How Do I Fix My Marriage If My Husband Has Cheated?
Beyond Breath TV: Can My Marriage REALLY Be Fixed After My Husband Has Cheated?
Here’s the ugly truth: infidelity is much more common than you think. If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing that you already know something about the devastation it leaves in its wake. Both spouses can find themselves feeling broken in ways they never could have imagined. I understand from my own experience how painful and overwhelming this is and I want to help you through it.
Today I want to talk to you about two things that you've probably done or been told to do to fix your marriage. I’m going to show you why these approaches aren't working. Then, I’m going to explain to you the three steps that will actually set you on a path toward healing your marriage. You probably haven’t heard of them, but they have a proven track record. Hundreds of women can tell you. It’s time to try something that actually works. These steps WILL work regardless of whether you’re just at the beginning of the nightmare that is infidelity or at the end of your rope, feeling like you’ve done everything you could and starting to feel hopeless.
Approaches That Don’t Work:
Just be honest
The first thing you have probably been advised to do is to focus on communication. You’re told to be honest, open, and vulnerable when it comes to your feelings. No doubt you’ve tried this, and it speaks volumes of your character that you’ve been willing to do this despite how you’ve been treated. Undoubtedly, communication will need to be strengthened in order to heal your marriage.
However, after helping women in this area for over a decade, I can tell you that strengthening communication after infidelity is a difficult task. Take Susie, for example. Susie received a letter from her husband telling her about the state that she had been in and how it had been affecting him for a very long time.
She had a sincere desire to respond to the letter explaining to him what her situation was like and what she had suffered after his infidelity. As we discussed options for how to respond, she said to me that she was afraid to write a particular thing because she didn't know how he was going to respond to it.
I believe that situations like this can be very common after infidelity and sometimes in marriages in general. As much as you have the desire to communicate openly and honestly, fear encircles that desire and prevents you from ever really establishing the communication needed in order for your marriage to heal.
2. Restore Trust
The second thing that you've most likely tried to do is to commit to restoring trust within your marriage.
Trust is a word that we throw around as if it's tangible. It’s like we each have a trust meter above our head, letting others know how trustworthy we are. After infidelity, one of the main things couples do in order to rebuild trust is to set boundaries.
Now the word ‘boundaries’ is a hot topic that needs its own seven-minute show. For now, I'll try to keep it short. Setting boundaries after infidelity looks like a list of things for your husband to do or not to do that is an attempt to keep you safe and also a tangible expression of his desire to rebuild trust. His commitment level to the marriage rests on whether he complies with the list that you've created for him or not. Here's the kicker, though: your fear of trusting him again and getting hurt keeps you from trusting him. In essence, you don't trust what he's doing or not doing because fear is in your way. Now, do you remember how on Sesame Street they would always have a letter or word of the day? Well, maybe I just dated myself, but the word for today is fear.
Living With Fear
Here's the thing. I only gave you two examples of things that you've probably tried over the years, and to be honest, I think this list is endless. Do you see how the underlying factor in everything you've tried is fear? That is why none of your efforts are working.
So here's what I want to share with you today. Before you do any work or any more work to heal your marriage after your husband's infidelity, you have to clear the fear.
Fear is a symptom of emotional trauma. Do you want to see if your marriage is really going to work? Do you want to see if trust can be rebuilt? Do you want to communicate openly, honestly, and vulnerably? Then you have to remove the fear.
What does this look like?
The Approach That Does Work
Well, the first step is what we call Clear! You have to clear the emotional trauma that has infiltrated and impacted your very being. The second step is to Create. You have to create the skill set and muscle memory within yourself to stay out of the trauma. Finally, the third step is to Connect. You’ll have to learn how to reconnect with your partner to rebuild a marriage that makes you both proud.
Now it's time for me to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below: how has fear shown up for you when it comes to healing your marriage after your husband's infidelity? Please tell me in the comments below.
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Surely you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If you’re trying to be honest and setting boundaries and your relationship is still just a car spinning its wheels, it’s time to try a different approach. My coaching program takes you through the three steps of Clear, Create and Connect so that you can finally be free of the trauma that has you in its grasp. Free: doesn’t that word sound wonderful considering all you’ve been through?
Thank you for joining me today. I love you.