It might well be one of the hardest decisions of your life…
What now? How to continue? How do you go about life after infidelity?
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 carefully. 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. Surviving infidelity divorce is a different experience for everyone. 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. You need to envision, to figure out how you would like your life after infidelity to turn out.
Re-building or divorce?
In every situation, even painful ones, something good can be hidden. Even the most hurtful of situations can 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 than you initially thought. Or it might prove that you are forgiving as long as there is mutual love and respect in your relationship.
With that being said it is time to accept the infidelity and acknowledge that it has happened.
Should you divorce after an affair? Deciding to divorce after infidelity is not something uncommon. Sometimes the one who got cheated on is not able to come to terms with the feeling of being deceived, and divorce after cheating seems like the only option left.
Divorce after the affair is sometimes initiated by the cheating partner as well. It could be because they want to unite with their ‘other partner’ and sometimes because they feel they have caused irreversible damage to the relationship and things can never go back to normal.
Now it’s time to make a hard decision about your life after infidelity: will you be rebuilding your relationship, or will you be considering a divorce after infidelity?
Things to consider before ending your marriage
Choosing divorce and ending up with a new partner does not mean you are free from problems. Everybody has his or her own problems and some problems can be 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 like snow before the sun.
Divorce after affair might seem like the easy way, but it is not.
If you are looking for a general solution for ‘how long after an affair do couples divorce’, you shouldn’t. There is no single specific answer to it. Everyone has a different time frame of dealing with grief.
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. To pursue a healthy life after infidelity you need to let go of this hurtful episode.
Healing after divorce and infidelity is another thing that you will have to deal with once you have completely terminated your relationship. Recovering from infidelity and divorce takes time, don’t be harsh on yourself and give yourself sufficient time to grieve.
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 to have a healthy life after infidelity.
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. Your purpose should not be to restore your old life, in your life after infidelity you must strive to solve the latent problems that were plaguing your relationship.
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. Especially in life after infidelity.
You will need love because it can inspire forgiveness, it triggers the desire to love again and it gives the courage to learn how to trust again. Love has the power to ignite the flames of romance, get past the hurt, and restore trust.
Willingness is required to face 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 in your life after infidelity.
Both willingness and love are requirements to have a happy marriage.