Many people feel as if having an affair means that your marriage and your relationship are over. Normally, after an affair the spouse who is the victim, feels ashamed because of what people may say or think. It is this shame and guilt that causes the victim to want to hide and not be seen in public. Although the shame and guilt are false emotions, they are the emotions that come quickly after an affair. For those who are reading one of my articles for the first time, I had an affair on my wife and 13 years later my wife had an affair on me. So, I know from experience how it feels to be the victim and to be the infidel. I will say again, this shame is a false emotion because true love hurts, and forgiveness heals. As a victim, you will feel emotionally hurt and betrayed. But, shame and guilt for marrying your spouse should not be the thought that gains the most of your attention. The truth is it takes strength, courage and confidence to stand beside your spouse after an affair.
Having to go through the pain of my wife’s affair reminded me of our marriage vows. The marriage vows state through the good times and the bad times. Dealing with an affair is definitely the bad times or the rough times. Normally, in the media after an affair, you never hear the wedding vows being brought up for discussion. This is another reason why I think it is so important to stand beside your spouse after an affair. Yes, it is painful and yes, as a victim you did not deserve it; but real love hurts and I know this from experience because I felt that hurt. You stand beside your spouse who committed the act because you love them. Standing beside your spouse does not mean you condone what they did; it simply means we are on the path towards healing together.
For the spouse who committed infidelity, this is the worst time for them to be alone. It is during this time that their character is being attacked, their emotions are all over the place and their confidence is at its lowest. Considering these factors, it would be easier to recover beside someone that loves you, even if they were hurt by you. This is the misconception for many people. Many people turn on their spouses for cheating on them and decide to punish them by ignoring them and leaving them out to dry. This is not what I would recommend for any couple who believes that there is a chance that their marriage could survive. Even if the marriage is not going to survive the affair, standing beside your spouse will only make your healing process easier.
Not in all cases, but I do believe in many cases that each partner has a role in causing an affair to happen in the marriage. As I stated in an earlier article, “The New Definition of an Affair”, the affair brings awareness. Also, the affair comes as a test in the marriage. So whether or not the marriage passes the test will not totally rely on one partner, however it will take both partners to pass the test. Standing beside your spouse after an affair is part of the testing process. It is easy to stand beside someone you love when they are being praised and applauded. But, it is very difficult to stand beside someone when they are being ridiculed and verbally crucified. I am not saying that it will be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it; regardless of your decision as to whether or not to stay in the marriage. Like the wife betrayed in the Tyler Perry Movie, “The Diary of a Mad Black Woman”, she took care of her husband, who betrayed and left her, during his recovery. But when he was well, she let him know I have found my true love. It was much easier for her to leave her husband after truly forgiving him. Your ability to stand exemplifies your willingness to forgive.