Why Some Couples Can Recover After Cheating
and Others Can't
There are few things more destructive to a marriage than an affair. When infidelity is involved, the marriage is going to need a lot of work to recover. However, some couples can rebuild their relationship after a cheating mess. Other couples, on the other hand, crumble under the strain. This leads to some inevitable questions. Why do some couples work it out? Why do other couples call it quits? There is no universal answer, but here are a few factors that can determine the outcome.
The Affair Must End Completely
If the relationship is going to have any hope of survival, the affair must end. It must end immediately, and it must end completely. There should be no contact between the cheating partner and his or her lover. If the affair lingers or rekindles, it means two things. First, it means that the cheating partner is not fully committed to the marriage. Second, it means that the other partner will have no way to rebuild the trust between them.
Recovery Takes Total Honesty
Some couples can recover after an affair because of complete honesty. An affair is often begun and maintained in secrecy. This secrecy eats away at the integrity of the marital bond. If there is going to be the hope of restoration, it is going to start with honesty. Each partner has to talk about what they have done and what they are feeling. This honesty is not easy, and it is not always comfortable. Some truths will be uncomfortable to confess, and these truths will probably also be uncomfortable to hear. However, moving forward will require both partners to be at the same place. Honesty is the only way to do that.
Couples Need to Assume Responsibility
After an affair, the blame will be inevitable. It is human nature to try to shirk that blame, but such actions will spell doom for the relationship. The partner who conducted the affair must assume responsibility for his or her actions. There can be no equivocation. The blame needs to be owned. However, the other partner must also acknowledge his or her role in the breakdown of the relationship. Affairs do not happen in happy marriages. Both parties have a part to play. Blame does not have to be equal, and one partner's failings do not substantiate the other's mistakes. However, the only way to heal after an affair is a mutual acceptance of responsibility.
Professional Marriage Counselling Is Important
Another critical factor in determining which couples can recover after an affair is marriage counselling. In most cases, an affair is so divisive in a marriage that outside support is essential. When both partners are committed to marriage counselling, that is a sign that they want to make things work. Moreover, good counselling can help couples sort through issues. This gives them the support needed to address issues and move forward.
Both Partners Have to Start Over Together
Ultimately, the reason some couples survive marital unfaithfulness is that they are willing to start over together. This means that issues are addressed, trust is rebuilt and blame is left behind. Starting over together is a very conscious choice, and if couples are not willing to completely invest in that new beginning, then it will never take.
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