To start off, unfaithfulness is a painful thing to handle especially when you feel you’ve been doing your best to love your spouse. Here are some suggestions on how to handle the issue.
1. Ask yourself if you still love your spouse and why? What qualities do you find attractive in him/her?
2. Ask yourself if going back to your spouse is endangering your life. Has your spouse been beating you up? Threatening you? Be rational. Use your mind. Stay objective.
3. Decide. Are you going to make this marriage work or not? You have every right to end this marriage on grounds of unfaithfulness OR you can choose to make it work. Either you are fully in, or fully out. If you are fully in, you have to work on putting this behind you. The choice is yours.
4. Be clear to your spouse that he/she is not doing you a favour by staying married to you. If you stay married, he/she has to honour the marriage. You should not be held at ransom. Make sure your spouse knows that cheating is unacceptable. You are not at the mercy of your unfaithful spouse. You value marriage, but your life will not lose meaning if your marriage ends.
5. If you have a child/children, still make the decision based on you and your spouse. Many stay in the marriage for the sake of the children and throw away an opportunity to work things out as a couple. Don’t bury things under the carpet for the sake of the children.
6. No matter how difficult, listen to your spouse’s explanation why he/she cheated and why he/she cheated with the person or people in question. There is no justification for cheating, but still listen to your spouse’s side of the story.
7. Ask your spouse if he/she wants to make the marriage work. Let your spouse give you a YES or NO answer.
8. Give your spouse a chance to apologize. He/she has to own up to their mistake and say sorry.
9. Pray together.
Your prayer – Lord Jesus, teach me to forgive. Forgive my wife/husband, forgive me where we both have fallen short. Heal our marriage. Hold our marriage together. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Your spouse’s prayer – Lord Jesus, forgive me for my unfaithfulness. Order my steps. Lead me. Give our marriage another chance. Keep my spouse and I as one. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
10. Both of you discuss about the areas your marriage needs to improve: Trust, communication, prayers, quality time, sex life, finances. Analyze your marriage and agree on how to improve it. Both of you own your marriage afresh. Emphasizing that there is no excuse for cheating, but your marriage needs work.
11. Make your vows to each other afresh. Make it an intimate ceremony. If you wish you may invite two or three witnesses or do it just the two of you. Record this day whether on video, photos or writing.
12. Let your spouse agree, no more communication with the person or people he/she cheated with. Whether it is through writing a text or calling in your presence to tell that other woman/man that there can no longer communicate. Block that person’s phone number. Cut off communication.
13. Pray together more often. Play worship music in the house often. Set a mood of worship in the house. Worship will bring about healing.
14. Maintain your calm. Don’t shout. Don’t push your spouse away by being angry. Draw him/her nearer to you with love. Make your spouse feel forgiven. Love covers a multitude of sins.
15. Establish an environment of trust, security and comfort so that you both feel safe to share issues. Prevent unfaithfulness from repeating itself. Help your spouse not to fall again.
16. Don’t dwell on this matter. Talk about other things. More positive things.
17. Do more together. Find things to do together. Cook together, play games together, laugh, take walks.
18. Go out on dates. Get to being comfortable together in public. Treat your spouse special. Romance your spouse. Travel. Save up and go for a trip. Make new memories. Have fun.
19. Take new photos together. Take a studio photo together then frame and hang in your house. Celebrate your love.
20. Build yourself. Grow as an individual. Keep making your spouse proud. Shine. Give your marriage new success stories.