Overcome infidelity and save your marriage

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In the grand scheme of things, the actual affair is merely a symptom. Identify and heal the underlying cause, and maybe ‘happily ever after’ can come true, after all.

An affair takes three people. Yes, even you had some part in it, unwittingly or not. The need to seek something outside the marriage indicates something is missing inside the marriage. Except in the case, perhaps, of the ‘serial adulterer’, that means that, once the causes are discovered, you have a good chance of mutually rebuilding your union.

What this delicate situation requires is restored trust, genuine intent, compassion and understanding, as well as the willingness to work hard — as hard as it takes. That means the two of you, as a couple and individually; because a marriage, good or bad, is the result of both parties.

To this end you may find yourself turning to your church for spiritual and emotional guidance, or to a professional counselor or support group. Each step is best monitored, at least at first, by an objective third party who can give honest feedback and help you identify problem areas in communication, expectations or negotiation skills.

Your marriage and family will have to take top priority in your lives, and this means taking plenty of time for you two as a couple. Yes, the kids need help and support to deal with the crisis, if they’re aware of it, but unless you make your marriage the number one focus of your attention, everything else is at risk.

It is a lot of work, but try to make it fun, too. Get back to a dating mentality; create indulgent, playful and delicious experiences for yourselves as a couple and regain as much as you can of the lost emotional and physical intimacy. Who knows, maybe you’ll do more than just stay together — maybe you’ll fall in love all over again.