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How to Reconcile After an Affair: Three Mistakes and What to Do Instead

Healing from an affair is difficult, but it is possible. The best way to achieve positive, permanent results as quickly as possible is to avoid making mistakes that get in the way of progress.

If you were the unfaithful spouse, it is important to recognize the fact that it was your actions that caused the affair, and it is your responsibility to gain the maturity to change and to make progress. If your spouse has given you the chance to prove yourself, taking the alternative actions recommended in this post can help you not only regain and rebuild trust, you can also become a better person.

By not making the three most common mistakes when trying to reconcile after an affair, you can get the most out of your Marriage counseling or Couples counseling sessions. This can increase the chances of healing your relationship from an affair and rebuild for a stronger relationship.

A married couple holding hands

Mistake #1: Contacting your affair partner

This is the most important mistake to avoid. If you are serious about reconciling with your spouse, you must end all contact with the affair partner. This includes all forms of communication, including phone calls, texting, emailing, and social media.

It is understandable that you may still have feelings for the affair partner, but it is important to remember that they are a threat to your marriage. If you continue to communicate with them, you are putting your relationship at risk.

What to do instead of contacting your affair partner

  • Be honest with yourself about your feelings for the affair partner.
  • Acknowledge the damage that your affair has caused to your spouse and your relationship.
  • Make a commitment to your spouse and to your marriage.
  • End all contact with the affair partner.
  • Be transparent with your spouse about your whereabouts and activities.
  • Build trust with your spouse by being honest and reliable.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist to work through your feelings and to develop strategies for avoiding contact with the affair partner.

The wronged spouse should also avoid the affair partner. “Spying” on the person who engaged in the affair with your spouse can be tempting and easy to do with the advent of social media. But such activities can only prolong the pain and can keep you from moving on to heal your relationship.

Mistake #2: Idealizing the affair partner or the affair “relationship”

It is common for people to idealize the affair partner or relationship after an affair. This is because the affair is basically a fantasy that provides excitement and escape from the everyday problems of life.

Remember that the affair is not a REAL relationship. The affair was only a fantasy that cannot live up to the harsh light of reality. If you continue to idealize the affair partner or relationship, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.

What to do instead of idealizing the affair partner or (fake) relationship:

  • Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with your spouse.
  • Make an effort to reconnect with your spouse on an emotional level.
  • Communicate openly and honestly with your spouse about your needs and desires.
  • Work together to build a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
  • Identify and address any underlying issues in your relationship that may have contributed to the affair.
  • Be patient and understanding as you and your spouse work to rebuild your relationship.

Mistake #3: Pressuring your spouse to heal too quickly

Healing from an affair takes time. It is important to be patient with your spouse and to allow them to heal at their own pace. Do not pressure them to “get over it” or to forgive you too quickly.

Instead, focus on showing your spouse that you are committed to the relationship and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make things work. Be supportive and understanding, and let your spouse know that you are there for them.

Trust takes time to build, and it can take extra time when that trust has been broken.

What to do instead of pressuring your spouse to heal too quickly

  • Be patient with your spouse.
  • Be understanding of their pain and anger.
  • Be supportive and encouraging.
  • Be willing to listen to your spouse and to talk about their feelings.
  • Be willing to make changes to your behavior to rebuild trust.
  • Let your spouse know that you are committed to the relationship and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make things work.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist to learn strategies for supporting your spouse through the healing process. It is common for one or both spouses to need counseling sessions to work on additional personal issues that developed because of the affair. It is even better to seek additional help to resolve personal issues that produced the vulnerability that led to the affair.  

CrossRoadsINDY is ready to help. Call us today at 317-842-8881 to set up an appointment. Helping couples achieve positive, permanent change in their relationships is our specialty.