Unfortunately, there are no set rules on how to save your marriage after the affair because what works for one couple doesn’t necessarily work for another. These tips on saving a relationship are from wives whose husbands cheated on them.
Here, I offer five pieces of advice from women whose husbands betrayed them by cheating – some wives left their husbands, and others stayed to work on their marriage. They are not tips on how to save your marriage after the affair. Rather, this insight into how cheating affects a relationship will help you reconnect and rebuild your marriage.
“My husband cheated on me quite a few years ago and it still hurts,” says K. “My advice is for men who cheated on their wives: tell everything that happened and act like you mean it. Do really nice things for her. Don’t forget that she will have good and bad days. It will probably take a long time for her to get over the fact that you cheated. Have patience and let her talk about it, get her true feelings out.”
And, here are a few insights and words of wisdom from women whose men physically or emotionally cheated on them.
How to Save Your Marriage After the Affair
Here’s the rest of K’s advice for husbands who betrayed their wives by having affairs:
“Go to marriage counseling. Don’t forget how much you hurt her. To this day I don’t think my husband knows how much he hurt me when he cheated on me. We were married about 25 years when this happened and are still married, but it’s never been the same. My husband never really said what happened – just that he was sorry.” ~ K.
Saving your marriage after the affair is about acknowledging what happened – and why it happened. Different couples cope with and forgive cheating in different ways, but one thing is the same: the pain of being betrayed. If you want to save your marriage after the affair, you have to acknowledge the betrayal.
Don’t expect to bounce back overnight – forgiveness is a process
“It has been a year since I found out the betrayal of my husbands ‘devoted love’ to me and our marriage,” says A. “We have been working on our marriage since then, and it has been rough. I still have trust issues. The pain is still there, but so is the love. I know I do not want to give up on us. My husband has been more then patient with me, how can he not?! I feel that we have both changed for the better since this all happened. We have become closer – and I feel that our marriage is becoming stronger. I feel that as a couple we have to continue to work together to keep that fire and love going.
I don’t have tips on how to save your marriage after the affair, but I know that forgiveness is complicated.” ~ A.
Get help saving your marriage from a counselor after the affair
“Go to a marriage counselor and listen to what he/she advises,” says S. “There might be reasons he cheated, he was looking for attention from someone else that he wasn’t getting from you, his wife. You should hear about those reasons. You can vent your issues in marriage counseling, and the therapist can create a compromise for you both to heal after the affair and move past it. But I would never take my ex back because he cheated physically and it’s the grace of God that I didn’t catch an STD from him.”
Try to save your marriage – because cheating isn’t always the end
“The man I love slept with another girl,” says P. “Yeah we were on a break, but it still hurts. I’m trying to figure out if I want to be with him again or I should just let him go. I love him with all my heart and I know he loves me.
My tip on how to save your marriage after the affair is that all you can do is try and work it out. Try to be the best for your children, and see where things can be fixed. If not, then always know you will have each other for the kids.” ~ P.
Tell your spouse how he or she can help you heal and forgive
“I always swore that if my husband ever even thought about cheating on me that I would leave him,” says S. “Then I found out he had a profile on a website for people who wanted to cheat on their spouses. It broke my heart. It was as devastating as if he had physically cheated on me. Emotional affairs are hard to get over because it’s not about sex, it’s about the emotional connection and that’s incredibly hard to fix.
My tip on how to save your marriage after the affair is to help your spouse understand that it wasn’t about her. Start to try and win her over again, almost as if you were dating for the first time. It took me a long time to get over what my husband did. But I did and I know that we can get through anything together.”
Accept that your marriage will never be the same after the affair
“I just found out my husband cheated online,” says C. “As a woman I feel like I was never enough for him. I will forgive him for that is what God says to do but I don’t think I will ever feel the same way again.”
This tip on saving your marriage after the affair shows us that while forgiveness is a possibility, spouses will never forget the betrayal.
I think the answers to many of life’s problems – even saving your marriage after the affair – can be found in books! Surviving Infidelity: Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain will help you decide what to do when your husband betrayed you in the worst possible way.
Are you worried about reconnecting after the affair? Read 9 Signs You Can Save Your Marriage.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
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What do you think – what’s your advice for husbands and wives who are coping with betrayal in marriage? Comments welcome below…