Surviving an affair is probably the hardest thing any couple will attempt to do in their lives. We can attest to that fact without question. But we are also here to tell you that it can be done.
Surviving an affair takes hard work and commitment from both partners. It doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage.
So, is your marriage over? There is no simple answer to that question. There is no doubt that the discovery of an affair is a crisis for all concerned. As with any crisis, there is an element of danger but also an element of hope.
The outcome of an affair should be changes for all concerned. In this case, change means moving towards a better marriage, and in some cases a better divorce.
Does your marriage have a chance of surviving an affair?
So how do you know if your marriage stands a fighting chance? Here are some positive signs that your marriage can be rebuilt after an affair:
- Your partner told you about the affair on his/her own.
- Your partner is willing to answer questions about the affair.
- Your partner expresses guilt or remorse.
- Your partner is willing to cut off all contact with his/her affair partner.
- Your partner asks for or agrees to marriage counseling.
- You are willing to let go of resentment and look inside yourself for reasons that your partner may have sought fulfillment of his/her needs with someone else.
- Both of you are willing to make the changes necessary to get your marriage back on solid ground.
If all of the positive signs exist in your situation, then that is fantastic. But it’s not necessary to have all of them in order to have a shot at surviving an affair. As you look at this list, five of the seven positive signs were present after my emotional affair. I did not tell Linda of my affair on my own, as she discovered it and I later admitted it, and we only went to one marriage counseling session, so I won’t count that one. So don’t despair if one or two signs are missing.
Right now, you may not know if surviving an affair is even possible for you. If you see these signs within your marriage you should find that they will lead you to the point where you can forgive, you can trust, you can analyze what went wrong, you can rebuild your relationship and save your marriage by turning it into one that is even better than before.