It might well be one of the hardest decisions of your life…
What now? How to continue?
Do you want to forgive your cheating spouse and rebuild your relationship, or is it time for a final goodbye?
In this article some thoughts and ideas are shared about what you should base your choice on. That being said it is of course not an easy choice for you to make. Think careful. Think things through.
The main reasons for divorce after infidelity are:
- Inappropriate, lingering anger
- Feelings of rejection
- Denial of the problem
It is important to know your reaction to infidelity and to understand that you may experience a lot of different emotions. Everyone will experience unfaithfulness in a different way. Regardless of whether you want to have a divorce or rebuild your marriage, you will need good coping skills in order to get through the process.
Re-building or divorce?
In every situation is hidden something good. Even the most painful of situations have something that can help you become a better person. Each experience can teach you something. The same is true for infidelity.
It might teach you a lot about who you are and what you value. It might teach you that you are less forgiving that you initially thought. Or it might prove that you are forgiving as long as there is mutual love and respect.
With that being said it is time to accept the infidelity and acknowledge that is has happened.
Now it’s time to make a hard decision: will you be re-building your relationship, or will you be starting fresh and choosing a divorce?
Things to consider before ending your marriage
Choosing divorce and ending up with a new partner does not mean no more problems. Everybody has his or her own problems. Some problem are even universal. Think about communication, boredom, conflict and honesty. If you do not learn how to deal with these items then you bet they are going to be hard in your new relationship as well.
Jumping into divorce is therefore not a quick and easy fix. Your problems and pain will not just disappear as snow before the sun.
You will need to give yourself time in order to forgive your partner. You cannot just drag that ‘baggage’ from your old relationship into your new relationship. Each chapter needs closure.
Divorce might seem like the easy way, but it is not.
Things to consider before continuing your relationship
If you believe your relationship, minus the affair, is worth fighting for then re-building your marriage might be the solution for you. If you are both open to the possibility of learning and growing from this then you might be able to work things out together.
Both the cheating partner and the betrayed partner must be willing to put things behind them and willing to forgive and learn.
A strong motivator to remain together should be: love. Do both of you feel a strong love underneath the betrayal, pain, anger and hurt?
It takes just one partner to save a marriage, but it takes two partners to truly rebuild a marriage. Pride, stubbornness and bitterness have no place in a relationship.
If you continue your marriage like before, then nothing will change and you will soon encounter the same problems that led you to the current moment. The key to rebuilding your marriage and making it stronger is to truly learn from the infidelity event and put the learnings to good use.
Forgiveness is the top priority here. Without forgiveness there can be no real trust and definitely not a stronger relationship. It’s like running before you learn how to walk – it simply won’t work.
Rebuilding a marriage consists of three steps:
- Rebuilding trust
- Repairing intimacy
Are you and your partner prepared to invest in these steps?
The next steps: a happy marriage
A happily married couple has learned to:
- Forgive and accept forgiveness
- Be transparent, open and honest
- Be trustful
- Learn from the past and continually grow
The two main ingredients for a happy marriage are willingness and love.
You will need love because it can inspire forgiveness, it triggers the desire to love again and it gives courage to learn how to trust again. Love has the power to ignite the flames of romance, get past hurt and restore trust.
Willingness is required to face the reality and to be truly honest. Willingness can help release fear and to let go. Willingness is required to accept the things you cannot change and to take action on the things that you can change.
Both willingness and love are requirements to have a happy marriage.