To know that your spouse is having an extra marital affair should not ideally come as a surprise in today’s time and age. There was a time when men were accepted to be genetically polygamous. Not any more – research has revealed that even women can look for ‘greener pastures’ and decide to leave their husbands of many decades. Of course, divorce is not the inevitable next step in an extra marital affair. It could also be some innocent flirting. Whatever be the final outcome of such dangerous liaisons, the crux of the matter still remains that there are some cracks in the marriage which needs to be fixed. Therefore you need to get your plans ready to save your marriage as soon as you see the first cracks, or the situation might go out of hand.We are excluding any ‘one night stands’ from this discussion since they remain usually at that stage. If they go beyond, it is time to take note of such developments to save your marriage. At the outset it must be remembered that no body can fulfill all the dreams, demands and aspirations of another person, however close and committed they may be. Over and above fulfilling our basic needs, all of us are looking for something else in our partner which satisfies our other senses. For example, many of us need support, understanding, intellectual trigger and cooperation for our creative pursuits. We need emotional stimulation and partnership in a host of other activities, many of which may not appeal to the spouse. Becoming aware of such needs of your spouse is essential to save your marriage.Of course there could also be significant vacuum in other areas of basic needs, including sex – which is considered to be one of the most important factors in keeping a marriage going. So, to save your marriage, not only should you accept such realities but also give a closer look at your own shortcomings. Look for vacuums in your marriage where the other person has simply walked in and occupied an important position in the psyche of your spouse. There are two ways you can view the situation: you accept that a breakup is inevitable no matter what efforts you make to save your marriage, since you are not equipped to fill-in many of the ‘vacuum areas’; or, confront the situation gracefully by accepting the reality and then make attempts to save your marriage.Since there are plenty of ways you can approach the problem of a third person in the marriage, let us talk about some of the common events. Suppose the third person is a friend. However angry and hurt you might be about this cruel betrayal, keeping the goal to save your marriage in mind, you need to politely confront the person and ask him or her to move out. Be prepared to face initial resentment and mud slinging, but you stick to your point and chances are that your spouse takes the developments positively and respects your attempts to save your marriage. But remember never to broach this topic with your spouse ever again in future, after you have been successful in your efforts to save your marriage.What should you do in case you do not know the intruder? To handle this development with as much grace as possible, you need to have a frank and candid discussion with your spouse. Know what his/her plans are? If your spouse is expressive and communicative enough, get to know why he or she fell in love with this person. Was it due to some of your shortcomings or was it a momentary lack of reasoning? If it is the former, to save your marriage, you need to take immediate and visible steps to rectify the shortcomings as much as possible. But if it is the latter, you do not have to worry too much to save your marriage, as your spouse would see sense as soon after the initial charm wears off.To save your marriage when your spouse is having an extra marital affair is undoubtedly tough, but with time, tenacity, patience, understanding and a lot of love you could emerge as the winner in the race.