Mort Fertel gives you ways to rebuild a relationship in the wake of infidelity.
How would you react if you found out your spouse was cheating on you? Would you ‘kick ‘em to the curb’, so to speak, or would you give them a second chance? Though it may seem like there’s only one right answer, every couple is different, says global marriage expert Mort Fertel.
“While you may think you can never forgive a cheater, the truth is, you don’t know how you’ll react until you’re in the moment,” says Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness and the creator of the Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp Series
“Faced with the prospect of splitting up or excusing an unfaithful partner, many people choose to forgive and move forward. These people aren’t weak-willed or crazy, they simply analyze the costs and benefits of their options and decide that staying together is the easier of the two paths. When you are forced to consider undesirable circumstances like sharing custody of children, paying alimony, having less disposable income, living in a smaller house, or entering the dating pool again, working on the relationship often comes across as the better of the two options.”
If, in the wake of infidelity, you think your marriage is hopeless and you’re ready to throw in the towel, it might be time to call in a lawyer. If however, you still feel like there is room for reconciliation, try these steps to improve and rebuild your relationship.
Give it Time
Though it may not seem possible, the affair will likely run its course. If you love your wife and see a future where you’re able to forgive, hang in there. Affairs are founded on lies and deceit and tend not to grow into a deeper connection. If you’re willing to put effort into saving your marriage, part of what that requires is biding your time and waiting to see how it plays out.
When you suspect your spouse is having an affair, it can be tempting to snoop. You may want to know as much about it as possible, but keep yourself in the dark. When you spy on your partner, you’re violating her trust. Though you may not feel like she deserves your trust and respect right now, two wrongs don’t make a right. Your marriage needs someone to take the moral high ground if it stands a chance of surviving infidelity. Maintain your decency and integrity rather than resorting to spying.
Catch More Flies with Honey…
A part of you may want to detach from the marriage and hurt your spouse as much as she’s hurting you. It’s hard not to want to inflict some emotional pain on the person who has crushed your heart, but when you lower yourself to her level, you put your marriage even more at risk. When you’re kind, it tugs on their conscience and ruins their justification for cheating on you. They say “kill her with kindness” and when it comes to affairs, that’s often the only way to manage the situation.
Seduce Them All Over Again
Often times, people cheat because they want the initial thrill of a relationship all over again. Marriages can become stale or unexciting. Try seducing your wife like you once did early in your relationship. You might feel vindicated by withholding intimacy. But what does that really accomplish? It merely drives a wedge further into your marriage. Remember that the accomplice in the affair is the “other man”, you are the husband. Reignite the old flame and she’ll be reminded what she’s missing.
Infidelity doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Figure out how you feel about the situation and approach your next moves with as much compassion and composure as you can muster. Take solace in the fact that it can happen to anyone, in any marriage. No matter how you decide to move forward with your relationship, whether you opt to separate or stay together, maintain your integrity throughout the ordeal and don’t resort to immature, vengeful tactics.
photo: Patrick Doheny / flickr