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How to make it work after an affair

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So how do you make it work with your spouse if they've had an affair? I can tell you that the best way to make it work after an affair is to totally end your marriage. And now, you're saying, what? What does that mean? Well I can tell you that through the lifetime of your marriage, you have many different marriages with the same person. But after an affair, after you cross that line and somebody steps out of your monogamy agreement, this marriage that you have is over. That's why you're grieving. That's why it's so painful. And so together, you have to grieve. This is not the vision you had of your marriage. This is not where you thought things were going to end up. If together you can say, we have to end this right here, grieve it together, and say, this is not how we thought we were going to end up together, and then make a choice to start a new marriage, a new monogamy agreement going forward, then you really do have a chance of having a new relationship, a new marriage, and creating rules together of how you want it to be - how you want it to be emotionally, sexually, as parents, and what your new marriage is going to be going forward. Part of the problem is people trying to fit themselves back into their marriage the way it was prior to the affair. If you try to do that, you're going to end up the same place you are now. Plus you're going to feel incredibly hopeless and frustrated. So if you're feeling frustration right now, if you're feeling hopeless, if you're feeling like this is never going to work, it's probably because it won't. The good news is, you have a chance for a whole new future together. It's just a matter of drawing a line in the sand now, grieving it together, and saying, we could have a whole brand new future if we started it together and planned it together now.

Tammy Nelson, PhD gives advice on how to make your marriage work after someone has been unfaithful

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Expert Bio

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Tammy Nelson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Tammy Nelson PhD is the author of several books including, “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together”  (2008) and  “What’s Eating You? A Workbook for Anorexia and Bulimia (2004)” and her latest  book “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” (January 2013) is receiving critical acclaim.  She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Washington Post, Self,  Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC,  Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Huffington Post, YourTango and can be followed on her blog www.drtammynelson.com/blog/.

Tammy Nelson is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist and an Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an international speaker and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She travels and lectures internationally on her quest for global relational change.

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