When your marriage is in a free fall of disconnectedness, anger, or resentment, it can feel like you are standing on the sidelines watching a train wreck, helpless to stop it. It’s terrifying. Even worse, if your spouse has already asked for a divorce, you may be feeling like the end is inevitable.

Let me give you the good news first.

Fixing things doesn’t require that you both jump in and dissect your issues. When you change any part of a system (in your case, your relationship), the whole system reacts and thus changes.

Every marriage goes through difficult times which can drive you to question whether it is even worth sticking it out. But marriages can stay together as long as both of you don’t give up at the same time.

The bad news is that clearly what you are doing isn’t working. That means to fix things, you have to make some changes, but probably not the ones that you thought.

Truth be told, until the divorce papers have been signed, you still have hope.

Here are some important tips that will inspire your spouse to wake up and recommit to your marriage.

  1. When your spouse is upset…

Read more: How To Work On Saving Your Marriage When You're Doing It Alone

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No one knows for sure, but it is estimated that affairs affect 40- 70% of all marriages. Most affairs are eventually discovered. During this devastating time, people often disclose the affair to friends and family in search of necessary support. 

So what happens when it’s you?  Your partner cheated. You are devastated. You run out and tell your friends and family. This is okay because you do need the support, but you are surprised once your relationship is on the mend that your friends and family are the ones who haven’t gotten over it. 

First things first- If you have any inclination that your relationship may stay intact, only disclose to people who aren’t too emotionally invested in the relationship. The less invested they are, the more objective they can be. Objectivity is what you need right now and will provide you with the most support. You may want someone to cry and get angry with you, but it will not serve you in the long run.

But, if the deed is already done, here’s what you need to do:

1. Involve those you told in the process of your reconciliation. It’s not fair that you initially spilled all the juicy details and now you want to be tight lipped and say that everything is fine.  Let them know about the therapy you are receiving (you did get therapy, right?).  Give them some insight into your process, the revelations experienced and the changes made. It will help them understand your decision to stay. You owe them that much for going through this emotional roller coaster with you. If it’s family, you should do this as a couple.

2. Let them know the conversation is over. After you have involved them in the process, it is okay to let them know that you are both in a place where you are moving forward and not talking about the affair as a couple. Thank them sincerely for their support during this struggle and let them know that you won’t be talking about it anymore.

3. You may need some space. If the anger and resentment is severe, this may be a time to distance yourself from this relationship for a while. The reality is that an affair affects many more than the two involved.  You may have inadvertently ripped off an affair wound which is causing them to take this affair personally. Most people eventually move on when they see that you are thriving. You need to have a difficult conversation explaining how their feelings are affecting you and that you appreciate their care for you, but that you are doing well and you need to give them some space and time to recognize that. When they are feeling more accepting of your current relationship, you can reconnect.

This is a difficult time for all involved. Although you need to focus on self-care, you also have to help those who have helped you.

Read more: When Your Friends and Family Can't Get Over the Affair

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