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Forgiving Infidelity

The discovery that your spouse has been having a extramarital affair can be one of life's most painful experiences. But you should be aware that although many marriages are dissolved due to infidelity since a breach of trust of this nature is difficult to overcome, it is still possible to save your marriage. Recreating trust is a delicate process, and one that requires both spouses to be fully engaged while working to put their relationship back together. After ending the affair, the unfaithful spouse must begin with an apology, an expression of regret, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to reestablish the trust of the betrayed spouse. The injured spouse must also be committed to the arduous process of getting the relationship back on track, but their process will begin with finding ways to manage their emotional pain. Once both partners have committed to the teamwork necessary to reconstruct the relationship, they can begin to explore the reasons why the affair occurred, and the parts of the relationship that must change in order to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

But what is important to understand about the aftermath of an affair is that although the marriage be mended and can improve over time, it will not improve quickly. Both partners must be aware that the healing process takes time, and there are moments when they will feel disheartened and discouraged. Both parties must anticipate the normal ups and downs that will occur the healing phases, and realize that emotional volatility is part of the healing process.

Discussions about the affair are important part, and the sharing of information can be an integral part of recreating trust. The unfaithful spouse may have difficulty with this conversation because they often feel guilty, embarrassed, and remorseful, and the injured spouse may have problems listening to the details, but honest communication is part of the equation that helps rebuild trust.

It is imperative that partners be willing to explore and identify the reasons that led to the decision to have an affair, and to discuss their feelings in an open manner. When faced with this kind of issue, many couples often seek the assistance of a couple's counselor to help them through these discussions. This kind of honest communication is what helps couples begin to make the changes necessary to create a trusting, happy and enduring marriage.

Couples who successfully reestablish trust in their marriages not only talk about the affair and the circumstances that led up to it, but also recognize the importance of spending time together when unpleasant subjects do not come up. To reconnect, couples must create interactions that will nurture their relationship.

The final step in recovering from your spouse's infidelity is forgiveness. If you are willing to work though the emotional trauma, and make a conscious decision to start over, your relationship can be restored. When you finally make a decision to forgive your spouse, and to love without judgement, it is then that you will have created the opportunity to reestablish intimacy and begin again.

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