Post-infidelity, you and your partner are facing a long and difficult journey, filled with strong emotions and challenging questions. If you have chosen to forgive your spouse following an affair, seeking the advice and care of a couples therapist can help. A therapist provides you with evidence-based information on how to move forward after an affair and provides support for both you and your spouse in order to help you recover more quickly.
The aim of forgiveness is to restore the trust that was lost and learn to love fully again. A happy ending is possible, but only if you are patient and willing to learn how to rebuild trust, even though it may seem like an impossibility.
How to rebuild trust after an affair
Having your heart broken is a profound experience. You may feel as if you can never build back the trust that was shattered. It takes a lot of hard work to pick up the pieces and get back what you lost. Infidelity causes deep, hurtful emotional wounds that can either mean the end of your love story or the beginning of a new chapter- rebuilding trust and falling in love all over again if need be.
If you choose the latter, then buckle up for a roller-coaster ride as you get to the bottom of what caused the affair to happen, how to heal and forgive, and how to help your spouse heal after the affair as well. There are steps to rebuild broken trust after an affair, with communication, patience, and a willingness to forgive taking the lead. Rebuilding trust also means bracing yourself to be ready to answer questions such as, “how to forgive myself after an affair.’”
Cheating on your spouse breaks their trust, and you need to forgive yourself as the two of you work together on how to help one another heal. Your betrayed partner will likely have an even harder time as they try to figure out how to forgive you for your infidelity.
How to forgive after an affair
1. Seek support
The long road to recovery may require you to seek additional help. Mending your marriage after news of cheating may seem impossible for now, but if you have a support system in place, it’s one step forward. Forgiving the cheating partner will not be easy, but it will happen if you allow yourself space and time to heal.
More often than not, true healing will only occur if you have people to turn to for support. Talk to friends and family if need be, but stay away from people who try and make decisions for you. Listen to what they have to say, but remember that all the major decisions must be approved by you because this is your life.
Some couples have found it helpful to seek support from people who have been there before. There are support groups available for affair recovery. Most support groups are made up of people who were once standing exactly where you are now: confused, hurt, and emotionally exhausted. They most likely were grappling with the same betrayal you are trying to withstand. The only difference is that they found support, and, over time, learned to forgive, work things out, and move on to an even stronger relationship. As a victim of infidelity, you can perform a quick online search for a support group in your area. In such groups, members understand what you are going through and will likely not be judgmental. If you are the one who cheated and you find yourself asking, “How can I ever forgive myself for having an affair?” a support group may still be helpful. They can give you firsthand knowledge on how to forgive yourself.
2. Learn to let go of the past
Affair recovery Little Rock, AR therapists will tell you that despite the betrayal, dwelling on the past and putting too much focus on the cheating only makes it difficult for you to heal and forgive. However, choosing to look at the bigger picture and taking the necessary steps to fix the relationship after cheating will help you move on from the deception and start the journey toward healing.
Fixing a relationship after infidelity also means that if you were unfaithful, then you need to take steps to mend what you broke, and that includes learning how to forgive yourself as well. Forgive yourself, learn how to rebuild trust after an affair, then start working toward earning your partner’s forgiveness as you look forward to better days ahead.
3. Understand that healing takes a lot of work
It is okay to feel hugely betrayed by your partner, but this is a reality you have to live with if you want things to work out. It is also okay to take some time to process the information- cry it out, talk to a friend, give each other some space, but never rush to make major or rash decisions when your emotions are so raw.
Healing is a continuous process that may take more than a few months, and it can only happen if you are willing to take the necessary steps to survive infidelity.
If you cheated on your partner, then you also need to learn how to help your spouse heal after an affair. Talk to each other, preferably with the help of a couples therapist, so you can understand what you need to do to help your partner heal.
4. Seek professional help
Surviving the affair may need more than support from friends and family and that is where couples therapy comes in. A professional affair recovery Little Rock AR therapist can help you navigate the unknown territory, by taking you through the process of how to forgive after an affair.
Severe pain, anger, embarrassment, and all related emotions are to be expected, but they don’t have to get in the way of forgiveness. Your marriage can survive an affair, and talking to a couples therapist together or individually will help you evaluate and understand these feelings as well as how to overcome them. You will need tools to heal, and once you get to a place where you feel that you that forgiveness is possible, a therapist can then talk to you about how to help your spouse heal after an affair. Your spouse will likely be beating themselves up for betraying your trust, and as difficult as it sounds, helping them recover after the affair will help them forgive themselves so you can start mending your marriage.
We can help
If you are feeling betrayed or would like more information on affair recovery, bringing in a couple’s therapist could help make forgiveness possible. For affair recovery Little Rock AR support, reach out to Arkansas Relationship Counselling Center today to book a free consultation or give us a call at (501) 222-3463.