How to Start Over in a Marriage After Infidelity

Around 20% of married couples will cheat at some point in their relationship, which shows that infidelity is more common than you think.

Starting over after cheating can feel lonely and daunting, especially if it happened recently. But, once you know how to move forward healthily, infidelity doesn’t always mark the end of your marriage, which should give you hope about the future. Perhaps you’re currently in this difficult position and want to learn the next move.

Hit the nail on the head? Luckily, you’ve got us. Here’s how to start over in a marriage after infidelity.

Discuss the Infidelity

“Can a marriage be saved after cheating?” You ask. Although it’s complicated and throws you into emotional turmoil, the short answer is yes.

The first step is to discuss the infidelity with your spouse, especially if they’re the ones who did it. Regardless of how difficult it is, figure out the depth of the cheating and whether your partner still has feelings for this person. If it was a one-time event or meaningless, there’s a greater chance that your marriage can be saved.

Express Hurt Feelings Honestly

Note, you must avoid being passive-aggressive or overly critical at this point; instead, prioritize effective communication as it’s the only way forward. Be honest about your feelings and how much the cheating has impacted you.

If your spouse cheated, they should be willing to listen to you without getting angry or defensive, which is a major red flag.

Spend Time Apart if Necessary

Are you struggling to have a clear, honest conversation? Then, give yourself some time alone to process the infidelity.

This will calm you down when you return to your spouse, so you can have a frank discussion.

Reach Out to Loved Ones

Having a support system when you’ve discovered infidelity in a marriage is essential. Tell your friends or family about what you’re dealing with and seek advice. It’s also wise to spend most of your time surrounded by people you trust, whether it’s staying over for a week or bonding with one another during the weekends.

Consider the Reasons for the Affair

Once you’re ready to deep-dive into the affair, start by discussing the reasons.

It could be because your partner doesn’t feel supported or they’ve felt a strong emotional connection to someone new. When you’ve heard their reasons, it’s easier to know whether it’s worth saving the union and how you’ll move forward. Note, you needn’t automatically divorce after cheating; it may be a one-time thing and you can grow from it with the right support.

Practice Self-Care

As you’re figuring out how to save a marriage, it’s important to prioritize your self-care. Make sure you’re eating nutrient-rich meals and drinking plenty of water, even if you don’t feel like it. You should also carve out time for regular exercise and activities that rejuvenate you, such as taking a bubble bath or meditating with a loved one.

Evaluate Your Bond With Spouse

When you’ve moved past the initial shock of the affair, think about the bond you have with your spouse.

Factor in how your values align and if you agree on how your future will potentially pan out. Spend time discussing your goals with family, whether your spouse makes you happy, and if the relationship is worth the effort going forward.

If you both decide yes, it’s time to do the emotional work.

Work on Forgiveness

Forgiving your spouse doesn’t mean you should forget the cheating; it helps you start the journey towards the next chapter. Also, a benefit of forgiving someone’s transgressions is it gives you a sense of peace while minimizing any anxiety you have about the infidelity.

Note, that it can take years to truly forgive your spouse, so be prepared to actively rebuild trust in your marriage. And don’t be worried if it takes months to rekindle the same feelings you had before the cheating because it’s a natural part of the process.

Seek Professional Help

An effective way of moving forward is with marriage counseling.

Spend time finding a reputable therapist in your area and they can help you both work through the infidelity. A therapist will also look at the cheating objectively, so you can identify the factors that contributed to the affair and teach you how to rebuild the relationship. Also, your marriage counselor will give you reading material and even recommend a couple of support groups to guide you through the process.

Further, you should consider seeing a therapist alone. This will give you a private space to vent about the infidelity, regardless of whether it’s you or your spouse who cheated.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Like any traumatic experience, healing takes time. Be gentle with yourself during this process, especially during the bad days. Know that with enough support and self-care, you’ll eventually come to the light and put the infidelity behind you.

Also, when it feels impossible to communicate healthily with your partner, book a session with your marriage counselor so you can discuss what’s bothering you. This should happen if either of you is slipping into toxic behavior.

How to Start Over in a Marriage After Infidelity

Now you know how to start over in a marriage after infidelity.

There are many ways you can do this, such as being honest about your hurt feelings and working on forgiveness together. You should also find a reputable marriage therapist and be gentle with yourself as healing is a long process. Good luck with everything!

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