Infidelity knocks you on your rear-end, and changes your world like almost nothing else can.

Even if you are the one who cheated, the trust you and your spouse had for each other is now gone.

Not only is the trust gone for the spouse, it's gone for yourself and even the entirety of humanity.

To say it changes everything is putting it mildly.

But, the fact is you can save your marriage if you both want to. If you really want to save your marriage, here are some facts you need to know.

The Affair Must End Immediately

If the marriage is to survive the person who is having the affair must end it immediately and irrevocably. If the affair happened with a relative, work associate, or someone that you have to be around that person must be out of your lives.

You'll need to find a new job, and any relative who would do this is not someone you need to be around. The marriage has to come first. Remember the vows "forsaking all others...".

It's a Team Effort to Make it Work

No marriage can come through infidelity intact without both parties in the marriage being committed to making it happen. One person cannot work on a marriage alone. A marriage involves two spouses and the recovery must involve both spouses.

Without that, there is no point in even trying. Although, if the person who had the affair wants it to work, and the person who was betrayed is unsure there are things that can be done to bring the betrayed spouse around.

It Takes Time to Get Through This Situation

No marriage is going to recover overnight. It can take a long time, as much as a couple of years to rebuild the trust that was lost. It's important to acknowledge that it will take time, and for the foreseeable future most of your marriage will be about recovery. That can be very hard for both spouses to take.

Usually the one who did the cheating wants it over, brushed under the rug, and forgotten. But to make your marriage work, that cannot happen. Take the time to get things right if you want a long, happy marriage for the rest of your life.

The Guilty Party Must Be Open to Giving Their Spouse What They Need

Usually the one who cheated wants to confess get it over with, and move on. But often the person who was betrayed needs more than that, and they deserve it. Only tell your spouse what they ask, and be as kind as possible with the information you pass on to them. If you want your marriage to work you have to be honest, but be generous enough to keep some information to yourself.

At the same time, don't get angry when your spouse needs to talk about it. They may even seem information obsessed for a while. That will eventually end, but for now you have to try to give them what they need.

The Spouse Who Was Betrayed Must Let the Past go Eventually

The best way to handle this fact is to set a date for ending the conversations about the affair. It's okay to wallow for a bit, but if you cannot find yourself back to trust and love for your spouse and are always questioning, interrogating, and rehashing the same things endlessly your marriage will not survive.

Set a date to end the wallowing, and move toward some sort of symbolic release of the past and a recommitment to your spouse. To the one who cheated, you're going to have to let your spouse set this time table.

Both Spouses Must Examine Themselves as a Couple and Individually

Affairs don't happen in a vacuum. It's not always due to something wrong in the marriage, it can be completely something only the person who committed the infidelity is responsible for, or it can also be a sign of something missing within the marriage.

It will take self-reflection and examination to come to any conclusions about this situation and the willingness to take responsibility for your own part in the disintegration of the marriage. Study of the marriage is also an essential component of recovery even though sometimes the marriage is actually fine before the affair.

Setbacks Will Occur But Good Days Will Happen Too

No matter what time limits you set, or how well you are at self-reflection and discovery some days will be horrible. But, other days will be wonderful and special. Eventually, if you work hard enough you'll realize you have more good days than bad ones.

No marriage gets out of an affair unchanged. You'll need to build a new marriage that is stronger and more resilient than the one before the affair. You can both do it if you truly want to stay together and make it work.

Both Parties Must Recommit to the Marriage

At some point in time, maybe after the time limit set for wallowing you both should set a date for a recommitment of some kind. It can be a private ceremony, dinner, or other activity with just the two of you, or a new wedding - the point is you must do something that symbolically resets your marriage, wipes out the past and helps you both start fresh fully focused on your future together.

If you aren't willing to do this, it might be difficult to make it work, so make this date a real focus of moving on.

By fully recommitting to the marriage, and setting a time limit on the expression of disappointment, hurt and anger, and allowing the love to come back and shine through couples do overcome infidelity and save their marriages.

With over half of all long term marriages experiencing infidelity at some point, many dedicated couples go on to experience deeper love and commitment than before the affair.

Author's Bio: 

C Mellie Smith knows from first-hand experience the pain of dealing with an unfaithful spouse. You can save your marriage if you both want to. You can experience deeper love and commitment after the infidelity. Visit to download your FREE "Overcoming Infidelity Kit" and get started on the road to recovery today.