From The Straits Times    |

Whether or not a marriage survives infidelity depends a lot on the couple and their commitment towards restoring the trust and bond they’ve built over the years. Here are some strategies to help you cope and move forward after an affair.
1. Face your feelings
Don’t fight the emotions and heartache you are going through. When you allow yourself to fully experience the range of emotions, you may notice them starting to fade.

2. Don’t be rash
Let the initial wave of shock, pain, fear and grief pass before deciding what you want to do. Don’t take impulsive actions while you are still emotionally overwrought. 

3. Ask about the affair
Ask your spouse to tell you about the affair and try to stay calm while talking about it; he is more likely to respond honestly if you are not screaming or being verbally or physically abusive. If either of you gets agitated, schedule another time to continue the discussion.

4. Talk about how you’re affected
Discuss your doubts, disappointments feelings of betrayal and abandonment, anger and sadness. 

5. Don’t dwell on it
Rehashing the problem over and over again only causes you pain; it’s more productive to focus on the solution you are seeking.

6. Set a timetable for recovery
While your spouse might want to just put this behind him, he has to respect what you are comfortable with.

7. Grieve together
As with any affair, the trust between the couple has been broken. By grieving, you are giving up your past dreams and working towards a new future together.

8. Rebuild the trust
To do this, you need to back up your words with actions. So if you are committed to rebuilding the relationship, assure your partner that you will stop all contact with your lover and keep to your word!

9. Develop a deeper level of emotional intimacy
Infidelity is almost never about sex; it’s often about unmet needs. Spend time communicating and sharing your lives together. 

10. Spend time together
Rediscover shared interests or the things you used to do together and learn to connect as friends and romantic partners once again. And don’t talk about the affair while you’re together.

11. Find a support group
Reconnecting with family and friends or finding a support group can help you feel less isolated.

12. Practice gratitude
If you are overwhelmed by feelings of betrayal and despair about your partner, take a moment to think about everything you appreciate about him. 

13. Seek help
Commit to individual and couple’s counselling. A professional can help you work out your needs as a couple, and help you heal and rebuild the relationship.