6 ways to repair your marriage after an Internet affair
The Internet is a blessing and a curse. While it provides instant access to information, contact with people from all over the world, and increased convenience in many areas of our lives, it also provides more opportunities to go astray in our marriage.
The Internet is a blessing and a curse. While it provides instant access to information, contact with people from all over the world, and increased convenience in many areas of our lives, it also provides more opportunities to go astray in our marriage. Internet affairs are on the rise. While these relationships are generally emotional rather than physical, they can cause as much damage to a marriage as a more “traditional” infidelity. With time, patience and understanding, however, a marriage decimated by an Internet affair can be repaired. The following are several ways to help you along the road to reconciliation and save your marriage from a very unhappy ending.
What to Do if You are Unfaithful:
1. Cut off your relationship with your on-line lover
Make it clear to him that you wish to have no more contact, and be firm. This will probably be very difficult at first, but it is necessary. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that you can remain friends. Not only will this cause additional pain to your spouse, but it will most likely result in a continuation of the romantic relationship. You might go through a period of withdrawal and feel extremely lonely for a while, but it shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks, especially if you follow the next few suggestions.
2. If you experience depression, see a doctor
It is important you talk to someone about your situation. Visit with a therapist or consider asking your doctor to prescribe an antidepressant. This may seem extreme, but taking medication is better than allowing your marriage to crumble.
3. Recognize the affair for what it is
Affairs are addictions, and you are addicted to your email friend because she fulfills needs that aren't being met by your spouse. Talk to your spouse about the problem and help her understand how to meet those needs.
What to Do if Your Spouse is Unfaithful:
1. Spend time with your spouse
Go on dates and get away from the house and kids. Remember that it took time to fall in love in the first place, so take that necessary time to fall in love, again. Many counselors suggest a minimum of 15 hours a week. This time should not be interrupted with outside distractions, nor should you allow yourself to give anything less than your undivided attention to one another.
2 . Get to the root of the problem
Find out what it is about your spouse's Internet lover that fulfills his needs. Find out what it is that he talks to her about that he doesn't with you. Does he feel she admires him and gives him attention that you do not? Try to learn as much as you can about this relationship so you can begin to fill those same needs yourself.
Since your spouse seems to enjoy "love letters" with her email friend, give her some love letters of your own. Many couples make the mistake of discontinuing various activities they did to 'win over their spouse' in the first place. If your sex life is suffering, realize that your wife probably needs affection to be turned on. If you fulfill her needs for affection then she will begin to fulfill yours for sex.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.