After an affair, when your marriage has been through a meltdown, you may wonder how to pick up, move forward—and feel love for your spouse once again.
Maybe you’ve done the work necessary to save and rebuild your marriage: worked through negative thoughts and images, and gotten off the emotional rollercoaster to something resembling solid ground. Many couples want to know: how do I fall in love with my spouse again?
In this blog, I’ll give you three key ingredients that need to be in place in order to be successful at finding love once more with your spouse.
Moving toward Love
When your spouse cheats, it unleashes a torrent of negativity into your relationship. If you cheated, you may feel your spouse hates you—and they may think they do, too.
But if you have been working together to save your marriage, it’s safe to say that underneath the pain and suffering wrought by the affair’s revelation, there is more than likely some remaining feelings of love. Love is a strong emotion and bond, and even an affair isn’t always powerful enough to break it.
Marriages have to weather many storms—and an affair ranks up there with death of loved ones in terms of intensity of storm-weathering. In fact, it’s possible that there are other points within the marriage where one or both partners may feel as if they’ve fallen out of love, without an affair being the cause.
If you and/or your spouse truly want to be in love again, it is possible. It’s also possible to build a stronger marriage than you ever had before.
After your spouse cheats, you may think this is the last thing that could ever happen. But there are many marriages that, after experiencing a complete rupture of the relationship, are able to mend it into something with a more solid foundation.
Often, those weak areas that were never addressed as foundational rules early in the relationship are now woven into the relationship, binding the partners together better than ever before.
To get to the point of falling in love again, let’s look at the ingredients that need to be in place in your relationship.
Necessary Relationship Ingredients for Falling in Love Again
Falling in love again will take time, as well as commitment and resolve in working to save your marriage. After an affair, you know that things must change in your relationship. Those changes take time and practice.
Three of the ingredients that are part of these relationship improvements include:
Ingredient #1: Transparency
After an affair, a sense of trust in your spouse (or your spouse’s trust in you) has been ruptured. Clandestine activities took place, and there is no reason for the victim of an affair to assume that just because a cheater says so—clandestine activities aren’t still happening or will happen again.
By developing a code of transparency, where you share what you’re doing and who you are seeing with your spouse, feelings of trust can be rebuilt. This type of sharing is a habit that must be formed to help the trust rupture heal, enabling a feeling of safety within the relationship to be experienced once more.
Ingredient #2: Conflict Resolution
The way you and your spouse have traditionally resolved conflicts may need an overhaul. If every disagreement dissolved into screaming fits and/or silent treatments—then it’s time to look at more meaningful ways to respectfully handle differences.
You won’t always agree 100% with your spouse. You are both individuals. But, creating an atmosphere of caring and understanding can help rebuild your marriage bonds. It’s hard to feel a sense of love if one or both spouses feel they aren’t respected, their opinion isn’t appreciated, and they aren’t understood.
Conflict resolution is another habit that must be formed, with clear parameters to help you handle conflicts in a collaborative way.
Ingredient #3: Communication
Many couples feel that the root of their problems is their inability to effectively communicate with one another. That can mean you don’t know how to tell your spouse what you need, or your spouse feels you don’t listen to him or her. Or, maybe your spouse asks questions that only provide an opportunity for you to respond with a “yes” or “no,” so no true conversation takes place.
To fall in love again, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your spouse—and that means identifying where communication is coming up short between you. Good communication is a skill, and practicing the art of conversation is another habit to form, bringing you closer to your spouse.
My best wishes for you as you move forward in your marriage and find love once again with your spouse.
Are you ready to fall in love with your spouse again?
What are the roadblocks to falling in love with him or her?
Are the three relationship ingredients within this blog present in your marriage right now?
What type of work do you think you both will need to do before you’re able to say “I love my spouse again?”
Please share your thoughts and experiences regarding falling in love again with your spouse by leaving a comment below.