If you wish to build a loving and intimate marriage after an affair, you and your spouse must be sincere with each other about how you are feeling and what you desire for the future of the marriage.
Whether it is physical or emotional, affairs rip the fabric of a marriage. An affair can feel as if there is no alternative other than divorce. The pain a victim spouse feels is both emotional and physical. And, whether you had an affair or suffered from your spouse’s affair, the painful reality is that your marriage vows have been broken. But, an affair doesn’t have to mean divorce.
It is possible to restore your marriage after an affair. I’ve witnessed it happen on many occasions. I’ve heard many say, “Infidelity is something I’d never forgive,” but there are options other than divorce. And, if there is even a spark of love left, the choice about whether to try and save your marriage is up to you. I’m all for at least trying to restore love and trust after an affair, so I suggest you lean into the work of restoration and healing before calling it quits.
Finding out your spouse had an affair is a kick in the gut. If you’re reading this article, you already know that to be true. To find a new balance in your marriage and rebuild the lost love and trust, it’s important to work at forming an emotional attachment with your spouse again.
Below are 6 tips to help rebuild an emotional attachment with your spouse after an affair.
1. Acknowledge the damage done.
Attachment is about building a bond with a spouse you love. For bonding to happen, it’s important that you both acknowledge that damage has been done to the relationship and admit to any personal flaws. When there is a decent connection still established between a couple, I’m a firm believer that any obstacle can be overcome and a new bond built if both spouses can own their flaws and take responsibility.
2. Stay open to being touched by your spouse.
I’m not suggesting you participate in intimate behaviors you are not ready to engage in. But, being close physically is an important step toward rebuilding a strong connection. Holding hands, sitting close while watching television, or a kiss before leaving the house each morning goes a long way toward reestablishing that lost attachment. If you still need time to work up to being touched, that’s OK. It is important, though, to get to a place where their touch doesn’t make your skin crawl.
3. Show your spouse kindness and consideration.
Yeah, this will be hard to do if you’re the one who was cheated on. Here is my take on the situation, you’ve been married for years, maybe decades, and the affair is only one incident in all that time together. There are years and years of loving, bonding interactions between you and your spouse. If you must draw from those memories to show kindness and consideration toward the person who cheated on you, it will be worth the effort in the long run.
If you’re the spouse who cheated, this step is especially important for you. Knowing that it is your behavior that has caused such tremendous pain for your spouse should make it easy for you to show them kindness and consideration. And, for you, I’ll throw in patience. It will take your spouse time to come to terms with and overcome the pain of your cheating. Be willing to be as kind and as considerate as they need.
4. Hold onto hope.
Hoping for a better marriage is the best medicine for mending relationships after an affair. If both spouses can commit to rebuilding the marriage and contributing something towards saving your relationship, hope will spring eternal.
For you, hope is the belief that in the future, your marriage will get better. How does someone in your situation remain hopeful? Trust yourself to be able to do what is necessary to “manifest” whatever it is you’re hoping for. Trust that what you hope for and want can and will most likely, in fact, come to be.
5. Demonstrate, through action, that you will be there for each other.
Emotional accessibility and support are the foundations of a successful marital relationship. Your partner needs to realize that you will be there for them. That’s correct; at the most conflict riddle time in your marriage, if there is going to be reconciliation, you must be sure the person who cheated on you knows you are there for them.
You’ll both suffer your own brand of emotional upheaval after the affair and while attempting to restore your marriage. Although the one cheated on will need more emotional support, the one who did the cheating will also have those needs. For you to rebuild an emotional attachment, you’ll need to put yourself out there and be there for the cheater while they work through their stuff also.
6. Show that you are sincere in your desire to save your marriage.
Sincerity is a great asset to relationships since it is correlated with higher degrees of trust and respect. If you wish to build a loving and intimate marriage, you and your spouse must be sincere with each other about how you are feeling and what you desire for the future of the marriage. Trust and respect can’t be rebuilt if you aren’t 100 percent certain your spouse is being sincere with you. And, when it comes to building trust, sincerity is the most difficult element of your relationship to obtain. This would explain why cheating has a greater emotional impact on a spouse than a spouse who forgets a birthday or anniversary.
You want to rebuild trust and respect. To do that, you must start being nakedly sincere with your spouse.