When It's Time to End a Relationship after An Affair
The very thought of your partner having an affair can be almost overwhelming for even the strongest people. It shatters the reality of what you know to be true about your life. It creates cracks in a once solid foundation that you can’t repair. One thing for sure is, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that up to 50% of married women and 60% of married men engage in extramarital affairs at some point in their relationships. And around 50% of marriages end in divorce. Of those, 30% are related to cheating.
The Chance Staying Together After an Affair
It depends on the couple and their circumstances. They might have children, be in business together, or simply can’t afford to get divorced and go back to two separate households.
There are different levels of tolerance and forgiveness. And different levels of accountability and responsibility for what happened. One massive difference in the ability to recover when you’ve been cheated on is how the affair come to light.
If the cheater confesses and owns up to what they’ve done it at least establishes some level of trust, regret or remorse. This kind of person is going to be more likely to tell you the truth and what’s happened and for how long it went on for.
The reason for telling is because they actually wanted it to end but they didn’t know how to do it. And of course, they felt a great level of guilt. And rightly so.
One the other hand, if a person got caught out and someone else threw them under the bus with the affair or the innocent party found messages or something that exposed the affair then the chances of the cheater ever coming clean is not very high.
This person is likely to bullshit their way through it. Tell you as little as possible and down play their feelings for the other person involved, underestimate the time frame and duration of the affair.
I’m not going to lie here. Trying to make it work under these conditions is a shitshow. The foundations keep crumbling because the more they lie, the more you’re going to catch them out on the lies because your detective skills are at Mastery level.
You’ve learnt to look and you will find something so now you’re going to keep looking. That’s not paranoia, that’s a life lesson learnt.
Some couples are more committed than others to what will be a lengthy process of rebuilding trust, with no assurance that things will get better.
But if the cheating party is willing to stay and the couple is willing to work on the issues that might have triggered the infidelity in the first place, some can create a really good relationship and move forward. I’m happy to say I’ve seen this happen many times in my counselling sessions.
The only way you can get to that place is by being open and honest regardless of how painful it might be to both parties. If the couple is committed to trying to stay together, they need to address the reasons for the affair in the first place.
There’s no need for specific details, but it is important to trace the path that led up to the affair, and what ended the affair. This part is critical. The affair had to end for a bloody good reason because believe me, they don’t end easily.
There is an emotional attachment that makes it hard to let go. Clearly, there have to be boundaries. Intimacy of every kind needs to stop if the couple is ever going to truly recover and move on.
What if the they haven't stop seeing the other person?
If they have had an affair with someone at work, it might be impossible for them to avoid seeing that person. So that can mean the end of a career, the end of a job and certainly the end of friendships. You can’t do this without a hefty cost involved. And having an affair is going to cost you more than you can imagine.
Is it actually possible for a couple to get over an infidelity?
It will take work, but it’s possible. You really are going to need marriage counselling to help you through it. You shouldn’t try and do it alone. There are lessons to learn through this situation that can make you a better person. That’s your choice to be a better person or a bitter person.
Getting over an affair is a grieving process for everyone involved. Everyone. It’s traumatic for some, hurtful to others. It depends on your mindset if the memories of this situation will wound or a scar.
That’s why you need to go to marriage counselling or at least personal counselling. Get the tools to make the journey to recovery quicker and less painful.
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30 Signs It's Time to End a Relationship after An Affair
No one ever likes to think about their relationship ending, but for many, infidelity is a deal breaker. It is responsible for 30% of divorces. Couples can try to get back to what they had, but it will depend on how forgiving one partner is, and how committed they are to a process of recovery.
If there are kids involved, a couple will often try to patch things up. But if not, or the hurt is too deep, it will be time to end the relationship.
Here are the signs it's time to end your relationship after an affair:
Making a decision to end the relationship after an affair is hard. It’s hard because you’ve already suffered the trauma of the affair, you faced the ending of your relationship once already.
You’ve suffered the humiliation, the deceit, becoming intimate again and all the “trying” tools you could do.
Yet, it’s still not working out. You’ve now gone through the list of signs it’s time to end the relationship. It’s time to face the ending of this relationship with a new beginning in mind.
The new beginning is scary but you know what, you’ve been through the worst of everything now.
The truth is not everything is fixable no matter how many positive changes have occurred since the affair. It doesn’t take away the pain. Not everyone can get past it. And that’s ok.
You’re not giving up. You’re ripping the band aid. Everything has an expiry date. It’s possible your relationship expired some time ago and you’ve been holding on out of necessity or fear of the unknown. Endings are sad. Beginnings are scary but can also be exciting.
This is not how your story ends. It’s time to write the next chapter of your life. Who knows what the future holds but maybe you can channel some of that “trying” energy into yourself now?
Work on rebuilding your self-esteem and your confidence. Remember who you are outside of that shitshow you’ve been through. Find yourself or better yet create yourself to be someone you feel proud of.
It’s never easy to face the end of the relationship, but being honest with yourself is a first step to what will hopefully be a better new life.