When you find your spouse has had an affair, your first reaction is likely to be a nearly uncontrollable anger and a strong urge to get away.

Giving up and splitting up may seem to be the most logical and easiest method of dealing with infidelity. However, it's important to remember that you agreed to stay together for "better or worse" and it doesn't get much worse than this!

You owe it to yourself and your vows to try to sort things out and salvage your marriage.

Maintain Communication And Be Patient, Persistent & Positive

To address the issues that contributed to the affair, rebuild trust and help your marriage move forward and continue, communication is essential. Don't expect immediate results. It can take many years to pick up the pieces and rebuild after an affair.

It is essential that you learn to redirect your anger and come to a mutual agreement regarding accountability to one another. Hard as it may be, you must set blame and anger aside for the health of your marriage.

Here are three steps to help you discover the reasons for the affair, resolve the issues that have troubled your marriage and move forward together as a couple.

1. Be Patient: Discover The Reasons For The Affair

There are a number of reasons why a spouse may be unfaithful. Understanding the reasons is the first step in managing anger when dealing with infidelity. Remember that a reason is not an excuse. It is simply an explanation of "why" something happened.
Some reasons include:

  • Problems with addiction that lead to generally poor judgment
  • Bad judgment due to over consumption of alcohol
  • Too much time alone or a feeling of being left out
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Personality disorder
  • Lack of maturity

With the possible exception of "personality disorder" all of these circumstances (and most circumstances that contribute to cheating) are individual issues that can be addressed and dealt with.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment.

You would do yourself, your spouse and your marriage a disservice by giving in to anger and throwing it away without trying to resolve your problems. Of course, it goes without saying that the affair must end and the object of the affair must be put out of your lives.

Avoid angry, uncontrolled confrontations. Seek a trusted counselor to help you explore the problems that led up to and contributed to the affair.

A fully licensed marriage counselor is usually the best choice; however, a trusted member of clergy may also be helpful. When exploring the issues, you must both commit to complete honesty and transparency and be ready to seek and give genuine forgiveness in order to move on.

Once you have fully explored the reasons and both feel you completely understand the chain of events and have accepted your portion of responsibility for them, it is time to move on to identifying ways to truly meet one another's needs to prevent this sort of situation in future.

2. Be Persistent: Resolve The Issues

When you have agreed about the areas in your marriage that need to be changed in order to prevent future infidelity, you must work together to build specific, workable agreements to safeguard your marriage and your happiness. This is very much like writing a treaty. You must be very specific.

When dealing with infidelity, it is very important to specifically address issues such as:

  • Setting boundaries in regards to activities
  • Setting guidelines for communication and trust
  • Setting guidelines of appropriate and desired levels of mutual attentiveness
  • Setting goals for growth within your relationship that may include ongoing marriage counseling and/or classes.

As you work your way through your issues, you are sure to feel a number of very negative emotions such as…

… anger
… rage
… jealousy
… fear
… disappointment and disillusionment
… and perhaps even an incredible need for revenge.

Remember that your partner may be feeling hopelessness, shame, guilt and sorrow. It is important to address all of these in your counseling and understand that individual counseling as well as couples' counseling may be needed.

The ultimate goal is to rebuild your self-confidence as individuals so that you can step forward together as a successful, trusting and trustworthy couple.

3. Be Positive: Move Forward Together as a Couple

Dealing with infidelity may take many years and a great deal of reassurance, along with a very conscious level of attention and commitment. You will both need to stay aware of the things you loved about one another to begin with and actively seek new things to love!

It helps to set yourself specific goals such as:

  • Be transparent! Always tell your spouse exactly what you are doing and who you are with.
  • Be sure to show genuine concern and interest in one another's activities.
  • Be present and interested for important events in your spouse's life.
  • Be sure to give a genuine compliment at least once a day.
  • Surprise one another with little gifts at least once a week.
  • Set aside private time with each other monthly.
  • Always maintain a dependable schedule.
  • Always be reachable by phone.

Though you may feel that establishing these kinds of guidelines for yourself is restrictive, remember that you have made a lifelong commitment; however, true commitment isn't something you do only once. A commitment is a choice you make again and again.

Setting guidelines for yourself will help you in dealing with infidelity by making the right choices consistently. Living happily ever after is based in choosing to take the next right step!

Author's Bio: 

C Mellie Smith provides tools and resources to help her readers overcome the pain and uncertainty when one partner cheats, whether that is an emotional affair or a psychical one. Get started on your healing journey by visiting: http://infidelityhealing.com