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.


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Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

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

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. I had a sexting affair and my husband found out and he is devastated. I know it was hurtful but I didn’t have sex. Am I wrong for wanting him to be over it already?

    1. Royal, Please read the linked articles within this article. You can see that what you did is a devastating experience for your husband. We all heal at different rates. You have to allow him to heal in his time, not when you are ready to move on. It’s much more complicated than that. You may not have had sex physically, but it was the intimacy that you became involved in, that your husband is having a difficulty getting over. Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The same goes for a woman lusting after a man. Yes, you did not take that last step… thankfully, you didn’t. But that does not mean that this is not devastating to your husband because of the intimacy issues involved.

      Please, give him grace on this one. He needs you to go overboard in assuring him of your love and loyalty now, and showing him that you will never, ever do that again. He also needs to know that you are taking steps to keep yourself above board with him, with no secrecy. He will need a long, long time to build any kind of trust in you again, plus get over the images he has in his head of you cheating in this way. Yes, physical hurts, but so do words and pictures. Please be committed to going the extra mile in helping him. He needs your help, patience, and reassurances. Don’t put your timeframe on this. You did your part in hurting him. Now let him have his time in trying to get past this. You don’t want to rush this to the point that it comes up again. Let him take the time he needs. Your marriage will eventually be all the more healthy for it.

  7. Reading all the articles gave me strength that I can surely rebuild my marriage. I seriously want to do this but I need some counselling and help. Please help me to survive. Fear of departure is making me hollow. I need your support. Please help.

    1. Surbhi, How I wish I knew how to help you rebuild your marriage, but I’m just not sure. We don’t know you and we don’t know your husband. But we do have a LOT of articles within this web site, that could give you tips that you could apply to see if they work. I wish we could offer more, but we really can’t. I do want to have you read and watch the videos on the following testimony page of this web site, because I believe it would build your faith that your prayers are being heard by God. I don’t know if your husband will respond to God’s prompting, as you pray, but you never know. Here is the page that has links to the articles and videos:

      Also, the following is a link to a poem that is very inspiring and might give you courage to keep persevering in prayer for your marriage. Also, after the poem you will find a link to Rejoice Ministries, where you may want to look to see if they have anything in addition that could help you in your marriage: I pray this helps you. Please know that you and your marriage are being prayed for. God bless.

  8. I had the most stupid affair. Three years ago I started permimenopause. Didn’t know it or what it was. I’m stupid. But the mood swings and depression made me feel I was going crazy. Then an old coworker showed up on fb. Didn’t really know him. The girls I worked with at the time said he was a “hunk”. We chatted and I told him I was married and I loved my husband. I didn’t hear from him for several weeks. Then he started love bombing me. And I fell for it. I felt so sexy. His texts made me feel so good. Months of this went by. I can’t tell you how screwed up my head was. I made up things in my head. Blamed my husband to justify what I was doing. Then the chat turned sexual. We shared pictures. Only mine had to be full body with my face. His were not. Dumb. He was in the military stationed in Korea. He said we should hook up. I said sure cause he was on the other side of the world. Well, then he showed up. I met him in his car. He seemed handsome and charming. I was excited yes. We had sex in the front seat but it didn’t last long. Maybe a minute. Then a cop drove by and I ended it. Then he told me he rented a second hotel room cause he had brought his daughter down and wanted me to come over. I did. I met him in his room and he seemed to be in a hurry cause he told his daughter he went for a run.

    This time he wasn’t very charming. He wanted all the things done to him that we had chatted about. I sensed an underlying temper. He smelled so bad down there I told him I just couldn’t. So he jumped me. No passion. Yes I was excited. But he did it fast and hard and it hurt. Then after awhile he just quit and said he had to go. Left me there feeling used and cheap. I said that’s it no more. I didn’t hear from him for a month. Then he popped up bragging how good he was. I really don’t know why I didn’t end it. But we continued to chat and send pictures for six more months. I didn’t have feelings for him but his text made me happy. But he was much different in person.

    Then he showed up again. I said this is it. I’m going to end it. I went to his room. He was drinking and watching the ball game. The more I wanted to say its over the more my mouth wouldn’t open. I was scared. What would he do? He has my text and pictures. Will he blackmail me? So after the game he started taking my clothes off. I said stop but he didn’t. It was really bad.

    When he came out he asked “how was it?”. I told him I’ve had a lot better and he frowned and said, “you know it was good”. I went to the bathroom for 20 minutes until the pain went away. I tried to calm myself down. i felt like he used me like a whore. I felt so much guilt. I went home telling myself how stupid I was. The chatting and pictures continued for eight more months. Then I got caught. My husband of 25 years was devastated. So was I. But I felt like a great burden was lifted off my shoulders. It was finally over. Why I couldn’t end it I don’t know. Maybe I was scared. Recovery has been long and hard. My husband is the greatest lover in the world. Best by far of anyone I’ve ever been with. But my affair has caused him jelousy and insecurities. I can’t seem to convince him sex with the other man was really bad. It does not help when everybody online talks about mind blowing affair sex. He just can’t believe somebody can be that bad. He thinks I’m lying about it. Well I’m not.

    I went through affair fog. And the three times we had sex in those two years was the worst. It was degrading and humiliating. I’m so sorry I did this. I can’t say how sorry and the guilt ate at me everyday. My affair partner was a professional narcissist con artist. And I fell for it. But I can’t convince my husband the sex was rotton. How can I make him feel he is better than that man? And he sure is by a million miles. But he just thinks affair sex must be great cause everybody says so. Any ideas what I can do? He does not believe me. Yes I did wrong. Yes I feel horrible. But I desperately want to fix my wrong. What can I do?

  9. I had a year and a half long affair and ended up getting the other woman pregnant. My wife looked past that and gave me another chance. Unfortunately I wasn’t honest and open with her like I had said I was going to be. The other woman was still staying in contact, sending me pictures of the baby and I allowed it. I would share with my wife when she would send me pictures or the baby but I would not share with her when the other woman would send messages saying she missed me and wanted to be with me. I felt that I had to try and make her happy so she would still share things about the baby. Then came the time for me to see the baby, by then my feelings for the other woman had changed, but we ended up having sex. I wanted to tell my wife but I didn’t and at that time I told the other woman that I was working on things with my wife. Well, she knew that beforehand but didn’t care.

    3 months later the other woman ends up telling my wife that her and I had slept together again because I kept telling the other woman that I’m working on things with my wife. My problem was that I didn’t fully leave the other woman alone the first time. So now my wife feels even more betrayed than the first time and has stated to me that she has nothing left to give me now.

    As of right now we’re staying married and haven’t told our kids. I’m in counseling and I’m rebuilding my relationship with God. I have accepted and owned what I’ve done and I’m working towards making myself a better person first. I am learning to be honest and open with myself and be a better man for my kids. Hopefully I will get the chance to show my wife that me being a better man would mean that I would be a better husband. With her saying she has nothing left to give and if I really love her… should I let her go? I want to ride this out and be patient and hope that she will see the change that is happening in me. Am I doing the right thing or is there something that I could be doing that I am missing?

    1. Robert, you ARE doing the right thing now… but it’s especially complicated because you heaped trouble and mistrust upon the past trouble and mistrust. Even so, this IS do-able. Hopefully, time will eventually be your friend, along with, and especially because of your action of building your life in Christ. But you HAVE to be completely above board on everything. There is to be no more secrecy. Even if your affair partner pulls this child from you (which would be totally unfair, especially to the child… but she has shown herself to be unethical in the past, so don’t put it past her). You HAVE to stand by this marriage, to the best of your ability. Hopefully, you can work on your relationship with this child when it is eventually possible if this woman gets in the way.

      Work on your relationship with Christ, because that is first and foremost. You can’t be all that God created you to be, and be the best dad and husband you can be without the leading of the Lord. You can look good, without Christ, but you can’t truly be as good without Him. And then work on being a good dad. Don’t put them in front of your wife, but still, invest in those children. They need it. They are living in a rocky home right now, even if they aren’t fully aware of it. And then, as your counselor guides you (prayerfully, with the leading of the Holy Spirit), find little ways you can show that you care for your wife. Look for things that matter to her and do them. I’m not saying fake things… but things that could help to grow her love, and help her to find her feelings that she is guarding right now. We have a lot on this web site that could help, but run them past your counselor. Hopefully, you are going to a marriage-friendly, godly counselor. I hope this helps. Fight FOR your marriage. You did a lot that could destroy it, but be tenacious to fight FOR it.

      Here’s an article that can help you in this fight. Read the corresponding linked articles and see what you and God can do together to rebuild your home on a solid foundation of trust, and integrity, and love beyond the surface –deep, sacrificing love.

  10. Beloved, I live in Nigeria and I cheated on my husband of nine years. I lied repeatedly when he asked me for the details because I was ashamed and wanted to soften his pains. I am sorry and I know I will never do this again because the price is too high. How do I regain his trust again. He has forgiven me but is hurting badly. Am praying about his healing. Will it ever be alright again?

  11. I cheated on my husband who I have been with for 15 years & married to for 10. He suspected an affair but I never would admit to it because I was ashamed & afraid it would hurt him beyond belief. He lead me to believe life was great between us until he was able to prove himself right about the affair. He dug up old messages that discussed what I had done. I took ownership of my wrong doings & have begged for forgiveness ever since. He is so striken with grief & negativity that he refuses to receive anything from me. I have begged him to please sway just a little bit & to allow something positive in; he tells me ok but never lets down the brick wall. I have told him I understand his hurt & pain but nothing will ever change if he doesn’t change a little. We are now seeing a marriage counselor who has told him the same thing but still no response or change from my husband. I love him more than he knows or will allow credit for. I don’t know what to do, I am fighting to keep my marriage but I know eventually he will end up pushing me so far out that I may end up giving up the fight. I have been encouraging, supportive, loving, & any & everything I can possibly be or bring positive to this situation but keep hitting a wall. I have given everything but blood at this point. Now what?

    1. A, You ask “Now what?” The answer to that question is to pray… continually… pray without ceasing and never give up hope. Ask God to give you strength to faithfully and patiently await His healing work in the heart of your husband… and ask Him to draw you closer to Himself so that you will know and love Him as your Father with greater depth than ever before. The healing of your husband will come in God’s timing, so you must wait on Him. But our God is ever faithful to His Name… He is the Creator of all… so He can most assuredly heal and restore anything… even the most broken and hardened heart. Our Great God desires to heal and restore your marriage… that is His Heart! Cling to that truth and spend your time drawing closer to your Heavenly Father… and know that His hand of healing is at work in your husband’s life, even if you cannot see evidence of it. I will be praying for you and resting confidently on the promises of our Great God… who showed us immeasurable love through His Son, our Savior Jesus. May your heart and life be blessed and your marriage be restored! In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus! Amen!