Marriage is a joint effort. When the two of you choose to be on the same team you can survive infidelity.

9 Ways Your Marriage Can Survive Infidelity

Many marriage have experienced a partner falling in love with someone else. Approximately 41% of marriage have been impacted by either a physical or emotional affair.

Honestly… that’s a lot of folks who have been where you are.

In our own marriage we have experienced the effects of an emotional affair. Not once, but twice!

As you begin to full understand what is happening in your marriage you may begin to asks the why questions:

Why did my spouse do this to me?

Why did she fall for him?

Why did they think this was OK?

Why didn’t he share his love with me?

The heartache and stress of this experience can cause marriages to end in divorce. But you are ready to overcome, survive infidelity and to have a flourishing marriage.

You CAN survive infidelity and come out stronger and more committed than ever before.

1. Make an appointment with a coach today. Seek out a coach to help you navigate this season of your marriage.

Just like top athletes get help when things are not going well for them in their careers, getting help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength.

A good coach will provide you with actionable items to help the two of you develop the skills and strategies you need to survive infidelity.

2. Keep lines of communication open. There is a natural tendency to attack your spouse or run from the situation (the fight or flight response). Which one do you associate with?

Whichever response you have you’ll need to relearn how to communicate with your spouse.

You both will want to learn how to deal with the yelling, speaking down to each other and confrontation. This will mean that some discussions will have to be suspended until the two of you are calmer and able to handle the topic.

3. Focus on your beginnings. Why did you fall in love in the first place? What attracted you to each other? What memories have you shared along the way?

You need to connect like you did when you first met. Write down your spouse’s responses so that you can go back and review them at a later time. 

Make a choose to focus on the good times you’ve experienced together. 

4. Spend time together. Allowing everything to come before your marriage, before spending time together, can often be a cause of infidelity.

There is a disconnect emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and these need to be brought back into your marriage.

Calendar time together. Yes… schedule time for just the two of you.

Schedule a date day/night, go on a walk and talk, experience a new adventure.

It’s not about what you go and do, it’s that you schedule time to be present with one another.

5. Agree to full transparency. When trust is broken, you need reassurance. Allowing full access into your email, Facebook, text messages, etc., is something you both need to agree to build trust again.

6. Take divorce off the table. You both need to decide right now that divorce is not an option.

As you go through the process of restoring your marriage each of you needs to know that you are 100%/100% focused on doing this together.

At times you may back slide and start to wonder if the time you’re putting forth is worth it. These thoughts are normal.

Knowing that your spouse is 100% committed to you and the marriage will make the difference.

7. Be patient with sexual intimacy. When there has been a physical affair, you or your spouse can’t imagine being sexually intimate again.

Give it time. Listen to each other. Be patient.

Know that you will need to work through your emotional issues so the two of you can be sexually intimate again. 

8. Pray alone and together. Pray. Pray for your spouse. The power of prayer changes hearts, shifts attitudes and brings forgiveness and grace.

Pray together… when you do you draw closer together as you share your requests and petitions to God.

9. Start fresh—today. What has happened has happened.

You nor your spouse can change what has happened in the past.

Today it’s time to declare a fresh start!

It’s time to treat each other differently.

Start to dream again about your life together.

When we faced infidelity in our marriage it was these actions that were taken on a daily basis to rebuild the marriage we have today.

It’s now time for you to do the same.

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  1. My husband has done emotional infidelity with multiple women throughout our 3 years of marriage. The fight in me is not strong. I recently found out he had an affair with a married woman in our 2 year of marriage when I had our first baby. How can we move past that? I heard all the sorry and remade vows to me over and over again. He continued to stay connected with her even after I confronted her and him about their communication not knowing their relationship went further than just communication. He is crying to everyone how he want his family but if I go back I will be back in bond age with a man who choose’s not to be a husband. I confronted women for 2 years that he entertained on social media, lied to about our marriage, and ones who didn’t care he was married. He will lie over and over again then get upset and abusive when I am confronting him with my frustration. We have 3 beautiful girls. Did he not think about them? How it will break our family? What about God? What about me? Everytime I am pregnant he does something and reach out to women…I hate his ways..they are hurtful everything I think about it. MY heart mean nothing. He stabs it over and over again with his lustful desires. I am done! I want to get over this hurt and move on with my life. I wish I never met him.

    • PRAY…..for what God wants you to do. And then, listen for the answer. Pray that He changes your husbands heart AND yours. If he really wants his family, he’ll go to counseling (faith based). Only God can work a miracle…..he did in my marriage!!

      • First of all, may i say that you are brave! For bravery and courage requires a special type of strength! Secondly, it appears that your husband may have an addiction. Therefore it would be wise to pray and maybe even fast for him. I have a question though, was that behavior present during and before the dating period? Please, try to establish the time period of the behavior. In that way, you’ll know exactly what you are dealing with. Consequently, it will take some work but its doable. God is able!! After you’ve established that, now its time to discuss the issue with him. The next step would be counseling…The two of you will have to decide on a combination of therapy and praying along with serious fasting! Remember, God wants to save your marriage! Dont give up!!

  2. I have been in a marriage for almost 10 years, relationship for 11. I have not been honest about many things with my spouse throughout our marriage. The past couple of years I developed an emotional relationship with someone from my past and then we ended up being intimate a few times. My husband was suspicious and planted cameras in our home and found out about the affair. He confronted me and at first I didn’t fully confess but I have now. he is devastated and I hate to see him this way. he opened me up to your podcast a few weeks ago and I just now started listening. I am praying so hard that GOD can help to change me and change his heart to remain in this marriage. I know we can make it work. We have come so far in our marriage and I would hate to throw it all away for my selfishness. We have 2 children in the home and we are very much involved in their everyday lives. I cant imagine changing that dynamic for them. The side relationship has ended a few months ago but is just coming to a head at home. So now I am having to deal with the heartbreak of my husband. He is a hard working man and dedicated to his family. I wasn’t able to support him in hard times so I turned to other people for attention and conversation and affection. I checked out of the marriage. When things started to get better I continued on with my emotional and part sexual relationship and carried on with my marriage like nothing was going on. I know that it is all wrong and I hope that God and my husband will forgive me. I am lost right now and trying to find any and everything to do to make my marriage work. I feel horrible and do not want to lose my family.

    • Shameika,

      It is TIME to take action to rebuild your marriage. With a plan you will not feel so lost. You have been praying for an answer and for change to happen. The time for change is now.

      There are a couple of options that you can take right now…
      1. Get into the Rescue My Marriage Today program at http://www.rescuemymarriagetoday.com. This program starts on April 12. We have built this program to address all of the areas that couples struggle with. It’s designed to bring back the feelings of connection, of being wanted and of intimacy in ALL areas of your marriage.
      2. Get working with a coach. It’s hard to make change on your own, accountability is key. It’s also important to be working with someone who understands the challenges that marriages face. If you are interested in coaching with Alisa you can learn more about coaching here.

      If you don’t want to lose your family, it’s time to get involved in the process of making your marriage better.

  3. Early in our marriage my husband kissed a fellow college student he was going to school with. She continued to stalk him and I eventually found a note she wrote him. He lied to me about why she wrote the note and I never found out the truth until his pat year. Skip forward 10 years later and he also kissed a coworker who was a friend of our family. I again didn’t find out until this past year. Then almost two years ago after what was probably the worst year of our marriage he went away on a work trip and slept with another woman, who was a younger college student. This was after we have been married almost 15 years. He continued to keep in touch with her long distance and have an emotional affair. After 3 months he confessed and said he wanted a divorce. I asked him to stay and after some counseling and lots of the things you mentioned in this article we are in a place I would consider better than where we have ever been. My issue is I just cannot forget. I obsess constantly that he will do something like this again. He had broken my trust 3 times in our marriage and hidden it. How do I overcome this lack of trust I have? Day to day I am very happy with him but the doubt and sadness creeps In too often.

    • TJ

      I know exactly where you’re coming from. My wife had an emotional affair and when I found out I was devastated. The lack of love for her was never the issue…. It was the lack of trust and the fear of her doing it again that has haunted my mind and causes me not to forget.

      Honestly I don’t believe I will ever fully forget, however I have fully forgiven. Just like memories from my childhood, they come to me from time to time. I can chose how I deal with those memories. I have chosen to communicate them to my wife and let her know that they have come up and what may have triggered it. For us it has helped a lot.

      As far as the trust…. That takes communication (open/transparent/complete), commitment (commit to eachother everyday), Christ (He needs/should be the center of every marriage) and time (everyone heals differently). 100% complete transparency and openness with all forms of outside contact (text, emails, social media, ect) not just from him but you as well. Doing so will build trust back slowly as he proves to you he’s where he says he will be and will be home when he says he will be home and shows you that he’s not hiding anything.

      It can be done and done successfully. Trust me, I’ve lived it and from time to time the triggers still occur, from time to time,but now they don’t disable me but provide for deeper communication with my wife

  4. Since day one of our marriage my wife has had an emotional affair on me. After a month of being married I asked her what had changed. I was told, bluntly, “I’m no longer pursuing you”. If she ever has a bad or good day at work she texts or facebooks her mom, sister, or co-workers. I ask her how her day was and hear a grunt back, “eh, ok i guess”. Her father was going through a really bad problem with his health, my arms were open but she’d rather text her pre-marriage friends. We’ve been married for over 5 years and every day when we get home from work she is on her phone texting or facebooking until bedtime, even while fixing/eating dinner and watching tv.
    It really annoys me how she HAS to watch her shows while her face is in her phone all night. There have been days, I’ve kept track and spoken two sentences to her, she never noticed a lack of communication. God’s disapproval of divorce is the only thing keeping me holding on.
    She’s not sleeping around, but the pain is still very very strong.

  5. I am lost. I have been with my husband for 13 years and married for 10 years. Back in 2008 we lost our daughter and she was only 6 years old. I connected with an old flame and ended up sleeping with him. My husband found out and I confessed to it. I moved out and was going to move one. After about a month, he came to me and said that he was willing to forgive me and work on our marriage. I agreed and moved back in. We never see ked counseling for this and we continued to live as like husband and wife. Then in May of 2016 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Then on October 7th he told me he wanted a divorce. He says he has been thinking this for the last 4 years. He says he can’t trust me. I write my work schedule down on the calendar and he has all my passwords and has access to my phone. I don’t want a divorce and I will do anything to save my marriage. I don’t know how to make this work since he is set on divorce.

  6. I am dealing with an emotional affair and am thought it was over until I found a text a year later. My husband had contacted the other woman again and I have been watching his behavior… always carrying his phone and never leaving it in the open. I checked it and have seen a handful of texts. So, I have gone to a therapist and have work to do to make this marriage work. In the end, both husband and wife have contributed to where our marriage is today. I have accepted the fact that I need to pursue my husband and focus on him, love and grace. I am not making an excuse for what he has done as he has to account for his actions at some point. He went looking for affirmation, validation and respect from someone else when I was not giving it to him. My therpist has told me I need to show him that I love him and encourage him. Plus, I need to work thru my anger, frustration and sense of betrayal before I can confront him on this issue. Many prayers, therapy and love and grace hopefully will make this work.

    • It’s awesome that you took the step to seek out help to understand what you need to do to make the marriage work. Understanding that any situation in a marriage is the result of behavior of both the husband and wife is a huge breakthrough. It’s so easy to look at our spouses and only see what they have done without looking in the mirror ourselves. I have seen so many of my clients have incredible breakthrough in their marriages when they have been able to forgive and release the anger, frustration and betrayal. You are on a path toward healing.