Can a Marriage Survive Infidelity?

As difficult as it is to imagine a marriage withstanding infidelity, Divorce Detox realizes many marriages can be saved if both partners wish to save the marriage. Partners must be willing to communicate, must have patience and must be open to forgiveness eventually.

Communication

First, to save a marriage which has sustained infidelity, both partners must be willing to communicate. Often, a trusted friend is a good person to discuss the initial despair about an unfaithful partner. Friends can help individuals sort out feelings and vent upon the initial challenge of hearing about the infidelity. However, the best person for opening the lines of communication between husband and wife is a marriage counselor. A n effective counselor can help both spouses understand how a breakdown in the marriage led to an affair. Couples should be open and honest with each other about all details of the affair and the marital problems that have led to the affair.

Patience

Both partners must be patient with the healing process. An affair is difficult for both partners to recover from. The unfaithful spouse may still have feelings for their lover, overwhelming feelings of regret and feelings of resentment toward their spouse for any harsh words exchanged. The spouse recovering from the blow of hearing about their spouse’s affair will have the even more overwhelming task of coming to terms with the affair. S/he will have to rebuild self-esteem, re-build trust and recover from depression/sadness about the affair. Both of these recoveries will take time, and both partners will have to exercise patience in returning to a strong marital relationship.

Forgiveness

The keys to re-building a strong relationship are forgiveness and trust. It is almost inconceivable upon learning of infidelity to consider forgiving your partner, but over time and newly established trust, forgiveness is possible.

Red Flags

Not all cheating spouses will be able to transcend an affair without additional individual counseling, and even then, some people are not mature enough to handle marriage at this point, or sometimes at any point, in their lives. If your spouse displayed any of these traits, consider individual counseling as well.

* Your spouse displays patterns in flirting or cheating.
* Your partner will not admit to his/her wrong-doing in having an affair.
* Your partner does not realize how much s/he has hurt you.
* Your spouse is sorry s/he got caught rather than sorry for the making the choice to cheat.
* Your partner is not willing to work on the relationship.
* Your partner’s parent(s) had affairs.

Some marriages cannot be saved from infidelity. If one partner or the other is unwilling to transcend the affair or the unfaithful spouse continues to cheat, reconciliation is impossible. Both partners must be fully committed to their spouse and to saving the marriage to completely reconcile. However, if both partners can transcend the infidelity, they can build a stronger relationship with stronger communication than they had prior to the affair.

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