Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions for Affair Recovery

(Note:  This is a re-post from last year, but we’ve updated it for 2018)

Happy New Year!

Every year we spend a great deal of time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s working on our resolutions for the upcoming new year.

This year, we did things a little differently.  This year we set work and personal goals as usual, but only one real resolution – To work diligently on achieving our goals!

That may sound weird to some of you, but it works for us – at least we hope it will!

That said, we certainly understand how difficult it is to even think about goals and resolutions after experiencing infidelity and during a marriage crisis. Surviving each day often feels like the only possible goal.

We like to think of each new year as a new beginning of sorts, and we want to help you gain some footing and some direction if you need it by providing you with a list of possible resolutions for affair recovery.

They may not all fit your situation and if that’s the case, add your own below in the comment section.  Additionally, we encourage you to use this list as a reference to create your own goals/resolutions and refer to it often.  Daily is best.

But we also encourage you to go a step further.

When making your list of goals or resolutions, for each one, come up with a few of your key motivations for that goal.  Put some meaning behind it so that it will motivate you more to accomplish it.

For instance, let’s take the goal, “Read at least 6 books this year on affair recovery, relationships, marriage building and/or self-development.”

On the surface, you might think, “OK, that’s fair enough, I think I might be able to accomplish that.  Let’s go for it”  Then what will happen is a few weeks into 2018 you’ve forgotten about it or you just don’t care anymore.

See also  31 Survivors Share Their Lessons Learned, Mistakes Made and Affair Advice

What you need to do is add some key motivations behind that goal.  Things like:

  • By educating myself on affairs and their dynamics, I will be better able to know what I’m really up against and what to expect.
  • If I don’t educate myself of this stuff, my recovery timeline may become longer.
  • The knowledge I gain will help me to heal my marriage and eventually make it better than ever.
  • It will motivate me to become the best person I can possible be.

Then review your key motivations  regularly as well.  We do this on a weekly basis, but you may want to do so more or less frequently.

OK, now on to the resolutions for affair recovery.  (And remember to add your own to the list in the comment section below the post.)


Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions for Affair Recovery

Resolutions for the Betrayed Spouse

  • Make your health a number one priority by getting enough sleep, eating nutrient dense food, and having a good friend to speak with often.
  • Work on thoughts that would imply you need to take the blame. Your mantra should be: “I did not cause this, I did not create this, and I cannot control the bad behavior of my spouse.”
  • Become assertive and ask for actions from your wayward spouse that hold him or her accountable.
  • Ask your spouse what practical steps they will take to stay away from the other person. Have your spouse discuss a plan with you.
  • Look for a good couple’s therapist, mentor or pastor, trained in infidelity recovery, who can help.
  • Read at least 6 books this year on affair recovery, relationships, marriage building and/or self-development.
  • Ensure all contact is cut with the other person.
  • Stop begging, pleading and being clingy with your spouse.
  • If you feel you are stuck in a victim mentality, acknowledge that you have control of your life and your actions and reactions.
  • Resolve to not stand for your unfaithful spouse’s poor behavior, and should it continue, don’t be afraid to enforce consequences.   
  • Do not allow the wayward spouse to blame you for ruining his or her fun. Your wayward spouse may have become addicted to the other person, but all addictions need to be treated and come to an end.
  • Go to the doctor and get a health check. You need to ensure that your wayward spouse has not transmitted something to you. This is especially critical for women to do since some forms of HPV, which have no immediate outward sign, can cause cervical cancer.
  • Realize that no matter what your spouse tells you, your spouse made a choice.
  • Do not listen to thoughts, family members, or friends that tell you that you are not good enough.
  • Decide on whether or not your children should know and why or why not.
  • Develop a plan for triggers. Who can you call when you are faced with a debilitating trigger? What can you do to take your mind off of it?
  • Get rid of any friends who want to drag you down.
  • Resolve to focus on yourself more this year.  Exercise, meditate, pray, hang out with friends more, buy some new clothes, golf more, get involved in volunteer work or take those continuing education classes that you have been wanting to take for years. etc.
  • Try to stop comparing yourself to the affair partner and your marriage/relationship to the fantasy-filled affair relationship.
  • Be yourself.
See also  My Process for Forgiving the Emotional Affair


Resolutions for the Unfaithful Spouse

  • If you haven’t already done so…End the affair!
  • Stop the lies, the trickle truth, the gaslighting, stonewalling, blame shifting and deceptive behavior.
  • Be more proactive in discussing the affair and what was going through your mind at the time.
  • Be open to answering any questions that your spouse may have in a calm, non-defensive manner.
  • Read at least 6 books this year on affair recovery, relationships, marriage building and/or self-development.
  • Strive to be more empathetic towards your spouse.
  • Stop blaming your affair on your spouse.
  • Be more aware and sympathetic towards your spouse when he/she experiences triggers or other signs of trauma.
  • Resolve to lead a life of transparency, honor and integrity.
  • Analyze your affair and understand how and why it happened and how fantasy probably was a big factor.
  • Find a trusted friend, clergy, relative, therapist or mentor to talk to a share what you are experiencing.
  • Work towards eliminating guilt and shame as an emotional crutch.
  • Devise a plan as to how you are going to stay away from your affair partner and share it with your spouse.
  • Resolve to look within yourself to discover what truly makes you do the things you do.
  • If you want to be trusted, prove it with your actions.
  • Resolve to commit 100% to your marriage and to your spouse’s healing, and do whatever it takes.
  • Express your remorse and make amends for your behavior.
  • Stop letting your ego run your life.
  • Resolve to face your fears and your self-serving mindset and be willing to accept the consequences for what you’ve done.
  • Never tell your spouse to “Just get over it” or “Move on” again.  There is no timeline for recovery and healing.
See also  Midlife Crisis and Infidelity

There you have it.  Your 2018 New Year’s resolutions for affair recovery.  We know we may have omitted a few, so please add your own to this list in the comment section below.

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    15 replies to "Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions for Affair Recovery"

    • TryingHard

      Great advice Doug and Linda.

      I posted a link to a good article from Psychology Today.

      Happy New Years all

    • Rose

      My H continues to private message women (“old friends”) on FB despite my protests that he is crossing the line. I can read them and they are mostly benign but how come I don’t get lovey messages from him at Christmas and birthdays? People he barely knows get them but not me. He wrote to one of his male friends about some jewelry he was giving me “to get me out of the doghouse.” I feel like throwing it in the garbage. There’s not gonna be any clean slate until he stops the stupidity.

      • Tired

        Rose, I think he is doing this for the instant gratification that comes when he sends it (not that this makes his behaviour ok). He probably gets a reply from these women that boosts his ego. He feels like they want and admire him. My husband’s affair partner said to him early on that “all (our) messages were so boring about things to do around the house, etc.” She used to answer his phone while he was working because he was unable to. She used that comment as a tool to look more exciting to him. The connotations said “I (she) wouldn’t be that boring.” Cow she is. And pile on the praise she did, which is why he ended up in the affair. Im going to take a leaf out of her book.

        I’ve recently read a book by Laura Schlessinger called “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.” While the title almost made me throw up, the book really resonated with me. I realised this is probably what my husband wants me to do. This is probably what all men want. Even if he has vacuumed the floor he expects me to notice and praise him the moment I walk through the door. No mind I’ve worked all day and just want to collapse. And so upset and hinting for me to notice if I do not. And never mind that I do it much more often than he does! I also realised what I might be doing unintentionally to make him feel like “less of a man.” It annoys me to think I have to kow-tow to someone who cheated on me, but I think she is right and that men have a biological need to feel powerful and admired as the alpha male. Pathetic, I know…

        • Rose

          Oh for sure that he’s an attention whore. And as soon as he shows even a tiny bit of remorse, stops the behavior and starts paying even as much attention to me as he does his “friends” maybe we can start working on things.

    • Shifting Impressions

      For the new year a book I would highly recommend reading is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. If you are anything like me, I find making a list of resolutions for the New Year rather challenging. For the last few years I have chosen ONE WORD for the year. As someone recovering from my husband’s emotional affair, at times I clung to those words as anchors in a stormy sea.

      But four years have passed since d-day and I want more than just survival…..I want the joy and passion back in my life. I was thinking the word PASSION might be good for 2018 but I am hesitant to use that word as it just seems to BIG of a word. So I have decided to use the title of Jeff’s book THE SLIGHT EDGE. It’s about the small changes we can make on a daily basis….those small positive changes can reap huge benefits.

      For me these small changes are personal changes….regardless of what other people in my life are doing. They are about becoming healthier, stronger and more positive. I have spent the last four years grieving, as many of you here have. Enough….it’s time to start living again. Time to embrace life to the fullest.

      I wish all of you the best in the coming new year. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for all of your encouragement. I know that I would not be as far along as I am without you.

      • TryingHard

        Hi SI and All. Happy 2018. SI I always appreciate your book recommendations and i will def be ordering this one. Thanks for suggesting it

        It’s funny i think we may be in the same page. I too like the idea of making a word your resolution. Mine this year is Reinvent. I strongly believe in educating yourself in many areas of life and as i continue reading and educating myself I’ve found a lot i want to do differently. I’m not going to go into detail just what I’m going to do to reinvent but one thing i will do is when im at a crossroads I’m going to stop and ask what the old TH would do and do something different with a challenge or a choice. Going to add a little mystery about it as well 🙂

        I actually think many cheaters are doing just this when they choose to cheat. And NO I’m not going to look for a new man. I believe all people want to change things up a bit or rock their world, shed an old skin. I can’t do a triathlon or a 5k and besides that wouldn’t satisfy me. But i have lots of plans for personal growth.

        My word last year to Detach emotionally worked great and I’m going to continue on that quest. I had a tragic loss over the holidays the death of my younger sister. I am devastated and no one will replace her. I know i will grieve this loss for a long time. But my emotional detachment helped when dealing with illness and bad reports from the doctors. Doesn’t mean i haven’t been crying my eyeballs out! But i know this is part of the process so i am handling the emotional waves well.

        Also part of my reinvent means EA won’t be hearing much from me. I feel I’ve said and helped all i can here and it’s time for me to move on. If anyone would like to contact me privately please request my email from Doug. I’ll stop by once in a while to check in but not nearly as regularly.

        Thank you all so much for being a valued support system these past few years. I wish you all the very best.

        • Doug

          Hey TH. I sure am sorry to hear of the death of your sister. That is indeed tragic. Boy, I’m sad to see you go! I’ve certainly enjoyed your wisdom, humor and no-nonsense advice over the past years. Hopefully, you’ll pop in once in a while and let us know how you’re doing. We’re going to start a category on the site for self-care/personal growth type stuff and you can be our lead writer! 😉 (And you know how to get a hold of me!)

          Take care!

        • Tired

          I am so sorry to hear this Trying Hard. I have always enjoyed reading your posts and those of other regular commenters and I think you make so much level-headed sense. I tend to be a bit impulsive at times and I wish I had a more thoughtful approach as you do (usually after I’ve gone on a rant). I am wishing you a lot of strength for the time ahead. How very sad. I feel like I know many of the regular people…even though I don’t post much myself I am often reading it all. Best wishes to you.

      • Tired

        Hi SI. I have actually read this book. It was recommended to me by my husband. I read it as applying to career advancement but I never even thought about how it could be applied to relationships. You are so right. I’m going to read it again with that mindset!

        • Shifting Impressions

          Funny how so much of what I read now, I try to apply it to relationships and I see everything through the lens of betrayal.

          I guess it shows we are forever changed by infidelity….I know I will never be quite the same.

          • Tired

            You are right about that lens of betrayal. I didn’t even think of it when I read the book because I never thought my husband would do such a thing. You are right. We are changed forever. Now whenever I read anything, see a movie etc, everything is about affairs.

            I do feel that if this hadn’t happened we would have just gone on not addressing the real issues though. It was a wake up call for me I guess. I didn’t put enough into the relationship and I know that now. Otherwise my wonderful supportive husband would never have done that. It’s hard to get past it but I have done a lot of self reflection as well and I’m trying to change the things I did badly. Hard when you’re so angry though. You can never fix a marriage by cheating and I think that’s what my husband was trying to do. He was so obvious it was like he wanted to get caught. Shame he didn’t just talk about it. However, if he did I’m not sure I would have listened. I probably would have just gotten angry and carried on.

            I so wish I had the knowledge and sense I do now when I was 16 years old!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Don’t we all wish that lol!!!
              You are so right you never fix anything by cheating. I think it’s often about so much more than fixing a marriage. It’s about trying to fix something inside themselves.

              You are right about an affair being a wake up call. We came close to losing it all. We work on treating each other with more care than we used to.

              Be kind to yourself….no matter what the circumstances, it was still your husband’s choice to cheat. I’m not even close to perfect, but I refuse to take any of the blame for my husband’s actions. We all face ups and downs in life, our marriages included but cheating just makes everything so much worse.

              I don’t know if they ever fully understand the depth of the pain their cheating caused. Four years later I still struggle with the dishonesty.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Trying Hard
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister….my thoughts are with you. Losing someone you love never gets easier does it.

      I like your word reinvent….so many ways one could run with that. And yes that detachment thing we were both working on last year was really great. It’s something I will definitely continue on as well.

      I will miss your presence on this site….you have made me laugh and have touched me many times with your compassion and insight. But I totally understand there comes a time to move on. Yes please check in now and again….or for sure I will have to hunt you down.

      Take care….I wish you all the best.

    • TheFirstWife

      Trying Hard. I am sorry for the loss if your sister. A death during the holiday season is even more difficult for so many obvious reasons.

      I hope you have fond memories of her and something of hers you can treasure.

    • Rachel

      Trying hard, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your sister.
      Best if luck to you and thank you for always lending an ear and for your kind words.

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