What Are the Barriers to Rebuilding Your Marriage After the Affair?
By Kajay Williams
Discovery of an affair is incredibly tough on any marriage, and even if both partners are willing to put the time and effort into rebuilding their marriage, it could still be incredibly difficult to fully repair the relationship. There are a number of barriers and stumbling blocks that may have to be navigated in order to rebuild the relationship.
Here are a few common barriers to rebuilding your marriage after the affair and how to overcome them.
The straying spouse is unsure of their spouse’s love
Oftentimes, the straying spouse may choose to remain in contact with their lover as they are unsure of whether or not their spouse has forgiven them or whether or not their spouse still loves them. Because they are unsure of their spouse’s love, they might choose to hang on to the contact with their lover to have a type of “insurance policy”.
They might still text and email their lover, and even if the betrayed spouse does not know about their spouse’s ongoing contact with their lover, they will instinctively know that there is something not quite right in their relationship. No matter how unsure the straying spouse is of their spouse’s love, in order to properly work towards rebuilding their marriage, they should cut off all contact with their lover – cold turkey. If they will be too tempted to contact their lover, they should delete their lover’s telephone number and block their email address.
The straying spouse believes that their spouse will not be able to meet their needs
Having an affair gives a straying spouse a different viewpoint on life. It shows what else is out there, in terms of love, sex and relationships, but it also shows that there are other options aside from their primary relationship. A straying spouse also has some of their needs met by someone other than their marital spouse, and this can leave them thinking that their spouse will not be able to meet their needs.
In order to rebuild the marriage, the straying spouse needs to learn – and appreciate – that their spouse will not be able to meet all of their needs. One person cannot have all of their needs met by just one other person. The straying spouse needs to create stronger relationships between themselves and their friends and family – this way, they will come to realise that they can have a happy and healthy relationship with their spouse, while also getting some of their emotional needs met by others in their life, without having to seek solace in the arms of a lover.
The straying spouse finds it difficult to accept full responsibility for their actions
An affair is a symptom of a bigger problem within a marriage – it would be very rare for a spouse to stray with the sole intent of trying to hurt or upset their partner. Usually, an affair occurs for a very specific reason, perhaps because the primary relationship is breaking down or because the betrayed spouse is not meeting all of the straying spouse’s needs. The straying spouse may believe that the affair was not all their fault – that it was equally their partner’s fault. This belief can make it very difficult for both parties to move on from the affair towards a happier marriage.
To rebuild the marriage, the straying spouse does need to accept full responsibility for their actions. Yes, there may have been bigger problems within the marriage – and yes, the betrayed spouse may have been behaving in such a way that caused problems within the relationship – but the betrayed spouse did not go out and cheat. The straying spouse cheated, and they chose to cross the boundary into actually cheating on their partner.
Because they chose to do that rather than fix their relationship by communicating with their spouse, they need to accept full responsibility for the fact that they broke the rules of their marriage. Once the straying spouse accepts responsibility for their actions – and demonstrates that they are truly sorry for their actions – both parties can start to move on.
The straying spouse believes that their marriage is “dull”
Once an individual has a taste of something illicit – something new, exciting and a little bit dangerous, it can make everything else in their life seem incredibly dull by comparison. An affair is just that – something new, exciting and dangerous, and when the affair is over the straying spouse can feel like their marriage is very dull. The marriage is safe and secure – and most of the time, a marriage stays pretty consistent in terms of what happens in the relationship, and as such, when a straying spouse returns to their marriage, they can view it as a dull and boring.
A straying spouse that bonds with a lover tends to view their marriage in an even more miserable light in an effort to justify their actions to themselves. To successfully rebuild a marriage after an affair, a straying spouse has to put in every effort to remind themselves of why they are in the marriage in the first place.
They need to reconnect with their spouse and remind themselves of why they decided to marry their spouse in the first place – and why they stayed with their spouse through any marriage problems instead of cutting their losses and leaving. Excitement and danger can be fun – but safety, fun and laughter in a long-term committed relationship can be equally as fun.
Finally, a straying spouse may feel sorry for their lover – and because they feel sorry for their lover, they may still hold their spouse at arm’s length so that they can comfort their lover. This will only spell disaster for the marriage and it will make it even more difficult for both partners to move on.
The most important thing about rebuilding a marriage after an affair is that both parties must be totally willing and ready to work on their relationship, to make it as strong as possible. If one or both of the parties is not totally ready to work on the marriage, it will be almost impossible to successfully rebuild it.
What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?
Time To Act: There is hope.
An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.
Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.
Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.
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