You have discovered or have been told that your partner has been having an affair.
You’ve been hit by a ton of bricks engulfed by a tsunami of emotions ranging from anger, resentment, wanting to seek revenge to sadness, despair, and helplessness. One of the few questions that may arise are “Should I stay or should I go? How to save a marriage after infidelity and lies?”
While the answer is there and is different for everyone, you may not have an immediate answer, or you unequivocally have the answer and are already at the height of your action plan.
10 Things to consider after your partner commits adultery
Should I stay, or should I go after the affair? When to give up on marriage after infidelity?
Whether you do not know the answer or are in overdrive planning every detail of your action plan, let me suggest hitting the pause button and consider these steps.
1. Do not make any immediate decisions regarding your marriage
When you’re dealing with infidelity, you are experiencing one of life’s most devastating and traumatic events, which flood you with emotional intensity overriding judgment and reasoning.
Remember your relationship with your spouse and family has developed over time. Your marriage and children are one of your biggest life’s investments which warrant the time to determine the most important decision and its lifelong impact.
2. Experience your feelings and sit with your values
Experience your feelings as they arise.
If you find yourself asking often, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?”- take note of how your upbringing, values, and possible religious beliefs may play a role in figuring out what to do. Grab a journal and write it all out.
3. Talk to those you trust
You will want to obtain support from others. Select a few people you truly trust.
Telling everyone can be very damaging by creating more confusion and chaos. Not to mention, if you and your spouse decide to stay together, some family and friends may not be able to recover and re-integrate into your family.
4. Begin a self-care program
Taking care of yourself is vital to your well-being during this time.
Tune into the basics, such as getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and exercising. You may want to shift your focus by picking up a hobby or enrolling in a fun class.
As the question, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?” hogs you, do not let it take control of your life. Stay calm. You will process things slowly.
Continue to be present by focusing on your children, going to work, and taking care of your household.
6. Confront your spouse
Find the appropriate time and environment to ask your spouse general questions about the affair. Does he want you to leave? Ask them, “Should I stay or should I go?” This will give you clarity on the next steps.
Do not engage in ‘pain shopping’ by demanding nitty-gritty details that will only be more traumatic.
Check out this video on confronting a cheating spouse without acting frantically and losing your credibility
7. Educate yourself
The more you learn about infidelity, the more you will understand the core of relationships. Ask people around or take the help of books. There are several aspects of the relationship that we don’t know of.
Read some books about infidelity and begin to understand the various contributing factors that can lead to infidelity.
8. Get counseling and therapy
Whether you are planning on staying married after infidelity or leaving after the affair, meet with an individual therapist for guidance and support during this time especially given your risk of depression and anxiety.
Seeking couples therapy will be important if the goals are to explore and understand the contributing factors to the infidelity; to repair, heal, and rebuild the marriage; or to transition to separation and divorce.
Experiencing unfaithfulness in marriage is one of the most crushing experiences a person can go through.
If you wonder, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?” engaging in these steps will help you get through it the best way possible with integrity, gain greater insight and awareness into your marriage, most likely repair a marriage after an affair or help you determine the answer and the best course of action for you and your family.
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.
I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois for both in-person therapy and telehealth, Licensed in the State of Florida to provide telehealth, and National Certified Counselor (NCC) with 20+ years in various aspects of the mental health field.I enjoy providing psychotherapy to individual adults, young adults, and couples who are experiencing barriers to personal, relational, and professional growth and fulfillment. My goal is to help others live a happier and more meaningful life filled with connections. I am very responsive and dedicated to my clients growth given my own personal struggles and triumphs in life.
I have and continue to participate in several couples and marriage training through The Gottman Institute, a distinguished organization committed to increasing the understanding of relationships through research. In early 2020, I was accepted into The Gottman Certification Track as my goal is to become a Certified Gottman Therapist in 2021. The Gottman Method is a science evidence-based model used to help couples overcome barriers to their relationship. Listed on the Gottman Referral Network, I have completed the following Gottman trainings: Level 1 "Bridging the Couples Chasm";Level 2 "Assessment, Intervention, and Co-Morbidities";Level 3 "Practicum Training"; 6 Modules "Making Marriages Work by Uncovering Secrets of Sex, Love, and Trust", 4 separate Gottman trainings via PESI, and in-person group training with The Gottmans themselves on their book Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. In 2020, I took a course in Emotionally-Focused Therapy: EFT Foundations Workshop: Taking a Couple From Cutting Off to Connecting. I enjoy Esther Perels work, and to bolster my education and professional development with couples, in 2019, I attended monthly group consultation led by Vagdevi Meunier, PsyD, a Certified Gottman Therapist (Master Trainer through The Gottman Institute), trained in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) and who incorporates sex therapy, mind-body connection, and multi-cultural influences in couples therapy. In 2008, I took a 'Unlocking Impasses in Couples Therapy workshop by Terry Real based on his Relational Life Therapy model. I have found using The Gottman Method, weaving EFT, sex therapy, narrative therapy, mind-body connection, trauma-informed work into my couples work to be incredibly complimentary and valuable. I have also helped guide some couples who have been and continue to be stagnant and stuck in their relationship as they enter into and move out of a structured Healing Separation - which helps couples determine whether they should remain together with greater commitment or completely separate with integrity.