Will my marriage ever be like it used to be before the cheating incident? We were so happy together before the affair. Do you ever think that we can capture the happiness that we felt in our marriage before the affair happened?
These types of sentiments are some of the most common questions that I hear in my practise everyday. It’s actually this type of thinking that leads to divorce though. The reason for this is simple is that you should not want to get back to how things were before in your marriage as the previous state of affairs was not ideal to begin with.
It’s important to be clear here that the blame for the having the affair lies firmly at the door of the cheater but that it seems unlikely that your partner would have cheated in first place if the marriage itself was working well.
So you can romanticise the past the past all you want and you can focus on all the wonderful experiences that you had in the past but the truth is that the last thing you want to do is to go back to the past. To do is to ask for trouble.
This type of romantic blinkered thinking is also not going to permit you to look at the fundamental problems in the marriage that led to the affair in the first place. If you want to improve your marriage you need to let go the past and think about what kind of marriage you want in the future. Looking to the future like this and looking at what qualities that you want your marriage to possess is the key to a new and more fulfilling marriage in the future. If you are to move forward you will need to accept that the affair that happened and that it changed the course the marriage was taking forever and there is no getting around this fact or avoiding it. To pretend that you can live your life unaffected by the affair is to be naive and unrealistic. What is more realistic is to work with the memories and emotions that are there as a result of the affair and you will find that they begin to transform over time affecting you less and less in the process.
If you acknowledge and learn the lessons from what happened in the marriage it will also lead to a strong, more vibrant and happy relationship than you had previously as hard as that seems to take on board at the moment.