Aside from abuse, probably one of the worst things that you can do to your partner is to have an affair.
Cheating sucks. And the reality is, no matter how great you think your marriage is, it is not immune to the possibility of being afflicted with infidelity. The moment the affair has been uncovered, individuals who are cheated by their partners will be grappled with feelings of anger, sadness, and betrayal.
But cheating on your better half does not immediately mean that your relationship has taken its final turn for the worst, and the only way around is to end the marriage. Even if duplicity has severely damaged the very foundation of your union, giving it one more shot by rebuilding the relationship from ruins is possible. That is if you’re still willing to mend what was broken. Sari Cooper, CST, LCSW said “Not all couples split or divorce post-infidelity. Based on a 2008 Gallup poll, 31% of heterosexual married spouses stated that they would not divorce a spouse who was unfaithful.”
In The Aftermath
According to research, almost 25% of men and 11% of women will wind up engaging in extramarital affairs during their marriage, and some of of the reasons include falling out of love, variety, and neglect. According to statements in the article by Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D., “Sometimes (but not always) a deficit in an existing relationship leads people to have extradyadic affairs. For many people, a desire for variety factors into their cheating behavior. Some people engage in infidelity as a response to their partner’s lack of attention.”
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has indicated that for as long as the couples are willing to go into therapy and are amenable to mend the rift, there is a higher probability for the relationship to pull through. Furthermore, if the goal of the couple is to make their marriage work rather than staying due to their children and other obligations, the possibility of recovering from the dark times is possible.
The Route to Healing
Zen psychologist, Andrea F. Polard Psy.D., recommends: “Pay extra attention. Take seriously your partner’s arguments and inner conflicts. Pay attention to the mundane. Focus on the bigger picture. Say “Yes” to the whole, even if you do not like every single part – love is a resounding YES.” Make sense, right?
Betrayal is something that a person cannot quickly forget. Due to the intensity of emotions and the shattered trust, others would result to completely cutting the ties that bind. As for those who are still a bit hopeful and are leaning towards the notion that their marriage can still work despite the tragedy, here are some of the things that couples should do to start the process of restoring what was damaged and lost.
- Answering All Questions
For the one who committed the act, you owe it to your better half to provide the answers to all questions thrown at you, no matter how sensitive it is or how uncomfortable it can be. Lay every single detail out in the open and leave nothing unturned. To move forward, one must come clean.
- Addressing The Reason
All arguments or discussions regarding the infidelity must primarily include the reason that led to the unfaithful event. Talking about why the act of cheating happened is a huge step in moving past the illicit sexual relationship. Sometimes, those who cheated are clueless why they did it; therefore, resulting in the statement, “It just happened.” For this reason, couples should take time in recalling where their relationship has gone astray and from that point, assess how it became so messy. By figuring out how and why the unfaithfulness occurred, couples can resolve all underlying issues.
- Avoiding Constant Reminding
It is expected that untoward feelings due to infidelity will erupt now and then; it is an experience the cheater has to bear. Your partner is entitled to emotions of betrayal and despair. However, once the couple has dealt with and has agreed on making the marriage work despite the struggle, it is best not to bring up the incidence as much as before. Do not re-open a wound that’s trying to heal.
Couples who are experiencing a rough time, especially when it has something to do with infidelity, must be willing to seek professional help. It is difficult to survive and thrive without the aid of a marriage counselor or a therapist.