Infidelity is a devastating betrayal of marital trust. Healthy relationships are founded on trust, openness, and honesty—and violating any of these virtues undermines the health of a marriage. If you or your partner has been unfaithful, the road to relational recovery will be long and difficult. You may feel hopeless, helpless, and ready to give up on the marriage. If you are facing this situation, we urge you to seek the help of a professional Christian marriage counselor.
Understanding the Cause of Infidelity
In order to heal from the damage of infidelity, couples should make every effort to understand the various factors that led the unfaithful partner to develop an extramarital relationship. The reasons why people have affairs are varied and complicated, and the more you and your spouse discuss the affair honestly together, the better your chances of recovering your marriage. A Christian counselor can help you and your partner discern the emotional, sexual, and social vulnerabilities in yourselves and in the relationship that contributed to this breach in trust.
The Aftermath of an Affair
When the truth of an affair comes to light, it may be difficult for either partner to think or act rationally. Both spouses will be grieving huge relational losses, and the discovery can trigger an emotional effect similar to trauma. After the initial shock and anger subside, the betrayed spouse will usually have many questions. The unfaithful spouse needs to provide answers in order to rebuild trust. Counseling can be an excellent setting to explore the story of the affair; a qualified professional can help facilitate productive, sympathetic conversation that will lead to greater peace of mind for both partners.
Once the initial shock has subsided, you and your partner will need to find a way back to normalcy. Healing your relationship after an affair takes patience, and, sadly, for some couples the marriage never recovers. You and your partner will have to decide together whether or not to stay in the marriage; but as hopeless as the situation may seem, we encourage you to keep an open mind, pursue honesty, and trust the Lord’s power to heal – whether together or as individuals.