Working on Your Marriage After Discovering the Affair

We’ve all been hearing about how high divorce rates are in the US. Unfortunately, it is a country with an exceptionally high rate of broken homes. However, the rate is actually not as high as it is often made out to be, nor it is rising. On the contrary, divorce rates have declined steadily after the turn of the new millennium, according to an article in The New York Times.

Many relationships are permanently damaged due to infidelity. In fact, this is among the leading causes for broken marriages. While accurate data is difficult to establish, since many do not own up to extra-marital affairs, it is estimated that as many as 60% of all married individuals in the US have been unfaithful at some point during their marriage, according to an article published in the Journal of Research in Personality.

If you’ve just discovered that your partner has been having an affair, you’re not alone.

Too Many Emotions at the Same Time

If you’re feeling a huge amount of emotional pain and are oscillating between depression and anger, confusion and hatred, loss of self-esteem and revenge, you need to know that it’s normal. You may have a zillion questions rushing through your mind – How could he? Doesn’t she like me anymore? What did I do wrong? When will it stop hurting? How could I not know he was having an affair? These questions may be keeping you up at night, pacing in your room, with intermittent bouts of crying. Don’t worry. All these feelings are normal. You haven’t changed as a person. You’re dealing with something that’s emotionally draining and extremely tough to deal with.

Can You Forgive and Forget?

You will probably never forget your partner’s infidelity. However, it is possible to forgive, even though it may seem almost impossible at the beginning. Some couples are able to heal their relationship after infidelity, and it’s possible to have a successful marriage even after going through this emotional trauma, provided both the partners are willing to put in the required effort.

What it May Take

The process of healing and rebuilding the relationship involves several steps. However, there is no magic formula that is perfect for all couples. The steps would depend on the personality of the partners, the experiences they have shared, the duration of the infidelity, the circumstances under which the affair was discovered, the number of years the couple has been married and the support system that they have apart from each other.

The steps could involve acceptance, acknowledging that you need healing, working on the strength to let go, changing your emotional response to certain situations, being more flexible, rebuilding trust and working on emotional intimacy.

If the aim is to build biceps, you would probably need to work out with weights every day, even though it may initially hurt a lot. Similar is the case with emotional well-being. You need to address your feelings and invest time and effort into healing, even if it initially hurts a lot.

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