A question I receive all the time is, “how can I save my marriage after my spouse has found out about my affair?”
First, it’s important for people to understand that infidelity doesn’t have to be a marriage deal breaker. Although challenging, many of the couples I’ve worked with have built their marriages to be even stronger than before the act of infidelity.
Secondly, and this may come as a shock to many, but it’s important not to be too forceful about your spouse ending his/her affair. It’s simply human nature that if someone is pushed too hard in one direction, they will react by pulling away in the other. By backing off a little bit, you give your spouse the space he/she needs to end the affair on their own terms, which usually occurs within the first six months.
If you, or someone you know is going through a similar situation, I highly encourage you to work with one of my Divorce Busting Coaches. They will help to give you a full play-by-play guide for how to approach this very sensitive situation.
My full advice for how to handle this situation can be seen in the video below.
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Full Video Transcript:
Hi I’m Michele Weiner Davis and I’m the founder of DivorceBusting.com and today’s topic is about infidelity.
One question that people ask me a lot is “how do I save my marriage when I know my spouse is having an affair?”
Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it’s not quite so simple. Let me talk about the simpler situation first. I just had a couple this week where the wife was having an affair and the husband snooped a little bit and found out that she had actually met this guy in another city and he was devasted and confronted her about it, and she was so remorseful. She loves her husband. She doesn’t really know how this happened. She made a bad choice. She would do anything to save her marriage.
Then it’s clearer what to do to save the marriage because she was willing to give up this affair and give it up cold turkey. Then they could begin to heal and begin to rebuild the foundation of their relationship. He had the right to ask her to do whatever he needed her to do to comfort him.
However, many situations aren’t like that. One person finds out the other person is having an affair and that spouse is not willing to give up that affair. When the spouse is confronted they get very angry, defensive. “I can’t believe you were snooping, this is my life”. Let’s face it, then you do not have any leverage. You have a choice to make. You can dry a line in the sand and say I’m not going to put up with this, “you need to end this affair or it’s over.” Chances are, I’m telling you, nobody likes to be pressured into a corner. You’re likely to end your marriage.
If you want to save your marriage, you have to do something that is counter-intuitive. It will take all of your strength. It will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You have to back off, you have to give your spouse a little space. Because most affairs end within 6 months. It’s a complicated thing, because you need to focus on your own life and not put pressure on your spouse to end their affair. Sometimes you have to have some expert advice to hold your hand and walk you down that route so you know exactly what to do.
That’s where a Divorce Busting Coach can really come in handy. They will give you a step by step map of what you need to say or what you need to do, and most importantly what you need not to say or do to the spouse who is having an affair. So test the waters. You can confront your spouse, but if your spouse gives you a hard time, do not pressure your spouse any further. You can actually make matters worse. A line in the sand may just mean the end of your marriage. Consider using a Divorce Busting Coach to help you find the way.