7 Tips For A Spouse Caught In An Affair
John and Mary have been married for several years. Mary knew there were problems, but heart crushing shock consumed her when she discovered John was having an affair. John lied at first but soon had no choice but to admit what he’d done.
Mary has zero trust and loads of hurt. The affair is all that she can think about. It is hard to do anything—to focus on anything. She needs to heal, the marriage needs to be revived and John needs to be there for both Mary and his marriage.
But what can John do. Mary is angry. She is crying a lot. She is asking and re asking questions and leveling accusations against his character. Then she is holding him close as he speaks words of love and reassurance. They are talking more than they have in years. In some ways, they may even feel more intimate. All the while, Mary doesn’t know if they will ever work and is talking about divorce.
Here are 7 tips for a spouse caught in an affair:
Tip 1: End the affair. Stop all contact.
If you have strong feelings for the affair partner, you cannot recommit fully to your spouse as long as you are still feeding your feelings. Distance will help the heart to grow less fond.
That will allow your feelings to grow for your spouse. Whether you have strong feelings or not, you must create boundaries to protect your marriage. Making hard decisions to protect your marriage, says a lot about your commitment.
Tip 2: Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Truth has a way of coming out. If you hold back, every bit of new information reopens the wound and makes it more difficult to rebuild trust.
Just get it all out. Don’t worry about protecting yourself or your spouse. The quickest way to heal is to move directly through conflict. If you hold back, trust and confidence cannot be regained.
Tip 3: Take responsibility for your actions.
Taking responsibility means you are willing to accept the repercussions of your actions and do the work necessary to rebuild your marriage.
To rebuild your marriage it will be necessary for both of you to discuss the state of your marriage prior to the affair and what both of you need in order to have a more fulfilling marriage.
Tip 4: Don’t run away when it gets difficult.
It is going to get hard. You may be tempted to run away. Two out of three second marriages divorce, because lessons are not learned from the first marriage. Stay in there and do the work that is necessary. And yes, it will be hard. Someday you will see it was worth it not to cut your losses and run.
Tip 5: Be patient and answer any and all questions, even when re asked.
One question you will be asked is why you did it. You have become unpredictable to your spouse and understanding why makes you a little more predictable in your partner’s eyes. You will need to look deep to answer that question. It is very important and will need more of an answer than “I don’t know” or “I was dumb”.
You are likely to be asked many other questions as well. Be patient.
Tip 6: Be accountable.
Do whatever you need to do in order to rebuild trust.
Share your schedule.
Share your passwords.
Tip 7: Take courage. This will not go on forever.
At the beginning, every day is consumed with the affair.
If you put the first 6 tips into play, then some days will be good and some bad but understand that even on a good day or part of a day, it will still be on your spouse’s mind—a shadow over her day. It will be easily triggered by a song, billboard or a scene from a movie.
It may seem at times, like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is. Hang in there and do the tips I have taught you.
Over time, there will be more good days than bad. It will always be a part of your story, but it could be a turning point for positive change or at least a point in your story as opposed to consuming the narrative of your story.