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.


Print Post

Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Hi, This is the first time I am writing about what I have done. About 3 years ago I met my wife over a social network apps. Since it was meant to be use for One night Stands, I didn’t take her serious. Time passed and she kept in touch and flew to the city I was living (we stayed in different cities). About 6 months later she got pregnant but I needed a time to adjust this news, so I talked to her about it, and we agree to it that I stay in my single-hood for a month or two till I could digest it.

    However we have gone through times, and year later our son was born and we registered the marriage. But due to our situation, I was forced to work in the other city (where my company is) by my parents in law (I am a foreigner staying in an Asian country). Unwillingly I did move back to the city my company was located and visited my wife and my son 5, 6 days a month!

    I was under emotional and work pressure. At first I found an international church and attended there, but after a while again the temptation of social apps came to me. I met a woman. We had a moment together, but during that time it was all with guilt, and it was the only way for me to get away from stress that life recently caused me. It went on till my wife found a message of that girl somewhere, and then everything totaly changed, (of course she was suspicious of me during that time as well).

    On the night I was crying in my loneliness (I was still in that city), after I talked to a best friend who is a pastor, he asked me to repent and I did, I confess my sin, and I made a promise to God that I won’t make the same mistake. I have gotten to know the value of my wife, the precious life that God has provided for me. But it seems like a bit too late in our human time, (even back of my head, I know God’s plan comes with hardships and he makes light out of darkness)…

    My wife has been acting different. She wanted to divorce (still wants to), simply picks a fight and what ever I do is not enough for her. I just adjust my life. I moved to the city she lives. I manage my work from the phone, and online to be able to help her to take care of our son. I try to be as nice as possible to my family in law even though they cause me so much trouble. But still she is getting angry and mad at me with the smallest thing I do, which she doesn’t like. The smallest thing I can ever imagine and a storm comes with shouting, tearing things and physical touch sometimes (from her, I try to not to touch her). She keep on throwing the ring out and asking me to leave. The next few days are okay… and again and again this procedure going on.

    We try to go for a Christian therapy from a long distance with my friend. At first it worked but again, it’s like a TV antenna, with the softest wind turn. I have been praying so much, and am asking God for strength. I don’t want to fight even though I can. I don’t want to divorce because I don’t want to be selfish. There is a baby but my patience limit is getting full, and I don’t know what to do anymore. How long does this thing last?

  4. It has been one week since I confessed to my wife about an affair I had one night 4 years ago and another 2 month affair that just ended. After 2 months of seeing a therapist (at the same time as the affair) I’ve learned that a lot of my issues from childhood were never dealt with and impacting who I was and the choices I was making. Now I am not hating myself as much and dealing much better with things. However my wife is contemplating divorce.

    Initially she said she didn’t want a divorce but now says that she doesn’t see a path for us to work things out. This is devastating. I have sought and received Gods forgiveness (something I could only do after I confessed to my wife). I have confessed to my family as well as hers. I have prayed non stop for God to soften her heart and work a miracle here. So far it only seems as if it is 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. We are separate living in our home together but my wife says she might want an apartment soon. I have looked for advice everywhere available. We are both going to individual counseling now. My wife after a week still says divorce might be the only solution. I pray God to help our marriage of 21 years.

    1. Hi J, How’s everything going on with your wife? I’m actually in the same boat, however I am the person who is considered as the “other woman.” My ex and I just have ended our emotional and physical relationship a week ago and it’s so devastating and painful. He told me he told his ex wife about it (but technically wife because they are not divorced) however been in that rocky relationship for 4-5 years now. We were together for 6 months but started flirting for a year go before we become officially together Feb. this year. He came over to me in my country and we were so happy.

      Then when he told his wife about me of course she was so mad and angry and she didn’t talk to him for some time. Then Sunday they talked very long and she told him she will forgive him because she still loves him. She also promised that she will give him the time, attention, intimacy, and all that he needs that he looks from me. He told me he loves me so much and he was even expecting her to file the divorce and didn’t expect her to say things like that. So they decided to fix their marriage and also because their son has OCD and aspergers. He told me he needs to try at least if it will be succesful or not even he also feel so much pain inside to end our relationship. He told me to move on and forget him because he cant promise anything. He told me he told her to do a metaphorical therapy for 2 days next month but she said she’s not ready.

      Today we talked over skype after a week and told me he is in a big mess and depression, things in their house are so messy and he told me that his feelings and love for me are still there and very strong. But he needs to fix his marriage because that is what other people want them to do. His wife is sad, stress, pain, and all too. And he told me to stop emailing him, calling him which I do because it is so painful to accept. I know I am desperate but I love him so much. He told me in his last mail that he loves his wife and he wants to be happy with her. I know he only told me that to stop everything for him because he can’t focus what he should do right now.

      I just wanna know if in your situation things are getting better? Because it is sounds like my ex situation that his wife told him she will not get divorce and fix the marriage but until now no improvement in their situation. Will it be successful? will you be happy or him happy again? Thanks. R.