Rebuilding Trust in Marriage After an Affair

Nov 14, 2023

By Marvel C. Adeyemi (B.A, Pg., M.Ed. M.S.W. AMHSW)

Life often throws us into situations we never expected, and two of the most challenging experiences many individuals face are infidelity in relationships and the complexities of unwed parenthood. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of these deeply personal journeys, offering guidance on how to move beyond the pain of an affair, manage the burden of shame and blame, and nurture a child born out of wedlock. These topics are complex and emotionally charged, but remember, seeking professional support can be profoundly transformative.

Section 1: Beyond Affairs

Defining the Affair:

Infidelity is a storm that can wreak havoc on even the strongest of relationships. It's more than just a breach of trust; it's an emotional earthquake that can leave both partners shattered. To rebuild, we must start by understanding what happened.

In her book, "After the Affair," Janis Abrahms Spring aptly defines the complex dynamics that come into play when infidelity strikes. This emotional turmoil is something many couples face, and it's crucial to know that healing is possible.

The Emotional Impact:

The emotional toll of an affair is immense. Both partners are left grappling with feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness, and confusion. It's essential to acknowledge the pain and understand that it's entirely valid.

Research published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy sheds light on the deep emotional impact of infidelity. It's a harsh reality, but recognizing it is the first step towards healing.

Section 2: Managing Shame and Blame

Understanding Shame:

Shame often becomes an unwelcome companion after an affair. It's the feeling that we're fundamentally flawed, and it can be paralyzing. Brené Brown, a renowned researcher on vulnerability and shame, reminds us that shame loses its power when we talk about it. It's crucial to open up, share our feelings, and seek support.

Overcoming Blame:

Blame is another heavy burden that can hinder healing. When we blame ourselves or our partners, we stall the process of rebuilding. Understanding that blame is a natural response but not a productive one is essential.

Psychologists have studied the psychology of blame extensively, highlighting its detrimental effects. It's crucial to shift our focus from blame to healing and growth.

Section 3: Nurturing the Child Out of Wedlock

Acknowledging Parenthood:

If you're facing the challenges of unwed parenthood, remember that parenthood is a beautiful journey, regardless of marital status. Embrace the miracle of life and celebrate it. Your child is a gift, and their presence should be cherished.

Supportive Networks:

Lean on your support system, including family and friends. They can provide the love and encouragement you need during this journey. Community and parenting support groups can also be invaluable resources.

Section 4: Seeking Professional Help

Therapy and Counseling:

When facing the complexities of affairs, shame, blame, or unwed parenthood, seeking professional help is often the most effective way to navigate these challenging situations. Licensed therapists and relationship counselors can provide you with the guidance, tools, and support needed to heal and move forward.

Section 5: Moving Forward

Rebuilding Trust and Self-Esteem:

Rebuilding trust in a relationship after an affair is a gradual process that requires open communication, transparency, and a commitment to change. Books like "Not 'Just Friends'" by Shirley Glass can offer valuable insights into this journey.

Parenting with Love:

Positive parenting techniques are crucial when nurturing a child, especially as a single parent. "The Whole-Brainchild" by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson provides practical advice on understanding and connecting with your child.


In conclusion, the path from affairs to unwed parenthood is filled with challenges, but it's also an opportunity for growth, healing, and transformation. These complex journeys may seem daunting but remember that you're not alone.

 If you're navigating these unique challenges and need support, I'm here to help. As a Family Therapist and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with a background in attachment-based frameworks, I specialize in addressing the impacts of dysfunctional family dynamics.

Feel free to reach out for counselling and support in your journey towards a healthier relationship dynamic.

Marvel C. Adeyemi, B.A, P. Grad.  M.Ed., M.S.W., AMHSW

Phone: +61 457846457

E: [email protected]

if you're here already: Make a booking on the Home page.


Abrahms Spring, J. (2006). After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful. Harper Paperbacks.

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Brown, B. Title of Brené Brown's work on Vulnerability and Shame.

Glass, S. (2003). Not 'Just Friends': Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity. Free Press.

Siegel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2012). The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind. Bantam.