Proposing to overcome infidelity is a complex task; this process involves the willingness and commitment to restore and rebuild a very battered relationship. It is not limited to an “I forgive you”, this is only the beginning of a path that is only made between two and step by step.
I am not talking about a necessarily linear process; however, in this article, I will give you a brief list of its main stages and how much progress you will make in each one. Were you a victim of infidelity? Have you been unfaithful to your partner? If you want to rescue your marriage, you will have to follow this path.
Process for overcoming infidelity
If you have already decided to overcome infidelity and move forward with your marriage, you must be patient and very persevering. In this work of reconstruction, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Therefore, I think you must know, you must know the process that awaits you:
Healing phase to overcome infidelity
It is a time of trauma. It is especially difficult and the struggle to rescue the marriage begins. Both parties are expected to compromise; but the unfaithful person must have the willingness to repair the damage, through behaviors aimed at creating a minimum basis of trust. To do this, your first actions would be:
- Ending the extramarital relationship. This is considered a high-cost or high-effort action that will demonstrate to the couple the firm decision to rescue the marriage. If you are not willing to give up the third party, there will be no reconciliation process possible.
- Take responsibility for the fact. The denial of a notorious fact leads to infidelity, transgression, to an absolute lack of respect towards the partner. Taking responsibility for the acts committed shows honesty and willingness to repair the damage.
- Ask for forgiveness. Infidelity deeply hurts the other person. It is essential that the unfaithful person empathizes with the pain of their partner; that they feel what the partner feels and, consequently, regret having hurt them and tell them sincerely. Being able to put oneself in “the other person’s shoes” is a great step forward.
- Validating the suffering of the deceived person. We are still talking about empathy as a fundamental mechanism; but, in this case, it is a matter of not undervaluing the other party’s reactions. For example, expressions such as “you are exaggerating” or “it’s no big deal” deepen the gap and reduce the possibility of reconciliation.
This is a delicate moment, due to the intensity of the emotions caused by the discovery. Hence, the process begins with an explicit agreement on the minimum conditions to start the healing process.
Once the initial trauma has been overcome, a certain level of trust is established, which is required to begin to understand the events that occurred. We work on the ability to approach the subject with a certain emotional distance, without generating new crises. What are we looking for at this point?
- To be able to talk about infidelity without aggression and without deepening the trauma.
- To remember life together before the infidelity: dreams, good times, reasons to be together.
- Visualization of a future together, with new plans and hopes.
In this phase, trust is still not strong because infidelity is very present; some techniques such as Christian meditation and mindfulness can be very useful to rescue the lost serenity and tranquility. And, although crises may occur from time to time, the intensity is decreasing.
The purpose of the first stages of therapy after infidelity is forgiveness. It takes time and comes with the restoration of trust and security in the couple. Forgiveness does not mean permitting these events to happen again. It represents the release of pain, resentment, negative feelings, and thoughts that harm us physically and emotionally.
But you must understand that there is no specific time frame for forgiveness. You cannot allow pressure. Only you can know when you are ready to take this decisive step that means the healing of wounds. The Bible tells us:
“If they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” (Luke 17:4).
Forgiving an offense is a Christian virtue, but we must do it from our heart and not from our lips. If forgiveness is not real and full, the basis for recovering the relationship will be weak and will not resist the weight of resentment.
Renewal of commitment is key to overcome infidelity
At this stage, forgiveness has occurred, trust and communication have been re-established, and the couple is ready to move on. Some people ask me if this implies that it will be easy; in my experience, couples who make it to this point in the process are successful.
I’m not talking about a road without challenges, but a strong determination to save the marriage is an advantage that will help them rediscover the reason for their union. The focus is no longer on infidelity; it becomes an experience, a learning experience that generated changes for improvement, strengthening your vows and your commitment.
What does this renewal imply to overcome infidelity?
- In the first instance, to rescue the love that united them in marriage.
- Establish the pillars of the relationship: respect, solidarity, and fidelity.
- Rescue the relationship with God and strengthen spiritual values.
- Look to the future by designing together a life project.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), the Bible tells us; but if you have already committed adultery or are suffering from it, it is time to stop and think about the value of your marriage.
It is possible to overcome infidelity
Getting out of the suffering that represents infidelity is possible. If you trust in God and his infinite mercy, you will feel that you can do anything; that pain, emptiness, and insecurity have no power in your life and do not guide your actions.
You are not willing to lose your marriage because of infidelity? Lean on God and seek professional guidance by calling 407 618 0212.