Surviving infidelity is never easy, no matter how forgiving any couple may be. Adultery remains the worst offense that any spouse can commit against his partner, since it is a direct assault upon every single principle of the marriage union. In many cases, the offended spouse is so wounded that she can barely stand to be close to her partner. It's no wonder so many instances of adultery lead directly to divorce.

The fact is, however, that spousal cheating need not sound the death knell for the marriage. When couples are committed to working through their problems, reconciliation can be found. It does take hard work, but couples who truly want to rebuild their marriage trust can do so when they use the right strategies for repairing the marriage.

Trust is the single greatest casualty when adultery strikes. To restore trust, the offending spouse has the obligation to take affirmative steps to ensure that his wife knows that he is accountable. He should verbally express that he has failed her, and be resolute in his desire to atone for his mistakes and regain her lost confidence.

This will require a level of transparency that may be new for him. Each time that the couple is separated from one another, the wounded spouse is sure to doubt her husband's faithfulness. The adulterous spouse should understand that feeling, and take great pains to keep his spouse updated as to his whereabouts and activities.

The twosome should also work on their communication. They both need to discuss their feelings, and must do so without fear that they will be judged. The adulterous spouse should work to avoid placing any blame on his partner, since it was his own lack of fealty that led to the affair in the first place.

It is also important to seek sound counsel. Though some couples can survive this process without help, most cannot. Most need to spend time in counseling, where the elements of the relationship can be discussed in an open forum. Furthermore, both partners must recognize that there is no way to pinpoint just how long it will take to rebuild the relationship.

Each case is different, of course, since no two couples are exactly alike. The one commonality shared by all couples is that openness and a spirit of forgiveness are essential if the relationship is to survive. When spouses are committed to restoring their marriage union, however, their chances of surviving infidelity dramatically increase.

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