Infidelity can reconnect couples and build stronger relationships – if both partners are willing to dig in and get to work. In the past week, two readers have shared how their husband’s affair made their marriage better and stronger.
“My husband had an affair almost 10 years ago now and it was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage,” commented Traci on my article about cheating husbands. “I was forced to take a good hard look at my behavior in the marriage and I came to realize that I was partly to blame for his affair.”
If your spouse cheated on your marriage, take heart. You can rebuild trust and reclaim your marriage – though it takes time and dedication.
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And, here are four ways infidelity can strengthen your marriage…
Can an Affair Help Your Marriage? How Infidelity Reconnects Couples
An affair can remind you how important emotional connection is for couples. “I had become emotionally unavailable to my husband,” said Traci. “When something good or bad happened in my life, I called my friends instead of my husband. I had stopped allowing him to love me and to support me and he felt as if I no longer needed him.” Emotional disconnection is not a reason to have an affair…but an affair can help your marriage by encouraging you to reconnect on an emotional and spiritual level. Reconnection can be deeper than your original connection.
An affair can affair-proof your marriage. “[After a husband has cheated], given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll cheat again?” says marriage coach Mort Fertel. “If his wife gives him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.” Fertel says husbands who cheat on their wives are less likely to cheat again. It’s possible that an affair is one of the best ways to guarantee fidelity!
If you and your spouse are both contributing to the affair, read Co Dependency in Love – How to Untangle a Codependent Relationship.
Infidelity give you a depth of self-awareness and insight like nothing else can. “It hasn’t been an easy journey and I have learnt a lot about myself along the way,” says Sue on my article about emotional affairs in marriage. “I learned what I will accept, what I am not responsible for, what I can change and what I can’t change. From feeling miserable and powerless, I now am stronger for what has happened, even the difficult and scary parts of it.” An affair can help your marriage by making you strong as an individual. The stronger you are, the better able you’ll be to reconnect with your husband and be a healthy couple.
An affair can reveal your spouse’s strengths and weaknesses, which can strengthen your marriage. The best marriages are between best friends. And you know what best friends do: they spend a lot of time together, exploring each other’s minds and souls. Often, couples lose that desire – or they just don’t have enough time to deepen their friendship. Infidelity can help couples reconnect by forcing them to work on their marriage.
Traci says, “Today, we have a beautiful son, another on the way in a couple weeks, we own our home, and have a fuller, happier life than we ever imagined that we could, because we chose to stay together to work on it!”
And Sue says, “We still have a way to go. However, I hope our story gives others some encouragement that it is possible for a marriage to survive an affair. And, even painful lessons are worth learning and can ultimately make couples happier and healthier.”
If an affair is ruining your marriage, read Should I Leave My Husband? Help Deciding Whether to Stay or Go.
What do you think – can an affair help your marriage? I welcome your comments below.