If your boyfriend strays, it’s so easy to say you should just leave him. It’s possible that he’s really not in love with you anymore, doesn’t think of you as long-term material, or simply can’t stay faithful to one woman. As much as it hurts, you can still get out of this disaster of a relationship and nurse your broken heart.
But what happens when you’ve already married him?
Me and You
According to Melissa Pizaña-Cruz, certified life coach and head of the parenting cluster of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) of the Ateneo de Manila University, if a spouse is unfaithful, that means there is something else that is wrong with your relationship. Infidelity is a symptom and not the main problem (though we agree it is a big problem).
A relationship takes two, and this is why it is important to work on the reason for the infidelity. Just make sure that your husband has sincerely apologized and tried to make it up to you (because we are not denying that what he did was very, very wrong), will or has already discontinued the affair, and will not cheat again.
Talk it Out
Former guidance counselor Nympha Banzon shares how important it is to discuss the situation with your husband. “I've been fooled and made a fool of by my ex's infidelity, but I'm proud to say that I'm still standing! The best way to deal with it based on my experience is by talking about it with your partner. I know it will take a lot of willpower paired with tons of prayers to even do this. But it will help answer all the questions in your head that are driving you crazy.”
But she warns, “It depends also on how willing your partner is to talk about it. Be prepared for what he will say and you must take all answers objectively.”
The next step is to discuss where you want to take your marriage. “Come up with ways on how you want to deal with this problem and your plans for your marriage,” Banzon says. “But just a word of advice, make sure you do everything to work things out if it’s still worth saving. I may be separated, but I still believe that every marriage is worth saving.”
Time to Save
Pizaña-Cruz and her husband Herald Cruz, also a certified life coach and co-head of the parenting cluster of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) of the Ateneo de Manila University, both give a list of steps to take to save your marriage.
- Practice transparency – Since infidelity has broken the trust in your marriage, it is important for both of you to be upfront about and accountable for all your actions. Do not hide anything from your partner.
- Be patient and work on forgiveness – Forgiveness does not come overnight. It must take time and it is a process. Your husband has to prove himself to be worthy of your love again, but you must also help him do this by working on forgiving him.
- Be gracious – If your husband is genuinely trying to work his way back into your heart, do not be bitter and sarcastic. Remember that it will take both of you to make your marriage heal.
- Seek help – If you cannot solve the problem yourselves and keep hurting each other in the process, it’s time to seek help. If your husband refuses to seek help, then go on your own. Work on bettering yourself first. He’ll come around eventually when he sees the improvement in you.
There is always hope for healing when both of you want it. However, if you’re the only one who wants to save your marriage and your husband refuses to end his affair, then that’s a different story altogether, don’t you think?
For counseling and other inquiries, contact:
Center for Family Ministries (CeFaM)Spiritual Pastoral CenterAteneo de Manila University CampusLoyola Heights, Quezon CityTelefax: 426-4285Telephone: 426-4289 up to 92E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Got a parenting or relationship question for Olivia? Shoot her an email at email@example.com.
Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet.