A large number of marriages in the US end in a divorce but some are strong enough to survive infidelity. But the question is – should you stay married after infidelity?
There is no one-word answer to this question. Most people would ask you to end a marriage in such a situation but if you speak to experts, you will find out that some marriages can indeed stay strong even after an affair.
It’s all about how you handle the situation and where the two of you stand. In this article, we’ll help you understand if you should stay married after infidelity or walk out.
It’s Going to Hurt a Lot
It will hurt a lot before it gets better. If you’re like most people, you would feel sad, gloomy, and depressed if you found out that your partner has been cheating on you.
How it affects you also largely depends on how you came to know the truth and why your partner was cheated on you.
It’s very important to concentrate on these questions as they can help you decide if your marriage can survive infidelity or not. For example, if your partner opened up about the affair then he or she has decided where to take the marriage.
However, if you found it on your own and decided to confront your partner then it shows that they were not ready to confess and you caught ‘em red-handed.
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Understand the Consequences
The most important thing is to understand how the decision to stay married or walk away would affect you and everyone else around you.
First of all, know that infidelity is emotionally devastating and can have serious consequences on everyone involved.
Know Why Your Partner Cheated on You
People cheat for a variety of reasons including exploration, a sense of entitlement, sexual addiction, and retaliation. Also, as surprising as it may sound, some people end up cheating mistakenly.
It may sound strange but people can end up making mistakes. How you handle the situation depends largely on why your partner cheated on you.
We are not trying to justify cheating here. We’re only trying to explain that your partner may have no intention of leaving you or cheating on you. It could have been a mistake and you should give your partner a chance to explain things.
Of course, no matter what the reason, you will feel hurt and cheated on. Also, be brave enough to handle the answer.
Your partner may blame you for why they cheated on you. While you should never blame yourself for a cheating spouse, understand that a lack of love, attention, and satisfaction (from your side) can force people to cheat on you.
Hence, be clear about the reason. Next, think about it and if you can make sense of the reason.
If your partner says they are bored of you then the best option might be to end the marriage.
Related reading: How To Find Out If My Boyfriend Is On Dating Sites
Talk About What You Two Want to Do
The next step is to talk to your partner about what he or she wants to do and if he or she would like to continue the relationship.
You cannot stay married if your partner does not want to stay married to you. If such is the case, then it is best to walk away. Even if you force your partner to stay married to you, it would not be of much use if his or her heart is not into it.
Next, think about what you want to do. Do you want to continue the relationship or do you want to walk away?
It’s important to take your time. Do not take decisions in a hurry. Give the relationship some time and let the dust settle.
Related reading: 5 Clever Ways To Catch a Cheater
Reasons Why It May Be a Good Idea to Stay Married After Infidelity
- You Both Still Love Each Other
Love is the most powerful feeling in this world. If you two still love each other then let nothing stop you from loving each other.
However, make sure it’s love and not lust or other such feelings. This also largely depends on why your partner cheated on you.
Remember that you cannot love two people at once, hence be clear about the situation.
- You Can Forget The Past
You cannot mend a broken relationship if you cannot look past it. It might be a good idea to stay married if you have the ability to stay loyal to your partner and forget the fact that he or she cheated on you.
It may sound easy on paper but it can be quite difficult to let bygones be bygones. Most couples are never able to stay together after an affair because they are not strong enough to forget the past.
- It’s an Open Marriage
A growing number are in an open marriage. It may be a controversial topic but it’s the reality, hence you need to come to terms with it.
We talked about loving one person at a time but the concept of an open marriage defies it.
An open marriage is defined as a marriage “in which both partners agree that each may have sexual relations with others.”
Related reading: What To Expect From Marriage Counseling?
It may sound like a crazy concept but a lot of people are now open to such relationships. In fact, according to this 2016 report, about 20% of people have participated in some kind of non-monogamy.
This is a huge figure. If you are okay with the idea then you can stay married to each other. However, remember that it has to be consensual and mutual.
Never stay in a relationship for your family and future. We know kids suffer a lot when parents part ways but staying together for kids may not be a good idea. In fact, most experts believe it’s worse for kids to live in a household where parents fight with each other compared to being a part of a divorced family.
Hence, always think about the situation and come to a conclusion that satisfies everyone involved.