Did you have an affair? Do you blame your marriage for it? Think again. Marriage can be difficult and all marriages have areas of weakness. We have a tendency to confuse a “good marriage” with a “ perfect marriage”. Sometimes difficulties in the marriage can open the door to infidelity. However, affairs don’t just happen because “the marriage was bad”. They happen as a result of a number of variables, some of which are individual variables, such as stress, exhaustion, a need to be validated, low self-esteem, risk taking behavior, etc.…

When we do something that goes against our morals we feel puzzled. There is then a tendency to try and justify this out of character behavior through finding external causes. Why did you have an affair? There are always a number of factors to consider, first look at your individual variables, and then look at your marriage. While marital variables may be there, they are not the entire story. Furthermore, if you plan to stay in your marriage, and if you need your partner to forgive you, it is very important not to sound like you are blaming all your indiscretions on the marriage.

Couples therapy can help you recover your marriage after an affair. The first step is to help your partner accept the new reality and to be empathic to their pain.  The next step is for you to grieve the loss of the relationship. Affairs happen to good people. Bad choices happen to good people. Therapy offers a non-judgmental, non-moralistic space to understand yourself and what it all means. You can then address the weaknesses in your marriage, without linking them to your affair. This can help open a dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. In therapy, you also can focus on understanding the personal variables that made you vulnerable to the affair in the first place.

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