Can your marriage recover from infidelity?

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Now you find yourself left trying to pick up the pieces of his or her infidelity, and wondering if you even want to try and save what’s left. Can you get the love back?

Infidelity cuts deep; it’s a betrayal; it undermines trust, destroys self-confidence, eats at your sense of overall security, and it just plain hurts. As if the physical images conjured up in your mind aren’t bad enough, there’s the abandonment by your once-best friend. The emotional side of your spouse’s affair is, in many ways, even more hurtful.

You once loved your partner enough to make that lifetime commitment. In fact you were probably crazy in love (and might still be). After the anguish of discovering your partner’s affair, you might be wondering if you should bother trying to save your marriage at all, or just walk away.

That’s the first sticky issue you’ve got to work through in your own heart; do you want to stay and give your wayward spouse a second chance? Maybe there are children involved, or even (dare we say it) a good deal of money or property. Let’s face it; those things directly affect your quality of life, social ties, security and peace of mind. Maybe, despite everything, you’re still very much in love and willing to do whatever it takes to win that love back. Maybe the thought of losing your mate has actually made you more desperate to hang on no matter what.

What does your cheating spouse want to do? Unfortunately you won’t be able to mend this rift without the two of you working at it. Is he or she willing to seek help or spiritual counseling with you?

An affair destroys that all-important sense of trust a marriage needs. The betrayal triggers deep emotions and stirs up long-buried issues and emotions from childhood. An affair is disruptive to everyone. So what steps do need to take to get your life — and yourself — on the path to healing? Now’s the time to start.

Consider professional marriage counseling, or at least individual therapy. Attend a support group. Talk to your minister or Rabbi. Get fresh perspectives and tactics for working through your issues.

Sometimes it even helps to get objective (tough love) feedback from an online advice columnist you’ve read and respect —someone who’s neutral, who won’t pull any punches, who can give you a lot worth thinking about. Get all the ‘advice’ you can but remember, in the end, you have to go ‘within’ and hear your own heart and the guidance from your higher power. Remember, too, that although you may never forgive the affair, forgiving the person (even the ‘other’ person), at some point, is the most spiritually healing thing you can do.