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How to Deal With Infidelity in a Marriage

by
author image Barb Nefer
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."
How to Deal With Infidelity in a Marriage
Recovery after cheating isn't easy, but it can be done if both parties are willing to make reconciliation a priority. Photo Credit Jamie Grill/Tetra images/Getty Images

Some marriages are destroyed by infidelity. While the damage may be irreparable, fortunately, this is not always the case. Some couples are willing to commit the time and effort to save their relationship. Recovery after cheating isn't easy, but it can be done if both parties are willing to make reconciliation a priority.

Step 1

Decide whether you are willing to continue with the marriage if your spouse agrees to stop the infidelity. You must be able to forgive the cheating if your partner is willing to break off the affair and take steps to ensure it never happens again. This means you cannot bring it up every time you have a fight or hold it over your spouse's head whenever you get upset.

Step 2

Confront your spouse about the cheating. Focus on facts so your partner won't automatically go on the defensive. Own your feelings with statements like, "I feel hurt and betrayed," instead of making judgments like, "You are a total jerk," which will quickly shut the conversation down.

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Step 3

Agree to a time-out period, if needed. You will need to focus a lot of time and energy on repair efforts if your partner agrees to try to salvage the marriage. Emotions will initially run high, so it may be helpful to give each other some space before starting the hard work. Agree on a mutually acceptable time period -- such as a week or two -- that will allow you both to approach the situation more rationally.

Step 4

Make mutual goals. Both you and your partner will benefit from focusing on reasons to salvage the marriage. Your goals might involve your children, future financial or retirement plans or anything else that binds you together in a positive way.

Step 5

Set up marriage counseling sessions to help you both create and implement a plan to repair the marriage. A counselor gives an unbiased viewpoint and helps you and your spouse identify factors that led to the infidelity, find other potential issues in the marriage and create strategies to strengthen your relationship.

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References

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