The “point of no return” is different for everyone. For many couples, cheating defines this point. Natasha Miles sheds light on recovering from infidelity.
An ugly truth of today is when we stand at the altar to make a vow of forever, sometimes it’s not.
We don’t go in thinking, “This may not work, so let me have a backup plan.” Life happens, and sometimes all the wonderful things you planned for the future go down the drain. Sometimes it feels like staying in a marriage is hell on Earth, and it’s easier just to give up or take a break.
You try to do everything you can think of to save your marriage. You talk with each other, you get advice from family, friends, you get professional help and nothing seems to work. You’re both angry, hurt, confused and desperate for a solution. Sometimes you end up doing something you thought you would never do… you decide to separate or have an affair.
Now the question is what do you do, and if there are children things are even more confusing.
If there is an affair, do you confess? Do you hide it? Do you end it? So many questions, and so much guilt. However, though it may seem it, it’s not the end of the world. I can tell you this because I’ve been there. Its not a day at the park, and if you decide to work it out, things will be hard and damn near hopeless; but, the situation is not impossible.
What works for one couple may not work for you, but you have to try. My husband and I separated for a few months, both having relations outside of our marriage. We worked it out (and so can you).
Marriage is work every single day, and when you have issues, it’s even more work.
Remember, you married this person for a great reason. People change, and sometimes we get so comfortable in a relationship we miss those changes and take the person for granted.
Here are a few tips that will help:
Pray Together & For Each Other
I am a firm believer that God can bring peace to any situation. Although the answers you get may not always be what you want, He gives you what you need. Praying together will help both parties open up to each other and to God. Likewise, praying alone and spending one-on-one time with God can help open you to areas that need to be worked on.
Address Issues at the Root of Your Problems
By addressing core issues, you can pin point how to start healing, and fixing the problems. Let me warn you, by doing this feelings may be hurt and emotions will run high; but, you can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken and how it got that way. Step by step, day by day, things change.
If Needed, Get Professional Help
There is nothing wrong with seeking help. As long as the source can be neutral and you both trust them. For my husband and I, it was a mix of help from our pastor, along with a couple who we trusted from our church. Get help, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. What’s more important, your pride or family?
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Everyone has a part to play in the good and bad of a relationship. Putting all the blame on one person isn’t the answer; acting as if you were perfect isn’t the answer either. Sometimes people cheat for no reason other than they just don’t want to control themselves. Sometimes they felt like they were missing something, or weren’t being heard when they tried to communicate their needs.
Never Stop Learning About Your Spouse
The person you married is not the person you see today. Everyone changes the older they get. While our values and what we hold important tend to stay the same, we do change. In your 20s, hanging out in the club till 4am was the thing to do, but by your 30s your perspective has probably changed. So take a day and just talk with each other. Maybe her taste in clothing has changed, maybe he’s picked up a new hobby. Have your goals for your marriage changed during the years? We are always evolving, so take the time to stay up to date on your spouse. It feels good when you know your loved one is interested in you.
(Re)Capture Their Heart
Now, we all know how the story goes. You meet a new person, so you dress up, make sure you smell good… you put in real effort. You leave sweet notes, say an extra “I love you,” you make sure this person knows how much you want them in your life. Why do we stop doing those things? How hard is it to help around the house without her asking? How hard is it to dress up or cook a special meal for no reason? I have three kids, an in-home business, and I homeschool, so some nights when my hubby gets home I feel so gross, all I want to do is fall into bed; but I try to remember that he needs my time too. Sometimes I don’t feel like it, but to see the look of appreciation makes it worth it. It doesn’t happen every night, but I want him to know appreciate him. He does the same for me as well.
Let Small Crap Go
Focused on what matters. Picking about little stuff can do more harm than good as it draws precious energy from the partnership. The more you look at the small stuff, the less the main issues are prioritized. When you feel yourself reacting to an “issue,” ask yourself: is this truly impacting the relatioinship in a negative way? Is this harmful to the relationship? or simply annoying to me? Is this an opportunity for me to do personal work?
Talk Dreams & Talk Goals
When you started out did you have a plan or a goal for your marriage? Time has a funny way of eclipsing these initial aspirations, but you can recover them. What are things that you both want to do? What are things you’d both like to let go? Set a monthly goal-setting date to check-in and recalibrate your progress as a couple.
When You Fight, Fight Fair
Set ground rules and stick to them. When arguments come up its easy to name call, bring up old arguments, and push buttons you know will hurt. DON’T DO IT! Make sure you are fighting about the problem at hand. Don’t push to get a reaction simply because you want one. Listen to what’s being said and then form an answer. If one person needs to walk away for a minute, let them and then come back. As often as you can, end the fight in a hug (even if you still feel like throwing bricks at them).[image: via pixabay.com]