Take responsibility for what you have done
The first thing to do, once you have committed infidelity, is take responsibility for what you have done. And I don’t just mean in regards to confessing to your partner.
More often than not, a cheater is ‘caught out’ and so the actual process of the partner finding out did not come about due to the guilty party volunteering the information. All too often, someone who has cheated feels mixed emotions.
This can lead to off the cuff ‘reactions’ that may actually do more damage than good if you want to save your marriage.
For example, it is common to look to the innocent partner and ‘blame’ them – ‘well you were always working late and I was lonely’ or ‘you have been so distant and we haven’t had sex in two years’.
Regardless of whether you can link your infidelity to valid reasons of being unhappy in your marriage, you must take responsibility for your following actions. No matter what the underlying reasons, you CHOSE to be unfaithful and there really is no excuse.
Admit this to YOURSELF and stop telling yourself stories in your head – and then show some respect to your husband/wife, and sit them down, and explain that you know that there is no justification for what you have done and you respect whatever they decide to do next.
Give them space
You do not have to leave the marital home to do this. Infact, offering to do that if they have not asked you, may result in the total breakdown of your marriage.
But if he or she wants some space, you have to give it to them. Allow them time to breathe, to think – let their emotions adjust and then settle.
They will go through all manner of emotions, rather like a rollercoaster. You just have to accept this and let them take all the time that they need in order to come to terms with what has happened.
And yes, this may then lead on to the next step which is below…
Give your husband/wife honest answers
If they ask you questions, then give them honest answers.
The damage is done at the end of the day, and appearing as though you are hiding things even further, will simply hammer the final nail into the proverbial coffin.
Your partner will be wanting some honesty right now, and so no matter how difficult it is for you, if they ask you questions, give them an honest answer.
It is selfish to be thinking about what is best for you – if you have to lose them then this is just how it is.
But handling things in an honest way will at least open the doors to communicating effectively and give you the opportunity to look at what exactly did go wrong in your relationship and why, and think realistically about whether or not (and how) you can begin to fix things.
It can’t just be smoothed over with ‘but he/she meant nothing baby’.
Write a letter from the heart
Write to your partner and tell them how you feel about THEM. Do not focus too much on the other person or the affair, or the reasoning behind the affair.
This has been covered in the talking stage as mentioned above. Send them a letter (not an email), and tell them what you love about them, and express why it means so much to you to save the marriage.
Combined with giving them some space, they will have time to absorb what you have said, without feeling that they need to respond right away. Emotions will be running high – and you want to avoid fireworks.
Don’t pressure your partner into responding. It may take some time and even when they do respond, it may not necessarily be in the way that you would like.
But this is not about you remember. You will have to be patient, and if your marriage is worth saving, this should be no feat.
Understand that you may have to go back to basics
If your husband/wife is willing to listen to you, and wants to save the marriage, you will have to accept, that you have to go right back to basics.
You cannot simply move on and sweep things under the carpet. Trust is the foundation to any good relationship, and through infidelity, this trust has been broken.
It will not come back over night – it is going to take time, maybe a very LONG time, and you will have to work hard to gain their trust again.
But if you love them and want this to work, then you will be prepared to put in the legwork. Demonstrate patience with their emotional instability that may come about, and do all that you can to reassure them.
You have to almost start all over again as though you were first dating. You have to win his/her affection and trust.
Invest time in ‘dating’ your husband/wife again
Just as I mention above that you have to go right back to basics, you will have to date your partner again. Things need to be nurtured and handled with care.
You will possibly need to work on the attraction levels again. Considering that things had broken down between the two of you to such an extent, that one of you turned to infidelity, you may even consider marriage counselling.
Things were ‘broken’ and they need ‘fixing’ and rather than doing this by talking things out for years to come, start with looking at what went wrong and then spend quality time having dates, having fun together, rekindle that spark and romance.
Try and remind yourselves of what it was that initially got you guys together. Slotting right back into your old routines will not revamp your marriage. It takes determination and perseverance.
It may feel like things will never be the same again right now – but with honesty, patience, communication and dedication to making it work, it is possible to get your marriage back on track.
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