Studies have found that affairs affect nearly a third of all married couples. For some couples, an affair will result in a divorce. However, things don’t have to end if you or your spouse were unfaithful.

Some of these affairs will be emotional which is how most affairs begin. Talking and being listened to by someone is very attractive and can end up being seductive without any intent at the beginning.

Following are some ways to save your marriage after an affair.


Spend Some Time Apart

Finding out that your spouse cheated on you is extremely painful and it is often best to spend some time apart to heal. Spending some time apart without talking to each other can be helpful at first to prevent further damage to your marriage and decide what to do next.

However, you would both need to feel very safe about where your spouse is staying during that period unless you are still in the same house, living separately.


Commit To Saving The Marriage

You might be wondering whether or not your marriage is worth saving. The answer is yes, especially if you have children. However, you and your spouse need to express your willingness to make the investment in saving your marriage. Working on resolving the issues that may have contributed to this huge betrayal has to be the top priority.

Frequently, there have been major problems and lack of connection and closeness for a long period before an affair occurs. 

Apologize Sincerely and Begin Forgiveness Process

You will find it difficult to move forward unless the spouse who was unfaithful apologizes sincerely and frequently for the affair.

Additionally, the straying spouse will need to be very willing to be proactive in sharing where they are at all times.  If they are sincerely repentant they will not act unwilling or resentful about the need to be reassuring in every way that is possible.

In some cases, this will be installing tracking devices on their phone or whereabouts and calling frequently if there are changes in the planned schedule and making themselves accountable.

Also in some cases, it may be necessary to be willing to find a change in work positions or locations if it occurred with someone at work.  

The other spouse should do their best to make the decision to begin the forgiveness process. It is important to talk about your feelings since resentment can build up and damage your marriage in the future as well.

If the aggrieved spouse refuses to start the forgiveness process in some way, it can eventually end the marriage. This occurs because the straying spouse begins to feel they cannot live together and be punished and suspected forever like a life sentence.


Talk About The Affair

In some cases, it helps to talk about the affair. The spouse who cheated should open up and explain at least somewhat how it happened and give the other spouse the opportunity to ask questions. It is best to have everything out in the open so you can work out your feelings and move on to rebuilding the relationship.

I personally have mixed feelings on this subject as I have seen it work negatively to talk about too many of the details. For some couples, it just adds to the pain and to the videos playing in the mind.

At first, there probably will be a lot of talking. Later, it seems to work better to keep the lines of communication open but to limit those discussions to just one to two times weekly. If it is not at least somewhat limited, it seems to keep things so painful all the time that there is no opportunity for beginning some of the healing.

At some time in the aftermath, it is too much to continually talk and question and answer endlessly for both spouses. The replays are so painful, but the betrayed spouse does need to know that are loved and valued and they need to talk now and then.




Following are tips to help strengthen your marriage. But first, check out my products related to marriage health.

Address Your Marital Problems

You need to understand what led to one of the spouses being unfaithful. This requires you and your spouse to talk about the marriage, about your feelings and about what you feel has been missing from the relationship. One of the spouses might have been unfaithful because the marriage has been broken, distant and disconnected for a very long time.


Rebuild Trust

One of the most difficult things you will face while working through your marital problems is the fact that it is difficult to trust each other. You need to be able to talk about this.

Most likely as mentioned earlier, some new rules are needed in the relationship until trust has been rebuilt. It is also vital that you both adopt new habits such as talking about your marriage regularly and finding fun new things to do together.


Build A Better Marriage

Rebuilding your marriage will take time and you will probably encounter more difficulties along the way. You cannot give up once you commit to saving your marriage. You can build a stronger and happier marriage if you address the issues that resulted in one of the spouses having an affair.

It is possible to save your marriage if one of the spouses has been unfaithful but it will take some time. You can find out more on how to save your marriage by getting some help from a couple who has been through a similar thing or finding a marriage friendly coach, counselor or therapist that has experience in working with many couples and their problems.


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    Waverly Hanson

    Waverly Hanson

    Marriage Counselor & Author

    In my personal life, I have had a long successful marriage and have remarried following my husband's death.  I have had three sons and helped raise a niece for three years and have seven grandchildren.  I have loved spending time with them as they were growing up.

    I also enjoy getting together with family and friends, ATVing in the mountains, photography, hiking, and traveling. I also enjoy reading, creating art, decorating, and serving others by volunteering. 

    Assisting couples in rebuilding their marriages has been so rewarding as I've had the privilege of seeing hundreds of couples reunite and get back to being positively connected to one another. 

    I also work with personal development and those who want to move forward by making positive improvements such as goal setting, self-care, boundaries, behavioral improvements, overcoming procrastination, conflict management, etc.