When you discover your husband had an affair, it can be truly devastating. In an instant you can feel like the foundation of your whole world is pulled out from beneath you. You get a sinking feeling in your stomach and it just all feels so unreal. I’ve been there myself. I know what you’re going through. It can seem so unbearable that you can just barely get through a day at work without falling apart. How can you start to heal your marriage from such a fragile place?

Here I’m going to share the 3 phases of healing from an affair.

First, is self-healing. It is no surprise that if you feel so shaken, that you will need to address your own issues of trust and self-confidence, which I’m sure have been damaged severely. The key here is to fully express your emotions and don’t bottle them up. When you try to hide your feelings or ignore them, they will only fester and feelings of resentment and bitterness will overtake you in the long run. If you need to take a day off work and just cry, scream, or punch a pillow, then do that by all means.

And if you cheated on your partner, I know you are probably grappling with a lot of guilt and regret over what you’ve done. The same goes for you too. Don’t hold on to those feelings. If you do, you’ll just find ways to justify what you did or you’ll start to feel like you’re a hopelessly flawed person. Express those feelings.

Second, reconnect with your partner. After you’ve gone through a phase of self-healing, you will need to understand that you’re not going to be able to save your marriage or relationship alone. You’re going to have to do this with your partner.

Take time to talk about what happened. Most affairs happen because one person had unmet needs in the relationship and rather than dealing with the problems in their marriage, they chose to look to something else as an escape. Learn what these unmet needs were in your marriage. You don’t have to solve these problems yet, it is important to simply talk and understand what happened that brought you to this point in your relationship.

Third, is to rebuild your marriage. Trust is a very fragile thing. It is easy to break, but it is slow to rebuild. The way to rebuild the trust is with transparency in your relationship. Both you and your spouse need to practice constant transparency. The trust will start to come back slowly and with small things at first, but with constant work it will grow and your relationship can be restored.

Also, take the time to formulate realistic ways that the two of you can avoid the problems in your relationship that eventually led to the affair. The most important thing is that these solutions need to be realistic and not overly idealistic. Try to find small steps that the two of you can make to fix the relationship dynamic.

Follow these 3 steps and you’ll discover that you actually can recover from an affair and rekindle the love, affection, and trust in your relationship.

Author's Bio: 

If you found this helpful, and you'd like to discover more tips on how to survive an affair, I recommend you check out Marriage Sherpa, a powerful and proven plan put together by marriage expert Dr. Gunzburg to help couples survive affairs or other challenges in married life.

Alex Haight is a relationship writer helping women with relationship problems and specializing in affairs and infidelity.