Infidelity is not a single and clearly perceptible situation. It varies among married couples and between partners in a committed relationship.
In this case, moving on and fixing a marriage following an affair takes more than just understanding and outright forgiveness to put everything behind.
For instance, infidelity may present itself as an emotional connection without sexual relation; or purely sexual without emotional attachment. For some, it could be in the form of an online relationship or cyber-romance.
Therefore, couples need to define infidelity between themselves; and to determine what clearly counts as infidelity and cheating in the context of their relationship.
By having a clear-cut definition on what counts as cheating and what does not, couples can find a way to move on and possibly fix their marriage.
Here are some principles on how to move on and fix the marriage after an affair;
Take some time out
Prior to making a decision as to whether you’ll fix or end your marriage, take some time out to heal, refocus and regain your balance.
Remember that this is not just any kind of decision that you need to make at the height of your confusion and emotional challenges.
Getting professional help that specializes in marital conflicts can be beneficial so you can find lessons and enlightenment that will enable you to approach the situation the best way you can.
Take responsibility for your actions
If you were cheating and unfaithful, be accountable for your actions. It may be difficult to end an affair and to start fixing a broken marriage but these are all consequences of your mistakes.
Learn how to rebuild your boundaries, try to earn the trust of your spouse again and come out as a better and stronger person.
No matter how difficult it is, taking full responsibility for your affair and mistakes can help you from getting into the same situation again. You can possibly learn lifelong lessons along the way.
Seek help from people who care
Seek help from people who won’t judge you for your actions and mistakes. Friends, close family members, marriage counselor and spiritual leaders can all help you get your life back on track.
Identify the people you can trust and seek advice from them. Be honest with the situation and don’t try to alter the weight of the problem no matter how heavy it is.
Approaching the situation with honesty, commitment and sincerity can help you end an affair and bring back anything you might have lost.
Forgiveness does not come instantly in cases where infidelity, cheating and extramarital affairs are concerned. Therefore, it helps to seek for guidance and help from professionals.
You and your spouse/partner can benefit from having marriage counselling. The process can help you put the infidelity into perspective and determine any issues that contributed to the affair.
Moreover, seeking for marriage counseling can help in rebuilding and strengthening your relationship and possibly avoid divorce – assuming that’s your mutual objective.
Revive trust and confidence in your marriage
Create plans and commitments that will help restore trust in your marriage and possibly result to forgiveness. Make compromises and agree on a specific timeline to determine if the process is working.
Reviving trust may be a lifelong process but one step at a time can lead to emotional healing.
And lastly, it also helps to admit your guilt and to make sincere apologies. In doing so, never make justifications for your mistakes; instead, seek for understanding, patience and forgiveness.