Hearing that your mate has had an affair sends a shock wave of intense pain through the deepest part of your heart, affecting every area of your life.
A contract has been broken. Your world has come crashing down. All you knew to be true has been changed forever. There is tremendous insecurity, emotional upheaval, and a sense of hopelessness.
Though it may be hard to believe: there is hope for restoration. But a healthfully restored relationship is contingent on humility, dedication, and a strong willingness to take personal ownership. These are the essential ingredients to begin healing your heart and your relationship after infidelity.
It is inaccurate to assume that “there must have been something missing or wrong in the marriage” when there is infidelity. Those of us helping marriages heal from infidelity know that regardless of the normal challenges that exist within any good marriage, and regardless of even extreme brokenness and woundedness within the marriage, there is never justification for betrayal of trust. The spouse is never to be held responsible for another person’s choice of behaviors.
Taking personal ownership is the first step toward restoration. The spouse who chose an affair needs to get to the root of why and how he or she made that specific choice. To restore the marriage, both spouses need to look into their own personal lives and examine the healthy and unhealthy parts of them. The marital relationship needs to be examined, and most often there is a renegotiation for both spouses on what they truly desire in order to meet their security and intimacy needs.
For a relationship to thrive and be deeply satisfying, both parties need to have an awareness of what it means to communicate maturely, to state their needs and wants, to resolve conflict fairly without defensiveness, and to respectfully negotiate and navigate their individual differences so that each experiences mutual appreciation for the other.
Life brings all kinds of different challenges and difficulties. A marriage needs a solid foundation so that the relationship can balance the ongoing challenges of finances, careers, raising children, navigating expectations, etc. We have helped many couples restore their relationship to an even better place than it was before.
Trust broken by infidelity is like a smashed bulb on concrete. It doesn’t just crack—it shatters, in hundreds of pieces. But with openness and disclosure, you can grieve what has been lost and begin building a new relationship together on a more solid foundation.
The road to healing takes a high level of commitment and a willingness to walk through the pain. There is no quick fix or short cuts that will make it all better, and there is no magic that can undo what has been done.
However, should you decide to embark on this journey, we can help you sort through what has been broken, shedding light on dark areas and dysfunctional patterns that—left unattended—will continue to wreak havoc on your marriage. Couples that survive infidelity and commit to doing their work (both individually and together) can emerge stronger, healthier, more connected, more loving, and fiercely protective and determined for their marriage. We invite you to take that first step toward healing.