Ethan, a professional man, was angry and calling his wife all sorts of names when he came to us.  “She’s having an affair with a guy she met at a roller skating rink. I just found out.”  Then he burst into tears.  “What can I do?  I love her. I want to save my marriage.” He swallowed hard.  “I don’t understand.  I’ve always been a good husband.”

But he hadn’t been a good husband – not in truth. At least, not in her thought.  When I had the chance to talk with her she told me, “I put up with him as long as I could. I needed someone who would love me the way I needed.”  Although they blamed each other, both were at fault.  In her disillusionment she “fell in love” with the first guy who gave her attention and initiated an affair with him. That didn’t last, so she was off looking for another guy. Meanwhile their children floundered.

People have more reasons to justify their forays into adultery than a centipede has legs. Fortunately, physical adultery still shocks people – and especially if the faithless are famed, like Tiger Woods, or Jesse James, the husband of Sandra Bullock.  At this time, it doesn’t look like either one is going to be able to save his marriage. Having sex with someone other than your own partner can give away trust, destroy your marriage and damage your children.

Mental infidelity and emotional disloyalty are adulterous, too. A individual can have sex mentally with someone else and no one is the wiser unless the porn or email correspondence that reveals their indulgence is ascertained. Emotional disloyalty, by choosing someone other than your spouse as your nearest confidant and friend, when there are romantic undertones, chips away at married closeness and can compound into physical betrayal.

Once trust has been destroyed, most of those marriages fail.  It is at that point in time that the one who cheated realizes just how much they have sacrificed, and they want to make things better.  Can it be done?  Absolutely.  Will it be easy?  You already know the answer to that.  But with the right data, it will be a lot easier than most think.

The biggest problems arise when the one who has had the affair is sorry, swears he/she will never do it again and then expects the offended one to forgive and block and let the marriage go back to the way it was.

First of all, the other spouse can forgive, but to rebuild trust is a process.  It takes time and some very specific actions on the part of the offender.  Second, though the one who has cheated often just wants things to go back to normal – they really DON’T want that.  That NORMAL was what got them into trouble in the first place.  What they want is a better, stronger, happier marriage.  They just don’t know how to get it.

Fortunately, it can be done.  Time after time, we have seen couples who have experienced adultery go through the rebuilding process, make up the steps that they need to follow and find that they didn’t just save their marriages, they made them much better than before.

Let us be very clear.  We are not advocating adultery in any way embodiment or form.  It causes unbelievable pain and suffering to everyone involved and makes the process of crafting a better marriage much harder.

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