Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marriage After an Affair - It Starts With You

Marriage after an affair is a very difficult proposition. Infidelity will cause pain, suspicion, doubt and even hate. but if you have been the victim of a cheating spouse and you have decided to try and make it work you need a plan. You need to be ready for the difficult road ahead that will challenge your weakened relationship even further. How do you get ready? The answer is that you have to focus on "you"

It seems unfair that after your husband or wife cheated on you that the eventual outcome of trying to work on your marriage should fall on you. Unfortunately, this is the case. The "normal" way of dealing with infidelity in marriage is to start asking questions. Often these questions are something like "how could he do this to me?". How can I ever trust her again?", or "what did I do to make him/her cheat on me?". These questions are completely normal and they are the result of us trying to rationalize actions that we cannot understand.

The danger with this line of thought is that is leads away from the problem and eventually results in excuse making. The spouse that was cheated on starts to blame herself or himself for the actions of the offending partner. They start to blame stress, lack of sex, the "fight we had last week" or any other factor they can think of. This is called externalization. This is when we assign external reasons for the emotions we are feeling inside, and it is not conducive to a frame of mind that is objective and ready to take on the challenges of a cheating spouse.

You need to turn inwards and start to think about you. How do you feel about the situation? you have to look inwards in order to be able to formulate objective plans to deal with what will be very difficult decisions in the times ahead. You see, externalizing the problem right from the get go leads to the lack of a foundation on which to build on and repair your marriage. This is much like building a home on a weak foundation. As soon as you learn of the infidelity you must turn inward and start your internal healing. Only then can you deal with what is to come. Marriage after an affair is like rebuilding home, and you are the foundation.

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