No husband or wife ever wants to learn that they’ve been deceived by the other, the truth is, it hurts deeply. Infidelity is a topic nobody really wants to deal with but once again the truth is it happens and in order to move on with either mending your marriage or through other options, you must deal with it (the infidelity). Not dealing with it can impact your life in ways you never imagined (example: future relationships, self esteem, personal appearance, communication, job performance, personality, health, etc.).
Below are some key areas to seriously consider when dealing with infidelity in your relationship. The important thing to remember is not to make immediate life changing decisions when you’re experiencing anger, betrayal, hurt, fear, or a desire for revenge. Take all the time you need to collect your thoughts, think about and if need be (pray) about your decision, seek professional or spiritual counseling, your final decision can be just as impacting as learning about your soldier’s infidelity.
As crazy as it may sound, someone else has gone through infidelity and their marriage survived, so-can-yours.
Confession – you’ve confronted your soldier about the infidelity and he/she has come clean and confessed their wrong-doing, asked for your forgiveness and has promised to end the affair. He/she could have lied about the affair but they didn’t. The fact that he/she confessed to you openly and honestly indicates that they want to right their wrong-doing.
Forgiveness – with an open and honest confession now on the table, you must now search deep within yourself to find the love and strength to forgive your soldier. The truth is we all have made mistakes and someone forgave us. If you truly and sincerely love your soldier, you too can hopefully find the power to forgive.
Communicate (talk, talk, and talk again) – communicating about what you feel to your soldier and how this situation has impacted you is absolutely crucial, if you don’t talk about it, he/she will never know. The key word is talking (not shouting, swearing, threatening, pointing fingers, etc.) in a manner that your soldier can hear, feel and understand your anger, pain, and hurt.
Kids – if you have small children try to keep the home atmosphere as normal as possible. If you and your soldier need to talk, have the children play in another room or safe location where they are unable to hear your conversation. Your little ones don’t understand the feelings you’re going through and will often-times be emotionally effected when they see that you are stressed, upset, and/or crying. There may be times where you will need to release and that’s ok and normal, perhaps taking a long walk alone would be appropriate.
Time and Healing – there is a saying time heals all wounds while there is some truth to the saying, the person who is hurting has to allow time for the healing process to be completed and it doesn’t just happen overnight, it takes time. How much time? Until you feel healed. Important – the time and healing phase is not a time to beat your soldier up-side the head with their infidelity, if you need to talk about something that is bothering you, create an atmosphere for open dialogue for you and your soldier to talk, openly, honestly, and respectfully to one another. Healing from this hurt is crucial to you moving forward.
Counseling – seeking professional or spiritual guidance is ok. Everyone copes with traumatic situations differently, some cope better alone, while others need outside intervention. Whatever you do, don’t feel like you’re all alone and there is no one to help you. The military has marriage counseling programs for each branch of the service, to find a program for yourself, you can go online to http://www.militaryonesource.com or call their 24/7 toll free line at 1.800.342.9647. You can also contact or visit your base Chaplin.
Marriage Recovery – the big question, do you mend the marriage or leave it? Hopefully there is a chance to mend it but the end decision is ultimately yours to make. Whatever your decision, take all that you’ve gone through as a learning experience. A marriage is like a long-term stock investment, it’s going to endure some turbulent times, but in the end if it’s a good stock, it’s going to bounce back and chances are you’re going to have more after it recovers than you did when you initially invested.
Infidelity in Military Marriages. What are your thoughts?
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