contacting her if you’re still struggling. It’s possible she might give you additional suggestions. But first, please read:


We pray that God has used the above articles to minister to your heart and marriage in His amazing way.

This article is composed by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.


Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

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75 responses to “Rebuilding Your Marriage After YOU Had the Affair

  1. I’ve been married for 19 years. My husband had an affair 9 years ago. I found out about it 2 years ago. We did not have the best marriage; he went to bars all the time. I stayed home with kids. He has stopped going to bars but now he has no desire for me. He pleasures himself but never touches me or seems to want me.

    I am struggling with the affair, so I feel at least if he made me feel he loved me and appreciated me that might help some. I’ve told him this several times. He never tells me he loves me, he never tells me he appreciated what I do for him. Recently I gave him a card and wrote in it how much I appreciate him and love him.

    This has been about a 2 months ago he has not said a word about it. I truly feel as if I’m the only one trying to make this work. I’m not the one who had the affair. I do feel he needs to step up and do something about it. He is NOT willing to go to counseling or to go talk to a pastor. I did go to counseling a couple times in my own. Do you have any suggestions? I will admit I do not trust him so I do have a lot of questions and when I do ask them it always leads to a argument. Is this worth it or shall I get a divorce? I was truly trying to look at the Bright side of this when I found this out since we had not had the best marriage. I was thinking well maybe we can work through this and have a better marriage but it’s not looking so good. I truly do love him. God bless and thanks for whatever help anyone can give.

  2. I write this comment to show someone who is as vile as I am, that is searching for assurance that God can forgive the vilest sinner, for many times I am persuaded that no one who calls themselves a believer and born again Christian has lived like me. I married my husband in 2001. In 2003 I had a brief friendship with a colleague. It was not an affair but I used to enjoy his company and looked forward to seeing him for chats cos I enjoyed his company. Thinking this was wrong, I confessed to my husband. He was not happy. At another instance in 2005, I went to a hair saloon, and a hairdresser I knew praised my beauty. So I went and laid on the sofa he was sitting and put my head on his thigh. It was in the open, and it was brief but I was guilty and confessed to my husband. He was very upset. In 2006. I had an emotional affair which ended in a hug. I confessed to my husband again. This time it all broke loose and he asked me to pack my property and leave his house with my baby. My in laws intervened on my behalf.

    I had married my husband as a virgin and I was beginning to be curious what sex with another man would look like. That same year, the backlash I experienced from the confession was so grievous that I went back to that relationship and got physical with no sexual intercourse. Not only that one, but I had another physical relationship but there was no coitus. In 2009, I confessed this one to my husband and he forgave me. Between 2010 February to 2011 September, I had sex with 3 different men outside of my marriage. I have completely forsaken my life of sin since 2011 September.

    I don’t want to discuss the circumstances of my life because I don’t want people to think I’m trying to excuse myself for being so promiscuous. When I eventually confessed to my husband, he filed for divorce within 9 days, while I was still 6 months pregnant. My husband hates me now with a kind of venom even a viper would covet.

    I want anyone reading to understand that God can forgive you. If he can forgive me, he can forgive you. I know that people call you all manner of names, and there is a stigma that comes with an adulterous woman. The damage my lifestyle has caused is beyond me to bear. Leave your cares at the feet of Jesus. If he can forgive me, he will forgive you. I have completely left the life of adultery since 2011. I don’t ever go back. No matter what you have lost, do not lose heaven. God loves you.

    1. Thank you Emana, for confessing this openly so hopefully, others will read it and will reject the the temptations facing them –seeing the pain it can bring. I’m reminded of something a marriage expert (Diane Sollee) said, “What we really need is a time machine so that people entering into an affair could flash forward and see themselves, their kids, and their lives at the other end of their lust.” Sadly, you are seeing the pain these types of actions can bring about now and for the rest of your lives. I hope others learn from your painful testimony.

      I also thank you for confessing this because perhaps it can give others hope that no matter what someone does, God gives forgiveness and grace when they confess what they did and sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness. We’re told in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is a promise we can count on, no matter what! We’re all sinners, and do what is not right, but God is faithful to forgive when we look to Him searching for and then receiving His amazing grace. May God help and bless you and your family (even though you aren’t together) as you now try to pick up the pieces and go with God from this day forward.

  3. I cheated on my husband and with God on your side all will and can be okay. Trust in the Lord.

    1. I can’t help but think of the quote: “What we need is a time machine so people entering into an affair could flash forward and see themselves, their kids, and their lives at the other end of this ‘tunnel of love’ –at the end of the lust.” (Diane Sollee) I’ve seen it over and over again where the affair partner seems like the “right one” for them, but eventually after the shine wears off, a dusty relationship comes forth flawed beyond expectations and any types of imaginations that either partner could have dreamed. And then what’s left is a wreckage left behind AND the mess that is happening now and projected into the future. Please don’t be under the disillusionment that a man who would get in the middle of one marriage will be a wonderful, faithful partner to you in the future. The world of regret can be a horrible place in which to live. And I can promise you that you will be there. Cheating is never a good foundation upon which to build a relationship. You are walking onto shaky ground, to say the least.

      Not only all of that, but cheating is never a good solution to anything. You made a vow to your husband; why do you think it’s okay to break that vow and make it with another man? What stops that vow from being broken? Your love? You’ve been there before. Please don’t allow yourself to believe the lie that because you are unhappy in your current marriage, solutions to cheat and do that which you should not, are acceptable. They are not. This “new” love will eventually grow old and will not be what you think it will be in the future.

      You know the answer to your question. Crazy? I’m not sure. But wrong? Yes. Naive? Yes. Misguided? Yes. On a wrong path? Yes. You are erasing the possibility of being trusted that your word means anything. You are putting yourself out there as an example of cheating, instead of integrity despite temptations. You are also putting the people around you in a bad place. You are not an island all unto yourself. What you do has consequences for everyone around you, as well as for you. I pray God will help to you wake up and hope that you will turn away from your boss and invest instead in living a life of honor, and integrity. We need more people living that type of life. I hope you will.

  4. We had a great wedding and honeymoon in January , 2016 He was so proud of our wedding that he was telling everyone he could. He begged me to stay there and not come home. But we had jobs and so we left and went home. Then I went to see him in April, 2 months after our wedding, and I knew something was wrong. So when he went to the store I read his email and I was right. He was having an emotional affair. He had told her the same things as we had shared together and they were secrets. Now he was telling this woman. When he walked inside I said well I found your cheating emails.

    He said it isn’t what they look like and it is to keep a client from leaving and I said no this is more and I want you to listen to them as I read them. He said reading it back he was wrong and that he went too far and got emotionally attached. So he scheduled counseling and began going to church to be a better person and said he would never talk to her again.

    I feel like our wedding was fake and not real because after only 2 months? I could see a year or more but two months? I must not have what he wants after only 2 months. I have been hurt before in a marriage and so I just want to go and hide under the covers and not come out.

  5. I had an affair, well, we were separated. I’ve been on and off with this man for years. He doesn’t forgive me, tells me he’s leaving me for the past three years. We have an 18 year old, an 8 year old, and a five year old; she was a surprise. Lately I seem pretty pathetic crying and acting like a crazy woman. I drown myself in medications because I hate the pain. He has had affairs when we were younger but now he won’t forgive me.

    It’s been almost a year since we had sex. He takes care of the kids rarely goes out, and when he does he says it’s not my business. He tell me he wants me to not talk to him; he needs space, he hates me, take all your meds and die. I don’t have the strength to leave him. I work opposite shifts and no I don’t stalk him.

    I don’t know if I should keep trying and just keep enduring the emotional abuse. We live in the most expensive place in California and neither of us could afford a place on our own. Houses are like a million dollars. I thought we were planning on leaving the area together but he has been getting his credit together because he wants to leave the state. I don’t know what to believe. I love him but he says I’m tainted and I don’t care about myself anymore. How can I? Is there hope? I’m so confused.

  6. I just found out that all of my suspicious were right; My gut feeling was right and my husband was having an affair with a co-worker; we all worked together. She was my co-worker too. After one day I saw them smiling to each other I knew something was wrong. I comfronted him but he kept denying it. He changed, he became distant, there was no communication, he was bothered by every single thing I said. He started coming in at 5 in the morning almost everyday, drinking and using drugs, he was a completely different person, from the man that I married 5 years ago.

    I begged him to try to save our marriage, not knowing exactly what was going on, or what he was actually doing. He ignored me completely saying he wanted to be free. After so much suffering I filed for the divorce, but something was telling me to hold on and didn’t continue the process. One day after coming home at 12pm the next day, he slept outside. He came begging to work on everything and that he wanted everythimg to go back to how it was.

    But things didn’t changed. Yes, he stopped drinking; yes, he stopped going out, and he left the job after I quit as well. We were home all day with the kids, he dedicated to our small business full time.

    The way he was treating me changed, I still felt things were wrong, he became addicted to his phone, he couldn’t leave his phone alone for a second, he locked himself in the bathroom for long times, he used to sleep with his phone under the pillow, and I knew I wasn’t crazy he was in fact hiding something.

    Then one day I had the chance to check on his phone and saw a couple of calls to her. That’s when everything fell apart, he had no more chances to hide anything. I was right all the time.

    He asked me to forgive him, he regrets so much, he ended everything, he just didn’t know how to end it before since she was threatening him to tell me everything.

    Since that day I forgave him, but I can’t forget. I can’t controll my thoughts, my self steem is in the floor and I don’t know what to do. I want to believe him but I can’t. My marriage will never be the same; I can’t trust him any more. I can’t live with myself feeling this pain.

  7. I have just confessed to having an affair with my wife’s friend and not only is the guilt making me feel suicidal I cannot escape the pain my wife must feel. She is being supportive of me though as I was abused for many years as a youngster. I have always subconsciously pushed her away, maybe looking for excuses to get out but I could never do that. This is my 2nd affair. I’m currently in counseling for all of the above. I have suicidal thoughts more now than ever and I just want to break the cycle and want to be the best husband and father I could ever be. I’m so devastated it’s unreal. I just need advice so much.

    1. Martin, first I want to say how proud I am of you for all of the effort you are putting into making things right with your wife, plus taking the necessary steps to address the root cause of your unfaithfulness. I’m sure that’s the reason your wife is willing to give you another chance. You may not know this, but it is very rare that a wife who has been cheated on (twice) will even give her husband the time of day, let alone a chance to revive/rebuild the marriage. You are a BLESSED man!

      You don’t say in your post if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Cindy and I believe here at Marriage Missions that the foundation to all marriage and emotional healing comes through Jesus Christ. I say that because of the depression and suicidal thoughts you are struggling with. We know that those come from the pit of hell because the enemy of our faith (Satan) wants to destroy you and your marriage. Here’s a link ( I want you to go to and read through a couple of the links provided because I believe God brought you to our web site for the express purpose of wanting you to surrender everything to Him and let Him help you and your wife put the marriage back together, as well as help you be the father you so desperately want to be.

      Now, I’m not saying you should drop your counselor, and if you haven’t done so already, tell her/him about your suicidal thoughts.

      That’s what I feel God wanted me to share with you, Martin. He cares so much for you and He wants the very best for you. So, if you haven’t already gone to Him with your needs, do so today. Don’t wait! I promise it will be the VERY BEST thing you have evert done in your life. Blessings! ~ Steve Wright, Marriage Missions International

  8. I had an affair 8 mo. ago. Every single day is a struggle for my wife and myself. She struggles with the pain I have caused, I struggle with the guilt over how I could have done something like this, how could I hurt the woman I love so deeply? The affair happened quickly over about a month. It ended even quicker within minutes of going through the act. After a couple weeks of being hit on by a co-worker and ignoring every advance, I let my curiosity get the best of me. So for a couple weeks I allowed myself to start flirting back, looking back now my biggest mistake was letting her continue to flirt with me from the beginning.

    The flirting started to become more and more sexual and that was exciting to me. It made me feel good about myself, it made me feel wanted. After only a few short weeks it went from her coming on to me to me agreeing to meet her at a hotel room. I remember driving to the hotel playing with my wedding ring, trying to decide to take it off or leave it on. I remember thinking I need to stop this, to just go home and not go through with this, but I felt if I did I would fail at yet another thing in my life. I would lose this feeling I was getting from her, a feeling that I was smart, sexy, fun. Something I felt my wife did not feel for me anymore, boy I was wrong!

    So as I entered the hotel room nothing felt right. I didn’t preform like I would have not being in that situation. All I thought about was getting out of there was about what I was doing. I hurried up showered and left her there. I don’t remember talking to her much after that. I do remember being in a daze feeling horrible about what had just happened. I talked to the woman for a couple more days after, the whole time telling her I wanted to tell my wife, to come clean. She urged me not to repeatedly telling me she would leave me. So I finally told her I could not do this anymore and like that it was over. I have not seen or spoke to her since.

    For a month after that, I was the best husband ever. I finally was seeing how much my wife loved and completely adored me. The guilt was there and at times when she asked me things I would stare off into space thinking about the what I had done, and how I could have allowed myself to do this to the woman of my dreams.

    So a little over a month after the affair she received an email from the other woman’s husband telling her all of what happened, even a couple of bonus things that didn’t. My wife was crushed! When she came to me I lied at first. I just couldn’t hurt her; I couldn’t bare to see her in pain. After a week I finally gave in. I finally told her the truth the day before our wedding anniversary. She went from hurt to anger. She yelled, screamed, cried, and yelled some more. She threatened to leave, but thank God she didn’t.

    Since that day she cries everyday, she gets angry and says mean hurtful things almost daily. She is withdrawn and even cold sometimes. I cry everyday from the guilt and remorse I have for what I have done. I say I’m sorry at least 50x a day. I hold her and tell her I love her all the time. Yet I feel she is becoming more angry. I feel like she will never forgive me for hurting her. I want her to be happy once again, to see her smile, a real smile. I want her to feel safe and secure once again. She every day goes on the other woman’s Facebook page to see her face. That makes her angry all over each morning. I want to help, I’ve read article’s and books, nothing helps. Can someone please help me? Please???

    1. Chris, you need to allow her to process this in the way she needs to. She’s actually damaging herself by going on this woman’s facebook page, but that’s a decision she is making right now because of the confusion she’s feeling and doubts about herself. Hopefully, she will eventually quit torturing herself by doing this. It won’t help. It just feeds anger and doubt. Pray for her continually. Keep reading all you can on ways to mend your marriage. Work on your own issues and keep making it your goal to treat her as the precious bride you know she is and will become once the anger subsides some. This is a marathon race towards healing, not a sprint. Be there for the long haul.

      If she will consent to counseling, find a marriage-friendly counselor who will help both of you get through this time. I’ve seen where couples can sometimes grow their marriages stronger than ever because they no longer take their relationship for granted and want to make things work. There IS hope if you stay patient, exhibit the qualities of Christ as the bridegroom looking after and sacrificing for His bride, and loving her even during the unlovely times. That will go a LONG way in helping her to heal.

      Please read the articles we have posted on this web site on this issue. Glean from them all that you think will help. Learn to protect your marriage and guard your heart and put your efforts towards the healing process. Don’t give up… the reward is great. I pray for you and for your wife and for your marriage. May God guide you and help you to grow all the more stronger in love for Him and love for each other.

  9. I’ve had an affair with a co worker. It lasted about 3 1/2 months before my hubby caught me. I’d prayed everyday for the strength to end my affair and I tried several times but the separation never lasted long. I felt scared and guilty but couldn’t stop. So I started praying for an intervention from God. I couldn’t do it so I wanted Him to do it for me and oh boy did he!

    My hubby found all the terrible texts that had been shared between us. He was angry and hurt but agreed to stay and go to counseling. He wanted every last tiny detail of the past 4 months. I reluctantly started telling him stuff starting with the big items. He wanted more details so I told him some more. Foolishly I omited some interactions and details from my story but every so often something new would come to light and he would be mad and hurt all over again. He kept asking me not to lie to him anymore. I kept promising I wasn’t, even though I was omiting details, which I know is a form of lying. Things kind of started getting a little better.

    Now 5 weeks after he found out he has asked me take a lie detector test. He said if he finds out anything new during the test that he’s leaving me so I started really spilling my guts! My brain is so foggy from all the lies that I have trouble getting it out all in one session so I’ve told him new stuff for 3 days in a row now. He says I’m lying at the end of each confession when I tell him I didn’t think of that info the day before.

    He yells at me and points his finger in my chest and tells me I’m a liar and that liars never change. He tells me how I’ve ruined everything for him and how disgusted and heartbroken he is, not just about the affair but at my repeated lying. He says I’m not allowed to cry or feel bad anymore because my “lying” to him shows that I don’t care anything for him or our daughter. He tells me not to cry, beg, ask for reassurance or comforting bc I don’t deserve it. He says he still loves me and he’s not leaving until I mess up again. What does “mess up” entail? I guess he’s certain that I’m going to mess up something eventually.

    We are both active Christians. I’ve been praying continually but nothing seems to be getting better. I know God hears me/us and His will is different than my wants. I need strength to keep my faith going. Somebody please help! Give me some encouragement or advice! Does my marriage stand a chance of survival and restoration?

    1. Hi Sandy, Sorry for this very late answer- I hope you see this! Yes of course your marriage has a chance of survival, even of restoration and becoming better than it was before. Especially since you are both active Christians… You need to be consistent, transparent, and to give your husband time to work through this, to adjust, and to trust again. It can be a long road, yes, but with God at the center of things, you can be sure that He will not give up on you or on your husband!

      I had a similar experience…. my texts are in:

      Here’s a website which meant a lot to me:

      On the side bar are other sites as well. I really hope these encourage you… Yes there IS hope!! WP (Work in Progress)

  10. This is the hardest thing I ever had to go through… but what come after disclosure is worse.

  11. I had a 3 week affair, ended it, cut off all contact and came clean with my husband. I am beyond regretful and doing what I can in words and actions to repair his trust and heart. We are Christians and know that God is on our side but I can’t help but feel like sometimes he may not be on my side because I’ve done such a bad thing. We make progress and then on a bad day take a thousand steps backwards. I keep reading faith based articles or advice sites and most begin with end the affair, try to love your spouse again, that will help. But for me I’ve done those things. I didn’t love that person, it was just a mistake and I don’t need to be convinced to fall back in love with my husband. What’s the next step for me? When does this start to get better and how?

    We are pretty open in communication and prayer, but the anger my husband has is overshadowing any of the positive progress we make. I can’t and don’t blame him, but how can I help him?

    1. Chelsea, Just keep walking the walk, and giving him the grace and space he needs to uproot any type of bitterness and hurt that is inside. This is a deep, deep cut that he has experienced –one that went straight to his heart. The fact that you didn’t love this guy is good, but on the other hand, for him, it’s like, “really? you broke my heart for someone you didn’t even love and then you turn around after hurting me like this and tell me you love me?” There has to be a lot of toxic self talk still going on in him. Just keep loving him and showing him your love –with patience.

      Eventually, you will be taking more steps forward than going back. If you don’t (after giving him a good amount of time), then you may need to go to a marriage-friendly counselor who could help him and help you to help him.

  12. I just confessed to an affair. It lasted almost 3 months and included 2 unprotected sexual encounters. My husband is devastated and my family is so disappointed. I’ve been apologizing to individual family members because the affair was with my cousin’s husband and she’s the one who found the evidence which she confronted me with. She threatened to show my husband all the texts between us if I didn’t agree to cut off all ties with her & her family, to tell him about the affair. I told my husband anyway and told the family as well. I’m surprisingly relieved it came out. The guilt was always there each time I was with him. I had the affair for selfish reasons and have admitted it. I refuse to play the victim. I did this willingly. My husband is so broken; I’m turning to God for forgiveness because I can’t possibly forgive myself for hurting him so deeply. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen next, when my husband finally hits rock bottom and the rubber hits the road. But I know that as long as I lean on God (like I should have done in the first place) we’ll get to a bether place.