Life after an affair will never be the same as life before the affair but it can be, in many ways, richer and more fulfilling. If you are married and have recently learned that your spouse had an affair you are in good company. It is common knowledge that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. In my experience, one of the most common grievances aired during the mediation is that one spouse had an affair (or more than one).
Will there be life after an affair?
It is hard to imagine life after an affair. When you first learn that your spouse has had an affair common reactions are shock, fury, a feeling of profound betrayal and self-critical disbelief that you didn’t see it happening. These are normal reactions and should not be dismissed but accepted as part of the grieving process. It is not possible to make long-term plans or decisions when going through the initial stages of grief. Experiencing shock and anger makes it extremely difficult to remember why you got married in the first place and almost impossible to consider a future.
Glimpses of a life after an affair
If, in time, both you and your spouse are interested in discussing continuing your relationship then you have a fantastic opportunity to learn from one another what is not working. People often have affairs because they feel something is lacking in their marital relationship. As relationships develop and continue over time, most people talk less and less about what they want and need from each other.
The affair, although exceedingly painful, provides an opportunity to rediscover what you like about one another, what works well for you in your relationship and what does not work well for you. If both you and your spouse are willing to discuss life after an affair for your marriage it is a unique opportunity to reevaluate how you can best support each other. You are both older and wiser than when you first married and can benefit from your past experiences to create a more fulfilling future.
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