Infidelity is one of the most painful things to happen to a marriage. Whether you were the one who strayed or your spouse did, trying to come together after an affair can be excruciatingly hard. Feelings of betrayal and worthlessness may plague the person who was cheated on, and guilt and embarrassment will hurt the one who strayed. So how do you go from a point of hurt back to a point of love? It's not easy. It takes work, attention, and most importantly, forgiveness. But it is possible. Here are some things to remember as you work to rekindle your love:
You Both Hurt
One of the biggest pitfalls that may affect your marriage after an affair is a feeling that you are owed something for being cheated on. This kind of thought does not lead toward equal partnership, and it brings up past hurts every time something happens where you call in your debt. Instead, remember that both of you have pain, and a partnership needs to meet the needs of you both. To move past this, you need to let go of the pain you both have, and try and move forward with a clean slate.
You Loved One Another Enough to Marry
Once, long ago, the two of you loved each other enough to promise to form a family together until death do you part. One of the best ways to re-fall in love is to share the story with one another of how you fell in love, and what you loved about one another. Tell stories, revisit the places where you felt closest, take a second honeymoon, and remind yourselves of all the things that made you decide that this person was the one for you.
You Can Create Any Future Together that You Choose
The thing that will really save you is if you two can choose a dream, and begin to work toward it together. The dream needs only to be something that requires some time and effort, and is something you both really want. Beyond that, it's up to you. The more personal the goal is, the more it will make you both close to one another. If your big goal is years to decades away, you can work on both long-term and short-term goals at the same time. Break the goals down into steps, and celebrate each time you reach one of the steps. This will keep it from feeling hard and endless, and instead it will give you many opportunities to get closer to one another on your way to your shared dream.
By following these steps, it can go a long way toward giving you the best opportunity you have to fall back in love. If you still struggle, consider couples or individual therapy to help you get through the rest of your struggles.