No one goes into a marriage planning to have an affair. But the unfortunate reality is that infidelity can affect even the happiest couples. Once the affair has been exposed, the person who has been cheated on is often left with feelings of betrayal, sadness, and anger. But infidelity doesn't always have to mean the end of your relationship. It is possible to work through your issues and rebuild the trust that was lost. If infidelity has had an impact your relationship, you need to know the signs your marriage will survive an affair.
According to Psychology Today, research has found that nearly 25 percent of men and 11 percent of women will end up having an affair during the course of their relationship. But as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy points out, with the help of couple's therapy, many marriages not only survive, but can become stronger after an affair.
As marriage and family therapist Joan Sherman told The Wall Street Journal, couples who really want to make their relationship work have a better chance at recovering from infidelity than those who feel an obligation to stay because of children or some other factor.
You may never forget the way the affair made you feel, but it is important that both parties are committed to taking the necessary steps to move forward. Discussing cause of the affair, answering questions about the details of what took place, and being willing to seek help are just a few of the things you and your partner can do to begin the process of healing and moving forward in your relationship.
1. Your Questions Have Been Answered
One of the first steps to moving forward is getting everything out in the open. The person who cheats should be prepared to give their partner as many details as necessary about the affair, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. According to Reader's Digest, marriages are more likely to survive instances of infidelity if the person who cheats answers all of their betrayed partners questions about the affair.
2. You Address The Cause
Any discussions about the affair should include what led the person who cheated to be unfaithful. As relationship therapist Rachel Sussman told Women's Health, in order to move past the affair, you need to talk about why the infidelity took place.
3. You're Willing To Seek Help
Talking about infidelity will be difficult for both of you, which is why it's best to seek help working through your issues. As the Mayo Clinic mentioned, couples who seek help have a better chance of moving past infidelity. A licensed therapist or spiritual advisor can help you and your partner work through your issues.
4. You Don't Always Have To Talk About It
You'll be doing a lot of talking about the affair as you work through the healing process. But you should also be able to enjoy spending time together as a couple without bringing up the issues in your marriage. Reader's Digest suggests that couples who are able to spend time together without talking about the affair have a better chance of moving past the betrayal.
5. You're Willing To Forgive
You don't have to condone the infidelity, but you and your partner need to be willing to forgive each other for what happened. As Everyday Health mentioned, couples need to be willing to close the chapter on the affair and move forward.
6. You Won't Let It Happen Again
As WebMD mentioned, in order to keep your relationship alive after an affair, you should be committed to making sure it won't happen again. Which means both parties take the steps necessary to make sure your relationship is solid.
7. You're Willing To Be Accountable
After an affair, the victim of infidelity will naturally have some trust issues. In order to ease those concerns, the person who is unfaithful should be prepared to check in more frequently with their partner. This could also mean sharing passwords, emails, or calendars. WebMD suggests that the person who is unfaithful be willing to be accountable for his or her whereabouts.
8. You Are Patient
Even if you are both willing to move forward, things won't get better overnight. It will take time to rebuild the trust that was broken through the infidelity. As The Today Show mentioned, both people must be willing to allow time to pass for things to get better.
9. You Accept Responsibility
No matter which partner has the affair, both people play a role in why the infidelity took place. In order for your relationship to survive, neither of you can play the role of a victim. As Psychology Today points out, both partners should be willing to accept responsibility for their role in what happened.