An affair is enough to rock even the most solid relationship to its core. The after-effects of cheating can be felt for years, and it can even be enough to damage a relationship beyond repair. If you aren't ready to kick your partner to the curb you'll need a game plan for how to save your relationship after an affair. These steps are critical for any couple to take if they're focused on moving on after an affair:
Communicate your feelings.
Healthy relationships are based on openness and honesty, and communication is critical to the success of any relationship, especially when you're trying to save yours after an affair. Make a promise that you'll both come clean about your feelings, as they happen instead of silently stewing over problems that you might face. No matter if you're feeling hurt, angry, rejected, anxious, or hopeful, voice your feelings to your partner and let them in on how you're processing the affair. If you can both communicate your emotions and keep things out in the open you're more likely to succeed in saving your relationship.
Give it time.
You can't expect that your relationship will bounce back right after your partner cheats on you. It takes time to recover after an affair, and it won't happen overnight. Allow yourself the space to go through the full range of emotions that you'll feel after you discover an affair and let the trust build back up between you and your partner. Tips like these will help you understand how long it takes to recover after an affair. Be realistic and give your relationship plenty of time to heal and it can become stronger than ever.
Make an effort.
Your cheating partner is in the doghouse, big time, after an affair, but they aren't the only ones who need to work on saving the relationship. Both people in a couple are responsible for the success of a relationship and you'll need to put in your own time and effort to make it work. Think back to when you were dating and some of the little things that you did to make your partner feel special. Compliment them, put extra effort into your appearance, plan unique dates instead of just watching tv, and carve out time to spend together. When your partner sees how hard you're working towards saving your relationship after an affair it will motivate them to do the same and will show them how much you care about being together.
Seek professional help.
As tempting as it might be to try to fix your relationship on your own, sometimes it takes a professional to help you and your partner recover, especially in the early stages when it might seem impossible to get over it. Couples counselling can help create a neutral space where you can both speak freely with professional guidance to help. A counsellor will be able to give you and your partner practical advice and actions to take to work towards moving on from an affair.
Make sure you both want it.
No relationship can be saved after a cheating scandal if both parties don't want it. If your partner cheated because they're no longer interested in the relationship then your efforts in repairing things will be wasted. Part of your communication with each other will need to cover whether or not you both want to put the time and effort into finding happiness after an affair and moving forward with your relationship. If you're not both invested in fixing your relationship then you'll never be able to save it, no matter how hard you try.