Marriage isn’t easy and as an LDS marriage counselor, I’ve worked with many couples who were dealing with one or more of the problems that can come with marriage, including one of the most difficult issues for any couple to deal with – infidelity. If you or your spouse has been unfaithful, you may be able to salvage your marriage with the help of an LDS marriage counselor like me; but that doesn’t mean that the person who was cheated on won’t have continuing trust issues. Because marriage is based on physical, psychological and emotional trust, you or your spouse must do everything you can to restore it. Here are some things that must be done to accomplish the reestablishment of trust:
✦ Be Honest
You and your spouse must have an honest discussion about the affair. For the spouse who cheated, there must be an acknowledgement of wrongdoing instead of a denial or justification. Lying about an affair, even after it’s been discovered, can only further damage a marriage. For the other spouse, being honest about how the affair was discovered is important, even if it means admitting to checking the other person’s cellphone, following them or asking other people about it.
You and your spouse must work together to restore your marriage and to rebuild trust. If either one of you just doesn’t want to make the effort, your marriage will fail. The spouse who cheated must be willing to take responsibility for the affair and the damage it has done to the marriage; but the spouse who didn’t cheat must also be willing to work through their feelings and not shut down completely. A good marriage counselor can help both parties learn how to cooperate to save their marriage.
✦ Work Hard
Working through an affair and the effects it has on a marriage is hard work. Rebuilding trust isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight though some people feel they can rush through the process with forgiveness and a promise to never be unfaithful again. Unfortunately, trying to pretend that everything is back to normal quickly leads to more resentment and anger that can eventually destroy the marriage.
✦ Be Accountable
The spouse who cheated must be willing to lay bare their lives. They must be accountable for their time and they must be where they say they’re going to be when they say they’re going to be there. In addition, they must be willing to let their spouse check their phone for texts or emails, especially if the affair was started in a chat room or through social media.
If you or your spouse has been unfaithful, you need the help of an LDS marriage counselor to put your marriage back together and to restore trust. Call me, Jody VanDrimmelen, at Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to schedule an appointment.