If you have been cheated on then you know firsthand just how difficult it can be to survive infidelity. Though the easy answer is to walk away, you have to evaluate if the marriage can survive infidelity–or if divorce is inevitable.
This is a very individual decision, and trying to weather the storm of infidelity is a heartbreaking situation.
Forgiving your spouse may not necessarily be possible; but before you go straight to divorce consider the following questions and situations first.
1. Understand what the cause of infidelity was
One may assume that the opportunity to cheat is enough for someone to cheat. This is often not true and is more likely from a loss of intimacy in the marriage. It may be that the two of you weren’t seeing eye to eye, or perhaps even growing apart.
Before you can decide if you are going to forgive the infidelity, first ask yourself what lead to this. Understand what the actual causes may be for some insight into the situation.
If it seems like a difficult task then remember there are therapists specifically trained to help with this process of gaining insight.
2. Be honest about any marital problems leading up to this
In all honesty, could you see this coming? Were you both responsible for the marriage falling apart or was this a total shock to you? In order to survive infidelity, you have to first get your marriage back on track, and you must learn from past mistakes.
Be honest with yourself about how you contributed to the issues in your marriage. Forgiving and moving on will take time, but it is possible to correct problems in the marriage and come out even stronger.
3. Consider if your life is better with this person in it
While trying to answer if infidelity can be forgiven, ask yourself if you can envision your life without this person. Dealing with infidelity in a marriage isn’t easy, but it breaks down to what your life would be like without this person before you.
If you can honestly say that you would be better off or if you want to put in the effort to rebuild trust, then that may give you your answer.
4. Evaluate what it would take to forgive and move on together
Forgiveness in marriage is never easy, and even more so when it comes to infidelity.
Trust that some time and reflection are two things that may help you decide what is right for you and your marriage. Give yourself space to think through what happened and then decide if it is possible to forgive truly.
Watch this video where, Eileen Fein, a breathwork therapist, guides you on how to embrace forgiveness and bid adieu to shame and anger.
Rebuilding your marriage after infidelity is difficult, and it is important to take time to make a final decision. Everyone is capable of forgiveness and you just need to make the choice. Also, be sure that you consider the marital problems that lead to this.
It is possible to forgive your spouse and move past the infidelity if you both commit to the healing process.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.