Since I began helping women overcome infidelity over 10 years ago I’ve spoken with thousands of women.
I’ve listened as they have cried, raged, and questioned whether anything good would ever happen to them again.
What I’ve learned from working with all these women is that a marriage can be saved if you’re willing to put the work in.
But know this.
The universe isn’t on your side – nor is it against you. It has no preference, makes no bets, and backs no one. This is both terrifying and empowering.
It means that in order for change to occur you must be the catalyst.
There’s no going backward, no having your husband magically change his ways and having the perfect marriage. There are no inevitables.
But this isn’t an article about banging the drum and getting you riled up to make meaningful change.
It’s about taking the first step towards creating the change necessary to save your marriage or move forward with grace and confidence.
What has always interested me most while working with women on the receiving end of infidelity is how they can make genuine change. I’m always searching for reasons why people are being held back from change and why some people experience shifts faster than others.
Now I’d like to impart what I’ve learned from my years of service.
We all want to make improvements. But how should we go about it?
I recently spoke with a woman that expressed a desire to change her marriage. She was fed up with the warped power dynamic of her marriage and wanted to right the wrongs. She spoke vehemently about the love she had for her husband, her family, and life, and how much she was ready to make a drastic change.
But as soon as we started talking about concrete steps to make that happen she froze.
She froze because yearning is easy, but being uncomfortable as you try to make change isn’t. Putting yourself out there and changing the status quo (even when it’s one you don’t like) is terrifying.
The first step in the right direction is realizing and accepting that you are the maker of your reality. You and only you have the power to alter your life for the better.
This can put a lot of people off.
It makes them feel as though the burden is too much.
I like to think of it as empowering.
You can steal back the pen and write your own narrative. And you know what, even if you don’t get that fairy tale ending, the next chapter will no doubt be better than the last.
And don’t for a minute think you’re alone in this journey.
You have friends and family who will support you, and if you don’t there are groups of women that have suffered infidelity and are on the path to healing that will support you. Women just like you that understand what you’re going through, can empathize with you, and will support you on your journey.
Also, realize that you don’t need to change your marriage in a day. It will take time to fix what has been broken. Moving forward involves taking one step after another. There are no shortcuts to meaningful healing.
More often than not, saving your marriage means saving yourself.
If you’ve been cheated on, it’s likely that you’ve had your self-worth stolen from you. It’s easy to fall victim to the thought of not being good enough after being cheated on.
Easy to think, maybe if I were better looking, more sexual, funnier, more loving, more there for him, he would not have strayed.
This is an internal wound you need to heal from.
Thinking you’re lesser than your spouse creates an unhealthy dynamic. It may lead you to do everything in your power to satisfy his every need. It will create an unhealthy power dynamic where you put him on a pedestal and you constantly try to bend to his every need.
This creates an environment where you can be taken advantage of.
To improve the relationship you have with your spouse you have to improve the relationship you have with yourself.
There are a million and one ways to do this. In my program, The Authentic Relationship System we’ll get granular as you are walked through concrete steps you can take to build confidence.
However, if you don’t want to wait, start addressing that internal wound and building self-esteem by doing the following:
Gaining back your self-esteem involves turning inward and examining who you are.
As I’ve mentioned, to save your marriage you have to save yourself. That means looking inward and understanding your wounds and triggers.
This is more than just changing thought patterns but really getting at the marrow of the problem.
Maybe that means acknowledging that you feel scarred by your husband’s infidelity. Maybe it means working through this newfound anxiety before you can be intimate with him again. Or perhaps it means spending some time away from each other so you can think clearly again.
Whatever the route may be, not addressing wounds and triggers will result in stagnancy.
In regards to triggers, if you can’t address these, having a meaningful conversation with your partner will be difficult. If every time you chat he triggers you how can you be expected to keep cool and composed while discussing contentious topics?
Most of this article we’ve been focusing on you.
There’s a reason for that.
We can’t change who he is BUT, we can influence.
Unless we cuff him to the chair in the marriage counselor’s office there’s little way we can force him to change but I know without doubt, that when you change you, your external world changes. The only person you can control is yourself. You can control how you heal, move forward, and how you respond to triggers.
I’m in no way defending what he is done, I’m just being practical. Advising you to try to change your husband is fruitless. Realistically how would you even do that?
That’s not to say you should avoid your husband or abstain from having conversations about how you feel. What it does mean is refusing to rely on him to change in order to save your marriage.
Making internal shifts gives you a better chance at healing yourself as well as the marriage. Let’s face it. Even if your husband did change and bettered himself as a husband, father, and person you’d still feel the pain of infidelity. That’s not something he solely has the power to change. Ultimately it’s something only you have control of.
Don’t for a minute think all this investment in yourself is for your marriage.
This is about you. The impetus at first to heal may have been to save your marriage, but even if you choose to end the relationship you will still reap the benefits of healing.
If you ultimately decide that living your best life means living it without him, you’ll still be a stronger woman than you were before. Healing will help you leave emotional baggage behind as you forge stronger relationships with new friends, loved ones, and most importantly with yourself.
I’ll be straight with you.
I’ve had clients who have had downright evil husbands. Mean men, men that neglect their wives, men that refuse to invest in the relationship. Men that manipulate women, always putting them down and gaslighting them.
I’m not that guy who’s going to say any marriage can be saved. Sometimes ending a marriage saves a life. Sometimes a failed marriage is really a successful divorce.
Some divorces should be celebrated more vigorously than the wedding.
My job is to help free you from the pain brought on by your marriage. If that means helping you realize this man isn’t for you so be it.
But realizing that starts with you. It starts with daring to imagine a better life and putting together a plan to help you achieve it.
Chances are your ego is holding you back from changing.
Your ego is saying things like…
He should be the one changing not me.
What if I fail?
What if I change and don’t save my marriage?
Your ego is always the biggest impediment to change.
Be aware of how you’re sabotaging yourself. Catch yourself when you start to work against what you know is best for you.
Allow your spirit and desire for a better life to influence your decisions rather than your ego.
If you can do the work you can move forward.
The work entails concrete steps toward healing.
In my program, the Authentic Relationship System I’ll teach you how to heal, why men act the way they do, and how to move forward with grace and confidence.
Don’t just vent at someone, but change your behavior by following a blueprint that has worked for hundreds of women.
I’d love to learn more about your and your romantic goals. Let’s chat 1-on-1 so we can learn more about each other and determine if the Authentic Relationship System is right for you.