Fidelity is trust in a substantial form in marriage. Every relationship deserves the joy of fidelity, the confidence that your partner is someone you can bank on never to betray your trust. Unfortunately, that is not always reality. Instead, we have betrayed spouses who are dealing with infidelity in their relationships and homes.
Infidelity can shatter any relationship even the strongest of them all, leaving behind feelings of betrayal, guilt, and anger. Dealing with these feelings can be extremely difficult.
Some people never want to imagine a partner cheating on them, believing that they will leave the relationship once a partner betrays them, but when reality confronts them the reality of divorce and dissolving your marriage, and starting all over is very unimaginable.
Infidelity doesn’t have to lead to divorce, particularly when the unfaithful spouse is remorseful and devoted to changing. There are things you can do to put the cloud of infidelity behind you, and in some cases, you and your partner could even come out of it as a stronger unit.
From the day you discover that your spouse cheated, nothing is the same. Infidelity can be a heavyweight for a relationship and dissolving the marriage may be the only option.
As painful as a spouse cheating is, it does not necessarily mean your marriage just ended. The trust may be broken, but the marriage is not over. infidelity may have rocked your marriage to its core, but there is a high chance that the trust can be rebuilt and your marriage restored if you want. It’s not that overcoming the devastation of infidelity is easy, it isn’t. But it can be done.
What you should know
Most affairs end
It may not be of any help while you are facing or dealing with infidelity in your marriage, but It’s important to note that, while cheating can be incredibly sexy, exciting, and addictive, most of the time, it always dies a natural death.
This happens because the drill of emotions and infatuations tends to wear off after a while. When two people are in the throes of infatuation, they are only focusing on what’s exciting. This is short-lived, generally speaking. That’s because reality sets in and infatuation fades.
Temporary insanity is the only sane response
When you discover that your spouse is cheating, it is normal to feel faint, lose appetite, lose sleep, lose focus or have the right energy to do anything tangible at the time. Betrayal can be so threatening, disturbing and heartbreaking, many people feel they are losing their minds when they learn that their spouses have been cheating. This can also be managed so that it wouldn’t graduate into depression and anxiety.
Fidelity, infidelity does not mean the same as everyone
What it means for a spouse to be faithful is never the same thing to different people. Betrayal is peculiar to different people. To some, it is about having sexual contact or intimacy with another person. To others, it is more about being emotionally connected to someone else or having an intimate friendship with another person.
It could be secrecy. Keeping passwords away from your spouse, inappropriate behavior on the internet and hiding information about whereabouts, and even spending habits.
When two people are married, they must take time to indulge and esteem each others’ feelings. They don’t always have to agree, but they must behave in ways that make the relationship feel safe.
If you or your partner feel betrayed, you need to change what you’re doing to make the marriage work.
You are not alone
If you are going through betrayal by your spouse right now, you must know that you are not alone. Even though you feel lonely and alone, the truth is that you are not alone. A lot of people have experienced the same problem and have felt the same way, many others are currently experiencing the same thing.
It would be wonderful if everyone upheld their marital vows, but the truth is, that doesn’t happen. It should, but it doesn’t. The good news is that there is a great deal of support available because many people have walked in your shoes and can be empathetic to your feelings.
Infidelity is not the end of your marriage
Infidelity may be devastating but it does not signal an end to your marriage. The process of healing may not be easy but very challenging but the simple truth is many people don’t only survive it, but they become better and stronger from the experience.
This is not to say that marriages need infidelity to become better or stronger, because infidelity threatens the very root of trust and the bond that holds two people together. However, it is very much possible to rediscover yourselves after an affair in your marriage.
Healing takes time
Healing from infidelity takes time and processing. No matter how much you want to pass these feelings and frustrations, it doesn’t just go away in a rush. It takes a great deal of hard work to confront all the necessary issues. This takes a long time, sometimes years to truly get things back on track.
Healing from infidelity is a slow process for most people.
Count on ups and downs
Recovering from infidelity in marriage is never a straight line. Just when you think things have gotten better, something just happens that will trigger the hurt and resentment. It is normal and expected.
Don’t get discouraged with a set back now and again, as long as there is an upward trend. Keep up with your good work, no matter how difficult it may be at the moment. Don’t give up when there has been a relapse. Just get back on track.
Forgetting is not guaranteed but your forgiveness is priceless
Nobody is going to promise you that you will forget the event of the affair, in short, you don’t need to forget because we all learn from our experiences, both good and bad, but forgiveness is something you must gift yourself. It is priceless for your sanity and wellbeing.
There is no intimacy when there are grudges. When betrayed spouses allow themselves to have feelings of forgiveness, it is liberating. Love begins to flow again.
Forgiveness is not meant for the unfaithful; it is a gift betrayed spouses give themselves.
Take a deep breath and take a look at 7 ways to deal with infidelity.
So how do you deal with infidelity in marriage? These seven steps will you.
1. Get the facts.
Get all the facts and evidence before you open your mouth. That way, when you confront your spouse, the conversation will be about what s/he has done, rather than whether you are jealous or not.
2. Talk to your spouse.
Once you know the facts, it’s time to discuss it with your spouse. The most important part of your discussion is not going to be what you say. It will be what your spouse says, and how he or she reacts.
Are they remorseful, apologetic or plain indifferent? These will guide what your next action will be.
Make sure that any detail you are asking for that you are ready to handle them. Don’t ask for details you don’t want to hear.
However you choose to react to your spouse’s disclosure of infidelity it’s highly personal, but before you dig into all the details of the affair, ask yourself if knowing the details will help you heal, or just intensify your pain.
Be careful about asking for too many details. Remember: You can’t “un-know” something once you’ve heard it.
3. Don’t be in a rush to file for divorce or tell friends and family.
For you to be able to own up to your decision about the betrayal, it is important not to be too quick to tell friends and family about the problem of infidelity. You need to be able to justify if your decision to work on the marriage or dissolve the marriage is entirely yours because, in the end, it is your life.
Family and friends may pressure you to make a decision you may have to regret for the rest of your life.
While emotional support during this rough time is very priceless, it’s important to talk to people who will not be baize but have the perspective that no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and as long as the unfaithful spouse takes responsibility to change, marriages can be restored.
Don’t rush off to file for a divorce, even if you may eventually decide to end the marriage, but do not make any such decision in the spur of the moments. I am sure you know why already. You need to be thinking straight before making such a huge decision.
If you are seriously considering divorce, start learning about what getting a divorce will entail. Educate yourself. Go consult a good lawyer around you and understand what filing for divorce entails for you.
Just remember not to jump into any decision too quickly.
4. Permit yourself to be human
Learning of your spouse cheating on you is a heavy blow, do not pretend that it is nothing because it is not.
Even if you had been suspicious of your spouse’s behavior for a long time, once you know for sure what’s going on, your emotions are going to kick into high gear. Allow yourself to be mad, sad, stunned, hurt and angry.
Permit yourself to be emotional and to express them too. if it means not eating, sleeping or lacking the ability to focus on anything meaningful, do it. You are no robot.
Let yourself experience whatever comes up for you without judgment. Trying to stuff your emotions down will only make you miserable longer.
5. Don’t rush into fake forgiveness
While forgiveness is necessary if you ever want to pass this and get your sanity back, true forgiveness will take time. Like I stated in the previous point, you need to feel the betrayal and experience your emotions before you can ever begin to move past them.
You can’t just pretend nothing happened.
When you hide your true feelings and resentment just for the sake of saving your marriage, it will only grow under the surface and will backfire on both you and your spouse.
While you may succeed in keeping your marriage together for a while, the marriage that is born out of such pretense rarely takes a long time before it crashes.
6. You need time to heal.
If you have decided to give your marriage another chance, rebuilding what you had and trusting your spouse again will not happen overnight. It will take time. Getting to the bottom of why your spouse strayed and dealing with the real issues in your marriage will also take time.
In the same light, give yourself all the time to heal.
7. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses.
We all have breaking points, we have our limits. Be honest with yourself. You gain nothing placing yourself on a pedestal that you can’t handle nor control. Including your dealing with infidelity.
Do you tend to flirt when you are drunk? Can you stand seeing nude pictures of a fair lady? Are you going to misbehave when you are alone in a dark secluded space with the opposite sex? You know what it is, don’t fool yourself by thinking you can be a superhero in situations that you completely have no control over.
If you play off your weaknesses as just harmless things that happen, you’re more likely to easily write off excuses for further indiscretions.
It wouldn’t harm to let your partner know your boundary too. This is to help rebuild trust again in the marriage.
Then discuss with your partner about what fidelity means to you. Does flirting count as infidelity to you? Can they have close friends of the opposite sex? Long talk on the phone or chats with the opposite sex does it count as cheating? Are they allowed to reconnect with exes on social media? It is important you both want to rebuild trust in the relationship, and set guidelines for what that entails for both of you. If you don’t agree, then you might need to rethink the relationship.
Dealing with infidelity is never easy. No matter what I write, or try to explain things out. No matter how sane rational you try to be, chances are, you’re still going to lose it from time to time.
The key to getting through this period in your life with some level of sanity is to be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up nor blame yourself for a cheating spouse. Learn to take things slow. Breathe. Give yourself time to feel, and to heal.
Believe it or not, this too shall pass.
Now, I have talked about what you should know about infidelity and how you can deal with it. I want to touch briefly on 5 things the person who had an affair should do if he/she is remorseful and wants to make things right.
1. You should be willing to discuss what happened if the betrayed spouse decides to know the details. You don’t have any right to hold it.
2. You have to be willing to be accountable for his or her whereabouts, even though he or she may not like it. Deal with it, that is what it has come to and it is the least you could do.
3. There needs to be a willingness to make promises and commitments about the future, that an affair will not happen again. Exactly, if you want to make things right, then you wouldn’t have any reason to repeat the same mistake.
4. It is not in your place to decide when the person you betrayed should get over your actions. That will be outright wickedness. Allow the betrayed to heal naturally.
5. The person who had the affair should do soul search and determine what led to him/her cheating and what needs to change to avoid the temptation in the future.