If you have the will, here are the ways.
This past Saturday, the path to the Super Bowl looked dire for the Arizona Cardinals when the Green Bay Packer’s Aaron Rodgers heaved a 41-yard pass to Jeff Janis in the end zone to send the game into overtime. It was only a matter of time until the “Discount Double-Check” man would again return to the NFC Championship to avenge last year’s loss in the same game.
In overtime, however, that turned out not be the case as the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald willed his team one step closer by catching a 75-yard pass play and the final shovel pass into the end zone to get his team one step closer to chance at winning the Super Bowl, the pinnacle of this popular sport.
There are times when relationships look just as dire, especially after infidelity. In a recent Psychology Today article, it was reported that even after the affair, 70 percent of couples still try to reconcile their marriage.
Since the spouse who was betrayed is the one most seeking answers, it is vital that the one who strayed do whatever possible to will the relationship back to good standing.
In order to be successful, here are five things you must do to get back on track.
1. Talk it out.
Putting your head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge that the affair happened will only lead to anger or contempt by you as well as your spouse. You will get angry, because you will think, “Does my spouse even care that I had to seek the arms of another person?” On the flip side your partner will never be able to trust you again because you didn’t have the guts to acknowledge that you made a mistake.
Talking about the affair is only one aspect of communication that is important to healing. You should also discuss what each other needs from the marriage to feel whole again.
2. Get on the same track.
The path to reconciliation starts with making the commitment to help each other understand that you care. You may have to speak to an outside party to cut through the initial pain, but most of the work will be on your shoulders.
Consider yourself to be starting a brand new relationship. Find new places or activities to share. For some couples, renewal of marriage vows may be a symbolic reset to their relationship. This approach may help you and your partner address the betrayal (and other issues as well). Many couples also report that their relationships are subsequently happier and more fulfilling, but this will not happen overnight.
3. Encourage the betrayed partner to air their pain in a letter.
A written expression will allow the person to truly get in touch with their feelings without having to look you in the eye and without being interrupted. Keep in mind that no matter what you read in that letter, you take the pain and anger no matter how uncomfortable.
You must anticipate that your partner will be on a roller coaster of emotions. Mood changes, sleep and appetite disruption, health declines, sudden tears, anger or withdrawal are natural. They may be alright today and then devastated again tomorrow. Be patient as they go through the process. It is a process.
4. Talk about why you chose to have the affair and what contributed to that choice.
You may find that either you weren’t feeling desired by your partner, or maybe your constant travel just gave you the opportunity to explore an illicit affair. Unraveling the why will give both of you the chance to make changes in your lives to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
5. Make your marriage a priority.
This means showing your partner she means the world to you and is (once again) first in your life. Speak highly of your partner in a genuine way, being careful to protect her reputation when you speak to others.
Also make a point to try and spend at least 15 hours each week together, giving each other undivided attention. By scheduling that much time together you can better meet each other’s emotional needs for affection, conversation, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment.
After infidelity, if you can will yourself to a better marriage and have the strength and determination to get this done, the reward will be a partnership that grows in depth, honesty and intimacy. And you will be a better man for it.