recovering from infidelity
When you are recovering from infidelity you are told that you can never go back to your old marriage.

In Tuesday’s post, Doug discussed how important it is for us as a couple to constantly evaluate our relationship and to make the changes necessary to keep our marriage on track. I feel as if now we have a brand new marriage.  One that is different from what we have experienced for many years.

I know that when you are recovering from infidelity you are told that you can never go back to your old marriage.  In the beginning that was very upsetting to me because there were many aspects of our marriage I wanted to hold on to.  In many respects we had made wonderful memories together and I didn’t want to let them go.  I have learned through time that it is OK to hang on to those memories and build from them.  However, we needed to find a new way to deal with the problems that brought us here initially.

I have combined a list of rituals or behaviors that we have engaged in during our healing process. I feel these acts have been the cement that has held us together this last year and enabled us to move on to the wonderful relationship that we share today.

Many of these behaviors were prevalent in our early years, but unfortunately because of our many obligations they were brushed aside.  We didn’t sit down and say we should start doing these things.  Rather, it just evolved into to things that now are very important and special to us. As you will notice, some of these things are not tremendously exciting (like going to the grocery store) but they are important to us nonetheless.

Recovering from Infidelity and My 16 (simple) Ways to Reinvent Your Marriage List (in no particular order of importance):

1. Displaying appreciation for things we do each day.  Not taking for granted these simple acts that make our lives easier, more fulfilling and happier.

2. Saying “I love you” many times during the day.

3. Keeping in touch if we are apart for a long period of time.

4. Going to the grocery store together.

5. Inviting each other to come along when running errands.

6. Sleeping naked.

7. Holding hands, hugging, kissing and cuddling all night while we are sleeping.

8. Sitting on the couch together and watching the news or going back to bed for some excitement after the kids get on the bus in the mornings.

9. Having a weekly date night.  Doing things we both enjoy- happy hour, listening to bands, watching a sporting event etc.

10. Communicating when we are upset about something.  Each listening to the other’s point of view and discussing issues in a calm manner.

11. Taking the time during the day to stop what we are doing just to talk.

12. Taking weekend afternoon naps together on the couch

13. For me… stop doing so much.  Stop being in constant motion.  Relax and enjoy my husband’s company.

14. Planning special outings, afternoon picnics, camping trips, kayak trips, etc.

15. Taking note everyday of something that I love about my husband.

16. Thinking of ourselves as one and always having the other person in our thoughts, instead of living individually and doing our own thing. (For instance, making each other breakfast, or picking something up from the store that the other person might enjoy.)

Recovering from infidelity has been a long hard road.  But, as you can see, these aren’t really deep psychologically difficult things to do.  However, cumulatively these simple acts add up and are deposited into our “love bank” to show that we care for, trust, enjoy and love each other very much.

If you are to this point in your recovery, we would love to hear ways that you have grown to enjoy and appreciate your mate that have helped you to reinvent your marriage.  If you are not quite to this stage in your recovery, we urge you to try and find ways that will bring back the passion and friendship to your marriage.

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    9 replies to "Recovering From Infidelity – 16 Ways to Reinvent Your Marriage"

    • HarrieB

      I agree with all these and we have developed similar ways to feel more connected. In the start it was hard. The books and “experts” I consulted all said that you have to do this sort of thing and yet the very last thing I wanted to do was to say “I love you” to, or hold the hand of, the man who had broken my heart so callously. I started small – just touching my partner’s shoulder to get his attention and kissing him on the cheek. The next day – pay him a complement on something small thing he has done. The next day fondly brush his hand or arm as you pass. Once again, I emphasise, at the start I was to a certain extent “going through the motions” – I was the one taking responsibility for trying to turn our marriage around and yet sometimes I didn’t necessarily feel like it at all. Perhaps something perverse in me wanted to make sure I commandeered the “moral high ground”…but gradually, the little touches and compliments were reciprocated and, what’s more, mine started to feel more genuine, more heartfelt to me…. There was still a long way to go from that start point, and I think there still is a long way for us to go from where I sit now, but I guess the longest journeys are made up of small steps. Strength, courage and love to you all. XX

      • Doug

        HarrieB, Thanks for sharing that. It was a gradual thing with us at first as well. One can’t just jump into it and expect the other to reciprocate.

    • RAC

      I again thank you both for the inspiration. I am now at the one week mark. Here’s the thing, tho. Already in that week, working thru everything personally, talking to her occasionally, I feel that I have come up with various reasons to explain her emotional affair, but not excuse it. And I have also made a conscious decision, which I have shared with her, that I am going to try and forgive her — try being the operative word. But my prayer is that there are no more secrets and that we can begin moving towards where you two are right now. And so, again, I thank you for sharing your journey and giving me hope.

      • Doug

        Thanks RAC. What has your wife’s response been since you said you were going to try and forgive her? Is she doing things to prove she is remorseful?

        • Duane

          There are always more secrets. Brace yourself and – whew – week one, my thoughts are for you, my brother.

        • RAC

          First, wife’s response from the get go seems to have been remorse. W/o getting into it, I don’t think she did this so much to hurt me (which she did) as she did to try and make herself feel better. That I couldnt get her out of the funk she was in is something I’m still struggling with. But I’m still sticking to the “trying to forgive,” and Duane, I’ve already told her that I’m pretty much at zero tolerance, so if anything else is going to come up, it better come from her. And so far, nothing has. Biggest thing for me is the fact that once caught, she did say she was sorry, and got herself right into therapy. At some point, hopefully we’ll be doing that together, but for now — one day at a time endured by Grace alone.

    • Duane

      There was definitely a “honeymoon” phase just after dday where we indulged in some of these, but it turned out to be survival mode.

      Almost five months out we are just now getting to a calm place where small affections are great rewards.

      We share tea in the morning and make it a point to enjoy one another’s company. To her credit, my wife is better at this than I am.

      We try dinner once in a while (and sex occasionally, but so far it’s been … awkward.)

      For the first four months all we did was talk about the affair. Lately though we’ve been able to reconnect, even if only lightly. Baby steps. I keep telling myself I’m happier today than I was then. Keep on swimming, keep on swimming ….

      • Doug

        Duane, we certainly didn’t do all of these things right away either. It takes time, but any attempt– no matter how seemingly trivial– is a step in the right direction.

    • Done

      Small steps? No thank you! Not unless it involves little skin pokees or eyelash pulling. My husband had a very emotional, physical affair…and “forgot” to use protection for over a year. I would love to sit where you are! Some things are unforgivable… Sharing your deepest feelings AND making a new baby seems to fall in that category. You all should open your eyes to what you have…a foundation to build on. I wish you all the best, since I know the pain is real.

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