Repairing a marriage after an affair is possible if both of you are willing, but you must break off the affair first, according to psychologist Lynn Margolies' PsychCentral article, “How to Close the Door After an Affair.” It's extremely hard to resist the temptation to cheat or to avoid sending the other man mixed messages if you do not end all contact with him. Once he's gone, you can focus on your marriage.
1. Your Emotional State
When you decide to end the affair and fix your marriage, it is normal to feel grief and loss, as well as guilt for your actions. You might also be preoccupied by thoughts of the other man. Commit to avoiding the other man at all costs so you won't be tempted to return to him like an addict returns to a drug, advises marriage therapist Willard F. Harley, Jr. in "How to Survive an Affair" on his Marriage Builders website.
2. Clearing the Air
Discuss with your spouse the feelings you had that lead up to affair and ways to heal those issues, says therapist Michele Weiner-Davis in “Healing From Infidelity” on her Divorce Busting website. An honest discussion about the problems in the marriage can pinpoint areas where you must work together before the relationship is strong enough to overcome the broken trust. Listen to your partner's feelings and empathize with his pain.
3. No More Secrets
Deal with the relationship pain you have caused your spouse and your child, rather that running away from it, suggests therapist Elvira Aletta in her YourTango article, “8 Steps to Strengthen Your Marriage After an Affair." Your partner may ask you for details of the affair. Give him whatever information he needs to set his mind at rest. Take full responsibility for your actions and apologize for hurting him and your child.
4. Beginning Again
Recommit yourself to your marriage and renegotiate how you will conduct yourself. Your spouse has lost trust in you and you will need to earn it back, says psychologist Phil McGraw in the article, “Moving Forward After Infidelity” on his "Dr. Phil" website. He could require you to check in periodically and demonstrate that you are not in contact with the other man by scanning your email accounts or phone log. Demonstrate your commitment by adhering to the conditions required by your spouse to maintain the marriage.
5. Rebuilding Your Relationship
You can’t reconnect if you don’t spend time together, advises Weiner-Davis. Do fun things together rather than talking about the affair as your only interaction. Date one another, go for walks, picnic in the park or start a new hobby together. You’ll have less time to miss the other man or give in to the temptation to reconnect with him if you’re spending quality time with your spouse. Take an extended vacation together to recapture some of intimacy you have lost.