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"I drove her into the arms of another. What do I do to get her back?"

By Susie and Otto Collins

John is desperate to save his marriage. His wife Kara had an affair recently and, although she has broken off all contact with this other man, John is worried that he will lose her.

Recently, Kara told John that she doesn't think that she can go back to the way things were.

She admitted to him that part of the reason that she cheated was because she has felt so dissatisfied for so long with their relationship.

This other man came into her life and appeared to give her all of the things that John couldn't, or wouldn't-- at least that's how it seemed at the time.

Yes, John is angry that Kara cheated and that their marriage is so damaged, maybe dying. But most of all, he wants to know how to get Kara back and how to turn their relationship around.

If your spouse has had an affair and you want to repair the damage and stay with him or her, you might be struggling to find the answers to how you can "win back" your mate.

It can feel like a blow to both your self esteem and to the trust in your relationship when the promises that you made to one another to be faithful and monogamous have been broken.

Some people feel like they cannot restore that trust and they choose to end their marriage.

This is always an option.

But, if you decide to stay with your partner and work to repair trust and your marriage, you will be more successful if your mate has the same goals.

Both of you need to absolutely certain that staying is what you want to do.

Even with the questions and concerns you may have, it is important that each of you commits to giving your all to healing individually and as a couple.

You cannot make your partner come back to you or re-commit to your marriage. But, you can take certain steps that will help...

Forgiveness is a powerful act when it comes to healing after an affair. Unfortunately, forgiveness is quite misunderstood.

Many people assume that forgiveness is a kind and gracious thing that is done for the other person. This notion of forgiveness will not allow you to heal the way that you need to heal.

When you continue to believe that you have done something FOR your partner who cheated, you may harbor some level of resentment about that.

However, when you re-think forgiveness as something that you are doing for you, the power of it can come through.

You see, when you forgive for you, it is a declaration that you are ready to release the past and the pain.

You are not indicating that the infidelity was okay or pretending that it never happened. What are you doing is letting go of all of those thoughts and
emotions that keep you stuck in what happened in the past.

This allows you to more easily look at the present moment and to the future you want to create with your mate.

If you have the belief (or have been told by your partner) that you are part of the reason why he or she cheated, be sure to offer yourself forgiveness.

By all means, learn from what happened. As difficult as it may be, listen to your spouse tell you what drove him or her away.

At the same time, let go of any feelings of guilt and all of those, "What if I had been or done_________ instead?" thoughts that may be crowding your mind.

Take responsibility
As you think and talk with your spouse about the affair, rebuilding trust and the state of your marriage, steer clear of right and wrong.

It's also advisable NOT to hone in on who is most to blame.

While you (or your partner) may have very compelling reasons and proof for why one of you is right and the other is wrong about all of this, such a discussion will only take the two of you further apart from one another.

Find the courage to take responsibility for your share in the dynamics that created distance between you.

Worry less about what your mate did-- even if it was that he or she had an affair-- and give more of your attention to what you can change about your own
habits and behaviors.

It takes just about everything that John has in him to listen closely to what Kara says drove her away. She tells him that she felt insignificant and inadequate to him for the bulk of their marriage.

While some of this is Kara's own self esteem issues, John acknowledges that he tends to be very critical of her. He is also somewhat of a workaholic.

When he puts these together, he can see how this would be troubling and dissatisfying for Kara.

Again, if your partner is the one who cheated, there are certainly choices and long-term habits that he or she needs to take responsibility for.

However, when you see the "big picture" of your relationship as a whole, you will most likely find that there were dynamics that involved your own habits and choices that caused disconnection even before the affair.

When you take responsibility for your own tendencies, you begin to turn toward change. These changes can ones that help you and your spouse rebuild trust and connection.

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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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