What to Do when Your Spouse is Cheating and You Want to Fix Your Relationship

It’s difficult to say exactly how often spouses cheat on each other because cheating spouses don’t always tell the truth to researchers about their infidelity. Dr. John Grohol, mental health researcher and founder of Psych Central, a website providing mental health information and resources to the public, says there’s about a 25 percent chance that, over the life of your marriage, you or your spouse will have an extramarital affair. Dr. Grohol says that cheating usually occurs when there have been significant ongoing problems in the marriage.

Realize that One Person Cannot Fix a Relationship

Hopefully, you and your spouse both want your relationship to improve and are both working toward that goal. A marriage involves two people and you can’t fix it by yourself. Start by having a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse and find out if he is as committed as you are to saving the marriage.

Improve Communication

When a marriage falters, communication is often poor. You and your spouse need to communicate about your needs, desires and expectations in an open and honest way. You need to do this in a respectful manner and without blaming each other for the problems in the marriage. A marriage counselor can help you learn to communicate better.

Rebuild Trust

Popular psychologist Phil McGraw points out that rebuilding trust takes a long time and says that it takes as long as it takes. There are no short cuts. He suggests establishing rules for the relationship that allow you to feel secure that your spouse isn’t cheat anymore, such as asking her to check in with you several times a day or allowing you to look at her cell phone to see who she calls or texts. He recommends sticking to these rules for however long it takes to trust your spouse again.

See a Marriage Counselor

Repairing a marriage after one spouse has been unfaithful is difficult. Working with a marriage counselor often helps. A counselor can help you communicate better, help you work through painful feelings, and help you begin the process of rebuilding trust. You can use the Therapist Locator Tool of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to find a marriage therapist near you.

Realize that Some Relationships Cannot Be Fixed

Unfortunately, not all relationships can be fixed. If your spouse isn’t committed to repairing the relationship, if he’s not willing to stop cheating, if your differences are just too great, you might not be able to fix things. Seeing a marriage therapist yourself can help you make that decision.


Psych Central. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/03/22/how-common-is-cheating-infidelity-really/. How Common is Cheating and Infidelity Really?

Dr. Phil. http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/16. Moving Forward After Infidelity.

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