Trust is an essential ingredient of every human relationship and in marriage it cannot be over emphasized and when one partner steps out of the trust circle to indulge in an act of infidelity it could be the beginning of the end. For married couples who have suffered this breach of loyalty, overcoming those feelings can be extremely difficult.

Before a fighting couple both head for the door, there are steps that can be taken that might help the relationship get on the track to healing.

Relationship coach, Stephen Omojuyigbe discussed steps to bouncing back from infidelity with #WakeUpNigeria’s host Titi. He divulged that sometimes, an act of infidelity can be a great tool in strengthening a relationship. Steven began by saying;

The interesting thing is that infidelity can actually be good for a marriage, I have seen marriages get better, love rekindled, passion re-fired after infidelity, you find two people that used to be in love with each realise that they are about to loose their partner, and then two people that used to ignore each other, that didn’t use to value each other are suddenly awakened by the infidelity episode but the key is in how you deal with the infidelity.

 

There are people that allow the infidelity to break their marriage, there are those who sweep it under the carpet and never deal with it, and of course you find it reoccurring and there is the third category of those who use infidelity and the dynamics of it to reinvent their love and restore their marriages.”

Stephen further mentioned that infidelity is terrible and it can break a marriage as someone who felt chosen can now feel rejected. According to him the first stages couples dealing with infidelity go through is the crises stage;

There are 3 stages I have observed that couples dealing with infidelity issues go through and what you do, both as the offender and the offended in each of those 3 stages will determine where your marriage will end up

 

The first is the crises stage, at this stage there is a lot of anger, pain and heartache. For the person who is offended the critical thing at this stage is not to take it as a judgement on yourself worth. A lot of people, when their spouse cheats on them take it as a judgement on their value and self worth and they cause more pain than the initial pain of infidelity.

 

The first thing the offended should realise is that it is not about you, this is a judgement on the character of the person who cheated. For the offender the temptation is to make it about the other person, you must be careful to not do that. In this crises period you(offender) must offer apologies that are without any kind of excuses or accusations.You cant say you made a mistake, you have to say you made a bad choice because it was not a mistake.

Here is the problem the offender will have to deal with, when someone has been cheated on they will say a lot of terrible things, but you(offender) can’t defend yourself and you can’t defend the person you cheated with, you have to sit down and take every blame, because if you don’t do this you might block the capacity of the person to forgive you.

There is something else that happens in the crises stage, the offended is always asking questions like ‘who is she/he?’ ‘where did you meet?’ ‘How many times did you do it?’ Now the offender, a lot of times does not want to talk, but you(offender) don’t have that choice, you have to give all the information the offended is asking for without being graphic.

 

There is a caveat for the offended, you(offended) have to understand that even though you want answers, these answers might stay with you for the rest of your life, so do you really want to know? and how much do you really want to know? So its a balance of needing information but also be careful about how much information you really need to get past that stage”

Steven ended by explaining that the offender must cut all tie with whoever he/she cheated with, as only then can the journey to restoring trust in the relationship begin.

For the offender, if you really want to restore your marriage and restore trust, you must cease all communications with whoever you cheated with. sometimes there is no good way to end a bad relationship, you just walk away. Once you do this you are set up for the next stage to come.