Taking accountability for cheating is a key player in fixing a marriage after infidelity. Not only is it important for the healing process, but it is also important for laying out a new foundation. If the person who cheated is able to take accountability for what they did, and they try to fix it, showcase different behaviors, and actively work on laying out a new foundation, then their partner is going to believe its genuine. If they do the opposite, it’s going be impossible for their partner to feel emotionally safe and vulnerable, which of course, blocks progress and can make it impossible for the marriage to survive.
Recovering from infidelity is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. If you try to hastily try to turn this around overnight, you won’t have longterm success. A bandaid is not going to fix a marriage after infidelity.
In relationships, consistency is credibility, so you have to keep going. It will take time to put the broken pieces back together, so make sure that you are both consistent about your efforts, even when things are hard. It’s completely normal for things to feel challenging in a situation like this, and keeping that in mind will help you to stay motivated when challenges arise.
The next part of fixing your marriage after an affair has to do with asking yourselves what happened. Cheating is usually a symptom of a deeper problem, so it is very important to do some analysis, and for both of you to do some introspection. What are the choices you made, what are the choices that your partner was making that drove you to where you are today? Was there jealousy, neediness, neglect? Taking a long hard look at what you both felt was lacking in the relationship prior to the infidelity, and by narrowly defining what you were feeling and what was going on, is the way to define the solutions that will fix your marriage. This is how you ensure it will never happen again.
In most cases (unless the person who cheated is a serial cheater), cheating happens because something is missing. It could be affection, validation, attention, acceptance… something is missing, and it gets filled with a terrible decision in the hopes that it would somehow fill the void. More often than not, the person who cheated realizes that it was a terrible idea and it made matters worse.
Think about what lead up to the cheating and how it was in the moment. Was it impulsive? Was it a drawn-out affair? Were there drugs or alcohol involved? The only way to fix something is by identifying how it broke. The relationship did not break because of the cheating. Again, the cheating was a symptom of something else. Identify the illness and you’ll fix the symptom, so look beneath the cheating. If you can identify what developed into cheating, you can truly make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
You’ll know how to anticipate issues and nip them in the bud before they develop into an actual act like cheating.