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?”

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:

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

To learn from other perspectives on this topic from the Dear Peggy.com 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:

I HAD AN AFFAIR

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:

CAN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE SURVIVE AN AFFAIR?

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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Comments

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

  1. I had a long term affair that ended over a year ago. At same time my husband had one night affair with my cousin. He filed for divorce last August. In December he told me he wanted to try and fix our marriage. I did all the things to help and move on; I confessed, I said I was sorry and asked forgiveness and took alot of mean negative behavior. I’ve been doing this going on for almost a year. I do not bring up his infidelity. I do everything he asked to make our marriage better. He has not done one thing. He is actually worse. I asked him to change his f.b status to married and to unblock me. That is all. He won’t. It was his decision to put divorce on hold but does nothing to fix our marriage after a year. Do I keep trying and stay or give up and move on?

    1. Oh Father, I lift up Tammy and her husband to You, for You are the Creator of all and are fully able to heal and restore every broken marriage relationship. Come close to Tammy in this time and wrap Your loving arms around her. Give her Your perfect peace and hope and lead her along Your path to restore their marriage. You know all of the struggles going on in the midst of the marriage of Tammy and her husband. Bring all of the issues fully out into the light. Come upon her husband and cause him to repent of his behavior. Heal the pain in each of their hearts. Capture their attention and draw each of them close to You as You draw them back together. Bring Your perfect healing and restoration into their lives, Father. I ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, Amen!!!

  2. My husband had 7 years of sexting affairs with various women but I caught it only twice in the last 5 years. After the second time, he admitted that he felt he had an addiction. He was very sorry and remorseful and, with Gods help, I forgave him. He went to counseling but he quit after it became too emotionally challenging.

    Three months ago, I found out he was in a 6 month physical affair with a 20 year old (he is 48). He says he loved her but loves me more. Needless to say, I have been devastated. Despite this, I agreed to work on reconcilation after he stopped all communications with her.

    My problem is that he seems completely emotionally disconnected. No sharing. No words of being sorry or remorseful. Wanting to move away to escape what he has done. I have practically had to beg for words of reassurance from him. He says his guilt and shame keep him from giving me what I need. I feel like its a cop-out or that there is a different struggle going on.

  3. My wife found out last week that I was having an affair with an Ex-girlfriend. I don’t know what I was thinking or even how I let this happen. After she found out I almost felt relieved that I did not have to carry this lie on anymore. The sad part is that I have a new found love for my wife but am afraid I will never be given the chance to show her. I pray that God lifts this burden off her shoulders and that he will give us both the strength to work through this and come out stronger as a couple in the end.

    1. I cheated on my husband with his friend. He found out in 2015 but the affair had calmed down. But now my husband is sexting and video chatting his ex girlfriend everyday. I’m beating myself up because I don’t want to lose him. I’m so confused; I’m seeing what a good man he is.

    2. Yeah, I got caught as well with someone and we worked it out but it still haunts my wife and then later she found some videos of 2yrs I made with other women and we were still married at the time like we are now and it tore her up. I was foolish. I felt my needs weren’t met at home; I didn’t feel wanted or appreciated and when I talk to her about not enough sex or she rejects me so I sought it elsewhere. I do feel bad for my affairs and blessed she’s still with me and willing to work it out because she almost wanted a divorce and I don’t want that and neither should you. Try talking with her and apologizing; tell her the reason why you cheated. The trust is broken but it can be built up again. I hope things work out for you two and make it; right now show her you truly love her.

  4. I do believe that in order for trust to be rebuilt there must be transparency from both parties involved. But this thing of the “victimized” party’s right to carry it on forever and demand anything and everything to feel better isn’t going to save the marriage. I’ve seen many different couples deal with this and lived through it in my own family as a child. Many times the “victim” has been as emotionally unfaithful, physically/emotionally abusive, controlling, etc.. as the one who committed the affair was unfaithful physically. Giving the latter this selfish right to further denigrate the other spouse is very counterproductive in healing the marriage. I’m pretty certain the marriage was breaking down prior to any physical affair in, at the very least, 90% of cases. Healing is a two way street and beating your spouse down won’t heal anyone.

  5. I had affair on my wife more than one time; we’ve been together for over 5 years and at some point things were rocky or good at times but we worked through it together. But at some point I felt that the intimacy from her was not there. I tried numerous things or ideas to try to get her to notice me or try new things, etc. Many times I tried to be intimate with her and I got rejected or she says she was tired or not in the mood. It made me upset at times or left me wondering why don’t you find me attractive or love our time together? But when intimacy happens it’s awesome; but at one point I felt low and felt my needs weren’t being met or she wasn’t trying.

    So, in 2015 I had an affair with 3 other women and didn’t tell my wife I met them on a site and then went to their place; it was just physical. But at the end I did feel terrible about a lot and I made videos with them (mistake) but later deleted them. I decided that I wasn’t going to do it again but problems kept happening with me and my wife and I kept getting the same result or I felt like shes not giving me attention at all. I have told her about our intimacy not working and can we make it better? She would say its work or then kids, etc. I do the same and still want you but I guess we are all different.

    Well, in February of this year I had another affair. Now going back to 2015 my wife was still not aware about that part part. I got caught from her in 2017 with a woman that used to work with me. I really felt her pain and hurt but I was trying to get her to understand why I did what I did. We worked it out and things were going ok; I mean the memories are still there but things started to calm down. I have not cheated or been with no other woman since then. These past 5 months I’ve been good. But this month my wife must of found the videos on the account that I made with the women in 2015; that I was messing with.

    She came to me telling me about what she found and asked how come I didn’t talk about it when she asked me was there anything else. The reason why I didn’t say anything in February of 2017 on that last issue was because I didn’t want to make it worse than it already was; and I wanted to just let it go since we are working on it now. My wife has given me other chances before when I was dishonest about my past. I was ashamed of it and didn’t want it being out, but now I do want this to work out and us not being divorced.

    I do truly love my wife not just because she’s the mother of my kids but because she’s only woman who loves me and has been there when we’ve been through hard things. And Im not gonna lose her or be separated because of this; she is my soul mate and I love her even if she does not trust or believe I do. I miss our intimacy and want that better. Please, any advice would help; I feel both of us can save our marriage.

  6. My wife had an affair with a “friend”. I was betrayed on two sides. 20 years later she is telling me things for the first time saying, “I just remembered”. Please. When you have sex on a riverbank after a picnic you planned, is this something you forget? With this revelation I am almost back to point zero. To the offending partner. Please tell injured spouse all up front. They at least deserve this after all you have put them thru. No one can imagine.

  7. I had an emotional affair. I would text this guy sexual things but never acted upon them. The depth of our conversations made it seem like we actually had physical contact. Needless to say my husband found out and I did the 2 ultimate “no-no’s”: I lied at first and the when I finally told him the truth I begged for him not to divorce. He’s agreed to “Try” but he told me to focus on me and what I need to do to regain his trust back. However he is talking to other females already and although I want to try to show him I want this marriage, I can’t stop thinking about him talking to these other women. Any advice?

  8. My husband of 30 years had an affair from November through January 2017 with a kindergarten mom at our daughter’s school. That woman and her husband chose to return to our school this year despite saying they did not want to return. The summer was good with that knowledge in mind and so has healing for both of us…although I’ve been suffering from chronic PTSD. School started again, and my hyper vigilance has now resumed. I have been shunned by many and feel nothing but humiliation and panic when I’m there. Removing my child from school is not an option, how do I cope with seeing her, being a very small school with many mandated activities, and not obsessing over the affair?

    My husband is completely devoted to me but the triggering affect of dropping off / picking up our child is almost unbearable. She (OW) is perfectly content to be a presence there as her marriage is one of convenience to a much older man… How do I try to recreate and make happy new memories in this atmosphere and is it realistic to think I can?

    Please help me… the affect of this is causing a true hardship when so much healing has been made so far. I have “future fear” as I call it…. Reliving the moments that are coming that mark the one year dates of this shame filled event and I only feel anxious knowing these months are coming now. I am looking for an answer to this anguish and ask for your wisdom. Gratefully, Anonymous

    1. Dear Anonymous… WOW! How my heart goes out to you. This is definitely a horrible situation to go through… and then to face this woman daily… that truly steps up the stress factor. I’m glad that you and your husband are rebuilding your marriage. That says a lot about your character that you can work on releasing the past, looking towards the future with your husband. I hope the very, very best for you and your family. I grew up in a home where my dad had an affair. It tore our family apart. Eventually they got back together and built a good life together, but this woman was removed from our life, so it was definitely not as difficult as you are facing. This makes it all the more stressful for you as you try to deal with your hurt and very raw feelings.

      You say that removing your child from that school is not an option… I really don’t understand that. I would move heaven and earth to find a way to make that happen. Your husband should make that happen if the other woman won’t remove herself. There are Christian schools, charter schools, private schools, home schooling options, or even moving to another school district, etc. I would FIND a way to make one of those schooling possibilities an option. I truly can’t think of any reason that would be more important than removing that stress factor from my life, and from my marriage. Even if it’s inconvenient, it’s less inconvenient than the overload of stress you are carrying every day with this situation. Yes, your daughter may protest, but she would have to adjust in the short term because it is better for everyone in the long run. As adults you have to make tough choices sometimes.

      I understand a bit about chronic PTSD, and such. You need to eliminate as much of the outside stress as you can to be able to get to a healthier place. That continual exposure could put you over the top. Don’t underestimate the difficulty that is involved in getting to a better place emotionally. This can drive you crazy. And with the shunning by others going on, on top of this… why would you want to keep your daughter there? She needs parents that are able to build a good marriage and a life with her. She doesn’t need crazy. Please, please consider this. Look at all of your options, including moving, if need be.

      There is a marriage organization that came to mind after reading (and grieving with you through) your comment. Dr Willard Harley Jr heads up the organization that calls itself Marriage Builders. It truly helps thousands and thousands of married people over the years. Here’s a bit of what they say about themselves: “This Marriage Builders® site is the #1 infidelity support site on the internet. Why? Because we have more experience helping couples successfully recover from infidelity than anyone else. And our information and support forum are free. If your marriage is suffering from infidelity, we have answers to your questions that can lead you to recovery…” They have a lot of free articles you can read. Plus they have a daily weekday radio program where you can call in your questions. Of course, you can remain anonymous, if you’d prefer. And they have a counseling service if you want more. You can find their web site at: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/index.html.

      The reason I’m thinking you may want to reach out to them is because Dr Harley deeply stresses the importance of getting away from the other affair partner. He says that it’s difficult to heal the marriage if the other person is in your life (let alone in your life as much as this other woman would be). For that reason, I’m thinking that Dr Harley or his wife Joyce may be able to help you figure out how to work your life around this situation that is facing you. It’s sure worth the try. Your marriage and your peace of mind and family life are at stake here. Please do what you can to find the solution you need. Be open to whatever options that you may need to consider. When you are and when you do what you need to do, you will be taking a giant step in the direction of healing, rebuilding, and making new memories, pushing the horrible ones behind in the healthiest way possible. I hope you will. I pray God helps you in your healing process, as well. God bless!

  9. I love my husband. I broke his spirit and I ruined who he is because I was selfish and had two affairs one after the other before he caught me. Then the lies began. I withheld vital details and information to spare him from more torture. He saw the phone records. He saw pictures that I thought were deleted but some cloud had saved them. It was worse than being caught red handed because he could look at all the nasty pictures over and over and over again.

    For two years I’ve been lucky enough to be by his side. He gave me a second chance and here I am blowing it, all because I didn’t come 100% clean from the get go. The “what ifs” are killing me. I was under the influence, out of control, out of my mind. Obviously I’m capable of horrible things but I swear, THAT IS NOT ME! I hate that person. I’m the regular me, that wants to heal my husband and save my marriage. He always took care of me and now I NEED to take care of him. He researched and learned over the years and I didn’t take the time to educate myself. I thought our love would conquer it all, like in a fairy tale. Guess what….fairy tales are not true. I did terrible things and hurt him to the core, but that is not who he married and that is not who I am.

    I want my husband to know I have his back always. I will never let him down again. All I want to do is be in love again. Happy. I want my family back. So does my 15 year old son. I need to fix this now! I need a jump start back into his heart. He still loves me and is tormented that I forced his hand to sell our house and split up. I caused this. I want to stop it. I would love someone to tell me it’s gonna be okay. Here is what you need to do.
    My heart goes out to all the people who fell from grace and committed adultery. It torments the soul. It is so painfull

    1. Audrey, My prayers go forth for you! Our flesh can be so weak, and our heart can be so desperately wicked, and but for the grace of God, we can all stumble and fall. Cling to Jesus in your life, now and always! For it is only through His grace and love and miraculous healing that you will be set free from the torment, and your marriage relationship will be fully healed and restored. In the end, it will not be about you somehow making amends for what you did, for you can never fully do that. And no matter what you do, it always leaves the door slightly “cracked open” for the evil one to sneak in and torment your heart and soul and mind. In the end, it will be ALL about how tightly you cling to Jesus in your life, each and every day. So, Audrey, right now, wherever you are… Be still and pray and let your emotions all flood out into the lap of Jesus. Ask Him to come close to you… He will.

      Oh Father, I lift up Audrey to you right now. Come close to her and wrap Your arms around her in a way that she senses Your presence as never before. Let her know that You are in control and You have a plan for her and her marriage, to heal and restore. Calm her heart and soul and mind, and let her experience Your peace. Help her to follow on the narrow path that You have set before her, and give her encouragement to stay on the path. By Your miraculous hand, bring healing to all that is still unresolved and broken and hurting in the marriage relationship between Audrey and her husband.

      Work in her husband’s heart to fill him to overflowing measure with love for Audrey, and fill her to overflowing measure with love for her husband. We know that it is Your will to heal and restore their marriage, and we rest fully and confidently on that truth. May You be glorified in a great way by Your miraculous healing and restoration in their lives, and may they both become visible witnesses to share You with others. I bring these requests humbly to Your throne, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, Amen!!!

    2. I don’t understand the comment of that is not who you are. Yes that is part of who you are. It may not define you but it is part of who you are. Every time my husband says that to me after having an emotional/sexting/ make out sessions twice in a car for two months it makes me take 2 steps back…if that wasn’t who you were it would not have happened. I don’t understand that…I want to keep my marriage together because we have 3 kids, 20 years; we have been through so much trauma that I cannot imagine starting a life again with someone else. I do still love him but I don’t think I will ever look at him the same.

      1. I know how you feel. It’s the worst nightmare that can ever happen to a woman and it’s like you just can’t wake up from it … just one day and poof, everything you worked for is gone; but even worse the feeling of knowing that while you were working the other person KNEW that you were and didn’t care and just let you be the fool. I’ve been trapped in this for TEN years. Mine lied to me in the early stages of discovery and convinced me nothing had happened besides looking for something else…that alone almost killed me. I had 4 Babies in exactly 7 years taking up all of my 20’s from right after college.

        We dated in highschool and were so in love went off far away to school together relied upon each other in a strange place and even broke up. I found someone in the meantime who was like God had put him on this earth for me, who when I went back to my husband (then old boyfriend) because I felt I had to give him a second chance because he begged me,,, uggg ,, then waited ten years for me to make sure it really wasn’t the relationship from God that we both knew it was. Anyway, I go through total hell with him thinking of nothing but he and I and the kids and then one day at 36 after 14 years of marriage and 4 years of dating,, poof I open the computer and find him signed up on a dating website. I swear I almost died right there… my knees buckled and I fell on the floor sobbing. I’m a very strong woman and my 13 year old had to pick me up off the floor. He lied, lied, lied, and begged until I forced myself to move on for the sake of the marriage.

        A year later we had another new baby… he asked for a last child, one we could enjoy now that we had a bit more money and now that he had more time … should I say no to a man who has expressed need and restlessness already???
        Well, guess what? When the baby turned a year old I found a receipt .. a gold bracelet purchased for someone who is not me. Another receipt- to the strip club down the road … I got him to confess… he had Pursued many women back then until he found the one who seemed the most likely to leave the club and be his girlfriend. I swear I almost died. I started demanding I want a divorce.

        Kids all around saying things to throw the argument askew, the baby needing me, needless to say I lost some serious ground because of the distractions. When all was said and done I was trapped … trapped by the lies, trapped by the fact that I had five children and no money to support them and trapped that we had just put $100,000 down on a new home.

        It’s AWFUL… I’ve never been able to get out of it and his only response when I still, or when I’ve ever tried to find out her name or the real truth, is to say “that was 10 years ago…The time for a divorce was back then .. now we have an 8 year old a big house and no way that we are breaking up now .” :((((( I’m dead inside.

        1. I hope this isn’t too late for a reply but I hope you can find peace within your heart and focus all the energy to your children. Your husband has lost himself to his desire and weakness. May the Lord be with you and provide you strength and guide you. Do not lose faith in him for the Lord will condemn those who have forsaken him.

  10. My partner says she is sorry but I feel its businees as usaul and she tried; and it’s too hard to make an extra effort to talk and work it out. It makes me feel her needs are more important. I belive she should be doing everythng to help me deal with it.

  11. My husband and I have been married for 38 (30 because he was with the OW) years. It kills me inside to have to tell him I love him after he says it to me (yeah NO). He’s no longer interested in sex and drinks like a fish. He weighs 250 (he doesn’t want to lose weight because then he’ll be on the prowl again, like he’s THAT cute so I get a fat husband) and has health problems (ya think???). (I’m 124)

    Both of my parents are dead now and I have nobody I can talk to. We didn’t even go to counseling afterwards because he doesn’t want to talk about it and he throws the “We’ll never follow the counselors advice anyway” in the mix. I don’t know if I want to be with him anymore. I’m not feeling anything but contempt for him. Help me please? What can I do??