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An Affair Might Just Be the BEST Thing That Ever Happened To Your Marriage

By on September 12, 2015

5 Ways an Affair Makes Your Marriage Stronger

It’s not what you’re thinking. That headline is not meant to suggest that we should all go out and cheat on our spouses for the sake of our marriage. To the contrary, relationships are stronger when there is trust, commitment, and faithfulness.

There’s a myth, however, that your marriage must end if one of you cheats. Sometimes, that’s not the right answer for couples. Sometimes, in fact, if they can get past the affair, their marriage can come out stronger than before.

Let me preface this by writing that getting past the affair is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. Cheating is a deal breaker for many people, and that’s perfectly fine. On the other hand, if you want to put in the work of confronting, eliminating and dealing with the affair, then here are the positive ways your marriage could come out on the other side:

1. You spend time re-evaluating your relationship.
The affair serves as a wake-up call that gives you an excuse to take your attention off the stuff on your to-do list and puts your marriage back in the spotlight.
You begin to wonder what went wrong, whether you still love each other, and if you can get back to good. Essentially, it makes your relationship top of mind again, and has you analyzing the potential (or lack thereof) of your marriage.
It also gives you a chance to assess whether you have enough feeling for your spouse to work on the relationship and try to move forward or if it’s time to move on separately.

2. It brings other problems to the surface.
Affairs rarely happen out of nowhere. Usually, there are other problems in the marriage that lead up to the betrayal.
While there’s no excuse for breaking your vows, the cheated on have to recognize what might have caused their spouse to stray. Then, you have to work together to address those issues. For example, if you are in a sexless marriage to the chagrin of your spouse, then determine why and figure out how to bring sex back to the relationship. Maybe you argue a lot. What is the root cause of the arguments? How can you resolve them and argue less?

3. You know what you’ve lost.
The revelation of an affair is like a near-death experience for a marriage. Suddenly, spouses realize what life would be like without this other person, without this union.
If the marriage is not salvageable, there’s a sense of relief. But if it can be saved, that sense of loss is tremendous. A desire to hang onto whatever they’re losing is a great motivator for many, and it can stick with a person long after the affair has ended and the couple has moved on.

4. Building trust becomes your never-ending homework.
Of course, the biggest challenge after someone cheats is re-gaining trust. Without trust, you cannot have a successful marriage. Getting trust back requires effort.
For starters, the cheater has to end the affair and have absolutely no contact with this other person. Both people in the relationship have to live up to their word by showing up when they say they will and keeping promises big and small.
Basically, you have to be honest as a post-nose job Pinocchio for as long as you both shall live.

5. You get professional help in therapy or counseling.
Marriage therapists and counselors will tell you that most couples come for professional help when their problems are already too big to tackle. Still, if they go in with the mindset that they both want to make the marriage work, they can often work things out. It sets them up for a better relationship down the road.
Counsellors also can help couples get past the affair and work on these other relationship skills like building trust. Talking to a trained, objective third party also just makes them more comfortable talking to a professional about their marital problems before they get out of hand and lead to bigger problems like cheating. This sets up couples for a better, more beautiful tomorrow.

Do YOU think a relationship can get past an affair?

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