What 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:
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:
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?”
First off, remember these wise words from an unknown source:
“You can say sorry a million times, Say, “I love you” as much as you want, say whatever you want, whenever you want. But if you’re not going to prove that the things you say are true, then don’t say anything at all. Because if you can’t show it. Your words…don’t mean a thing.”
So part of the answer to the above question would be to show, over time that your words DO mean a thing. You have to go through the slow process of trying to rebuild your spouse’s trust again. And that takes intentionality and time.
For additional insights into the answer, please go to Anne’s web site to read:
To learn from other perspectives on this topic from the Dear Peggy.com web site, please read:
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:
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:
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