The impact of infidelity on a marriage – whether a physical or emotional affair – can be devastating.
But some couples decide to stay together in spite of it. For those couples, they may encounter many roadblocks while moving forward.
Are you looking to repair things with your spouse in a healthy way? If so, here are 21 common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
How Do You Reconcile After Being Cheated On?
Cheating is one of the worst things you can do or experience in a marriage.
It’s a difficult decision to forgive and stay together. You’ll face opposition along the way, including opinions of your loved ones, and slip-ups in rebuilding trust.
But if both parties involved are determined to see it through and heal together, it’s possible.
It’s important to seek professional help from a relationship expert to be an objective mediator when emotions run high.
They will be able to help you come to an agreement on the reconciliation.
Make sure that you address the common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
1. Not Getting Professional Help
One of the most common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity, is to not seek professional marriage counseling.
Sure, you may know many people who love you and want to help, but their relationship advice will likely be biased and subjective.
And trying to repair all of it on your own will only end in disaster. One of you will inevitably be carrying most of the responsibility, and may grow resentful.
When you get professional counseling, you have an objective third-party person who is knowledgeable about relationships.
They can help you navigate difficult discussions, and keep both of you accountable to do your part to reconcile.
2. Not Making A Reconciliation Plan Together
Marriage involves two people who have made a commitment to each other, as partners, as a team.
It may be tempting to make all the rules yourself, especially if you were the one wronged in the relationship. But this should be a team effort.
When you make the plan, get both parties involved in deciding the process, as well as a professional and objective third party.
This third party may provide relationship advice and suggestions about the plan. But ultimately it should come down to the two of you.
One of many common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity is letting only one of you take the reins. And not allowing the one who was cheating to have any say.
3. Seeking Advice From Your Close Family And Loved Ones
Common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity include seeking advice from your loved ones, such as family members or a best friend.
Why is this a mistake? Because whoever you talk to will take a side, and give you advice based on a projection of their own experiences.
Maybe you have divorced parents, or a friend who separated from a cheating spouse.
Having this kind of baggage will definitely skew their opinions about your reconciliation.
Think twice before confiding about the infidelity, but definitely don’t ask for their advice.
Rather get professional help, and make an agreement beforehand on how much, and to whom, you can share.
4. Sharing Too Much With Your Casual Friends
Also avoid sharing intimate details about your marriage and the infidelity with casual friends, no matter how tempting it may be.
After all, they might only know you from work, and have never met your spouse.
You’re probably looking for a shoulder to cry on. The shoulder of someone who only knows you, and is not involved in your other circles.
But try to refrain from doing this. If you need an ear to listen to, look for a personal therapist or counselor.
One of the common reconciliation mistakes is telling your personal history to acquaintances. And not thinking it might come back to bite you later.
5. Trying To Act Like Nothing Happened
Sweeping things under the rug may be one of the oldest ways of dealing with infidelity pain.
But just because it’s a classic coping strategy to address infidelity, doesn’t mean it’s a good one.
It’s actually one of the worst common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
Ignoring it won’t save the marriage. Never talking about it will just leave a lot of damage untreated, and will hurt your infidelity recovery process.
If you care enough to save the relationship you have with your partner, then you sometimes need to do the painful things. The painful thing in this case is addressing the affair.
6. Getting Your Young Child(ren) Involved
Kids can be very intuitive about what goes on in the home.
When they inevitably start to ask questions, it’s important to have an answer ready – hopefully one you’ve already discussed with your spouse.
Children are often the reason most couples want to reconcile in the first place.
Absolutely don’t talk about the cheating with your young child, or disparage your cheating partner in any way in front of them.
If you do, your child may turn to another family member to talk about it (and cause them to spread a rumor).
Or worse, she may start feeling guilty, and blame herself for the troubles in your relationship.
This can leave deep emotional scars, so do your best to protect them from the possible side effects of the marriage healing process.
7. Trying To Shame Your Partner
When your partner cheats on you and betrays your vows of marriage, it might be easier to hold it over their head and guilt-trip them indefinitely.
You can use their guilt to always get your way in the relationship, or get them to buy you nice things.
But if you’re trying to rebuild your relationship, you would do well to get such thoughts out of your head.
Common marriage reconciliation mistakes include holding the infidelity over your partner, like a ‘Get out of jail free’ card in Monopoly.
If they’re seeking forgiveness and trying to reconcile, try to be the bigger person.
Related Article: Falling Out Of Love After Infidelity
8. Rushing To Get Things back To Normal
Time heals all wounds. Emotional wounds included, if they’re being treated and addressed. And the reconciliation won’t be done overnight.
Recovering from infidelity issues in relationships is often a slow process.
Rushing thing, and trying to quickly ‘get over’ it, is another one of the common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
Betrayal of trust is the worst hurt to experience, even from casual friends. It will take much longer than a day or two to heal from the pain.
9. Holding A Grudge
It should go without saying, but if you can’t forgive your spouse’s infidelity, then there’s no hope for the relationship to repair.
If the cheating partner wants to make things right, then it’s guaranteed that they already feel guilty. No need to hold onto resentment.
And definitely no need for manipulation and mind games – that’s another one of the common marriage reconciliation mistakes.
As mentioned in the previous point, this takes time. If you can’t forgive right away, at least try not to hold a grudge.
Channel your anger in personal therapy and maybe take up a hobby, so you don’t take it out on your partner.
10. Letting Lack of Communication Tear You Apart
Your partner cheated on you, and you’re going through the betrayal and hurt feelings of the damage they caused.
It may be tempting to give them the silent treatment. After all, they don’t deserve your attention after betraying your marriage, do they?
But if you avoid talking, you also avoid healing. If you’re committed to reconciling, then you need to communicate with each other.
Marriage counseling is a great way to start, especially if you can’t talk without getting heated.
If you find that certain topics trigger arguments, then set boundaries about what you can bring up.
For example, bringing up the cheating too soon after the affair ended won’t go down well for either of you. So it’s best to eventually bring it up after the dust has settled.
In the meanwhile, try talking about the things you usually do. Just don’t stonewall each other.
Related: Gut Feeling He’s Cheating No Proof: 31 Critical Signs
11. Giving In To Paranoia And Suspicion
One of the common mistakes in trying to repair a broken marriage is giving in to paranoia.
Checking his phone to see his messages. Looking up her location on social media for suspicious activities.
These behaviors are not trusting behaviors. And trust is the number one key to a successful long-lasting marriage.
The reality is that the chance of a cheating partner cheating again is quite high.
But the difference with your partner is that they want to make the relationship work, and have committed to making you trust them again.
If you’ve made an agreement of marriage reconciliation after infidelity, then try to do the minimum of allowing them to gain your trust. Without doing things that could compromise it.
12. Not Addressing Your Hurt Feelings
Just because you’re going through a marriage reconciliation process doesn’t mean that you need to hide your hurt feelings, and just ‘suck it up.’
Common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity include bottling up your emotions to move the process along.
Part of the healing process is exposing and treating your emotions about the cheating. This ensures that you’re not just letting it fester inside you and make you bitter.
Being betrayed is a big deal. Don’t ignore the impact it had on your heart.
As your partner works to regain trust in the marriage, it’s important for you to work through your feelings.
13. Taking Revenge
After your partner cheated on you, seeking revenge in some way can be an attractive option.
One of the common marriage reconciliation mistakes is thinking that you need to ‘get even’ somehow.
You may consider taking revenge by keying their car, posting about their affair on social media, or even committing infidelity yourself.
But as tempting as these options may be, avoid them at all costs. Vengeance is not the way to forgiveness and healing your marriage.
Even if you do take revenge, it will only feel good in the moment, and could do irreparable damage to the relationship with your partner.
14. Not Being Honest
As you’re working to repair the marriage, remember that honesty is the best policy. If some things that your partner says feels like emotional attacks, then let them know.
If it’s difficult to be intimate with them because you’re still thinking about the cheating, tell them gently.
Have your own set of boundaries while the relationship is healing, and respect their boundaries too.
Work through your issues by being honest, but tactful and mindful of the other person’s feelings.
15. Neglecting Your Partner’s Needs
One of the most common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity is being selfish.
You should still show up, and work to meet each other’s needs.
Try to do the things you usually do for your partner, as they do the things they usually do for you.
This can feel like one of the most challenging aspects of repairing a broken marriage. When the hurt from the infidelity is fresh, meeting your partner’s needs may make it feel worse.
But as you go back into your rhythms, and find new ones along the way, you’ll be grateful that you put the effort in at the start of the process.
16. Avoiding The Conversation About The Infidelity
After the dust has settled from the affair, eventually you’ll need to have the conversation about the cheating.
It may be scary at first, especially if things are going well so far. But once you both confront it, it will help you to rebuild trust.
If you can, get a professional third party to mediate the conversation with your partner, and prompt you with questions and talking points.
Common marriage reconciliation mistakes include avoiding the important conversations to not ‘rock the boat.’
But if it’s left unsaid, this conversation will eventually come back in the worst way. Like in the middle of a fight.
Related Article: Best Ways To Deal With Guilt Of Cheating
17. Getting Into Too Much Detail About the Affair
Speaking of having the conversation, it may be important for closure (and for your mental health) to ask your partner some questions about the infidelity.
Keep the questions focused on your partner, and your relationship. Things that will help you both gain clarity on the circumstances of, and feelings about, the extramarital affair.
Avoid asking intimate details about the cheating and the affair partner.
The last thing you need is to reopen old wounds by finding out things about the other woman that you were better off not knowing.
Examples Of Questions To Ask Your Unfaithful Spouse
- How did you get into this new relationship?
- What happened during the affair?
- What were your thoughts on our marriage when you started cheating?
- Did you ever consider leaving me for them?
- What were your feelings about the affair?
- Did you love them?
- How long did the affair go on?
Related: How To Forgive Yourself For Cheating: 21 Helpful Perspectives & Tools
18. Not Working To Identify The Circumstances Of The Affair
If you went through the conversation and asked questions about your partner’s infidelity, you’ll have insights that can be helpful.
The most important thing in the whole process is having the information about what your relationship was like when the cheating started. And what feelings and logic triggered your partner to enter into the affair.
Be warned, what you hear may really hurt you. Take the information as useful data for your relationship issues.
Without getting passive-aggressive or swapping emotional attacks, you can establish new boundaries. And work on the areas you both may have lacked.
Not to say that you are responsible for the infidelity. It might just be that you went through a rough patch. And your partner chose an unhealthy coping mechanism instead of talking it through with you.
Related Article: BEST Ways – How To Stop Him From Cheating
19. Not Coping With The Emotional Damage The Affair Left
Speaking of boundaries, not setting them will make things worse in the long-run.
In the aftermath of the damage that the affair left, it’s important to speak up about and address your mental health.
Speak to your partner about adopting new behaviors, and avoiding possible triggers that could set your trauma off.
If your partner is serious about improving your relationship, they will be willing to listen and make adjustments.
Recognize the importance of setting boundaries. One of the most common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity is pretending that nothing fazes you.
What Are Triggers After Infidelity?
A common trigger might be seeing your partner leave the room to take a call. Usually this would be good manners, but now it looks like secrecy.
Maybe you get triggered when you see your husband talk to or look at a pretty woman.
Another common one is being in the place where the affair took place.
For example, maybe your usual route involves passing the house of the affair partner. If possible, try driving around the route.
20. Leaving Without Any Thought Of Closure
Obviously, it’s your choice and prerogative to leave the other party and your marriage behind if you feel hurt from their cheating.
But if you know your partner is working hard to rebuild trust in the marriage, it might be worth it to see if the damage can be fixed.
Marriage reconciliation after infidelity is not an easy path, but if your relationship is worth it – and you still love and cherish your spouse – you could try it for a short period.
Related: What Does Cheating Say About A Person?
21. Thinking You Need To Stick It Out When It’s Irreparable
On the other hand, some damage is just impossible to fix, no matter how hard you try.
Another one of the common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity is staying on a sinking ship.
If you’ve gone through the marriage reconciliation process, and the relationship is still not where it should be after time, you’ll be doing both yourself and your partner a favor by walking away.
When To Walk Away After Infidelity
You know you should walk away if the other party shows no signs of repentance, or doesn’t do their part at repairing the marriage after their infidelity.
If you’re doing all the heavy-lifting, even though you’re not the one who was cheating, then it’s better to walk away for your mental health and wellbeing.
Related Article: Signs To Know When To Walk Away After Infidelity
Should you reconcile after infidelity?
This is a question that only you can answer. Marriage reconciliation is a difficult decision after you’ve experienced infidelity.
Confide in your therapist, journal, and really think about if it’s worth reconciling and rebuilding trust.
What percentage of marriages work out after infidelity?
A surprisingly high percentage of married couples stay together after a partner has been cheating.
But whether they ‘work out’ (i.e. they’re still happy with each other) is another story. Most people will stay together, even in a broken marriage.
But couples who go to therapy, and work on their partnership tend to fare very well.
What is a betrayed spouse cycle?
The betrayed spouse cycle is the grief process after your partner has cheated on you.
It covers the stages from discovering the affair, going through the grief process, to moving on from the betrayal.
In this article, we covered the common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
Have you ever experienced the pain of a partner’s infidelity, or a similar pain?
What did you find was the best path for your healing? Let me know your own thoughts in the comments, and share this post for those who may need it!