Repairing a marriage after one partner has had an affair is a difficult and challenging proposition. Many marriages do not survive infidelity because the trust is lost and forgiveness is impossible. For those marriages that do survive, the couple must take important steps to repair the damage, and the guilty partner should make a living amends, ensuring that she doesn't commit the same offense again.
Rebuild trust by going to counseling. Individual and couple's therapy will be beneficial in helping each partner heal. A therapist can help you process your feelings, and help you and your spouse address underlying issues within the relationship.
Put the affair into perspective. By talking with a therapist, you may be able to get a clearer view of issues that may have contributed to the infidelity. Although you shouldn't underplay the role of the affair, prepare to also discuss mutual problems that need to be addressed.
Bring all the secrets out in the open. Although you may not be interested in the details of the affair, you can only find relief from wondering and final closure on the affair by letting go of all the secrets. The cheating spouse should expose names, places, dates and expenses that were involved in the affair. While the information may make you angry, you can deal with the anger in therapy as part of the healing process.
Go on dates with your spouse. You are going to have to learn new communication skills to rebuild your marriage that include socializing, treating each other with respect, talking and listening. Make it a priority to schedule a "date night" at least once a month.
Develop new habits and routines. Although it may be comforting to return to the way things were before the revelation of infidelity, you should consciously rebuild your relationship on a new foundation by creating fresh routines and patterns that can redefine your marriage in a new, positive light.
Learn how to stop being the victim if you are the injured party. If you want to repair your marriage, you must let the infidelity go and refuse to play the martyr role. At the same time, the perpetrator of the infidelity must withstand receiving a certain amount of anger as part of the rebuilding process.
A broken marriage cannot be repaired if the cheating spouse continues to stay involved in an affair or begins other affairs. Set guidelines for specific behavior to make sure the affair is over. For example, require open bank and credit card statements, explanations of time spent away from home and definite consequences if an affair is discovered in the future.