Affairs are betrayals, and for some people there is no moving on after a partner cheats. However, many other people who discover a partner’s infidelity remain hopeful that they can patch up the marriage or relationship and remain together.
For those who want to make their relationship work following an affair, here are a few truths about cheating that may help rebuild that partnership.
Truths To Help Save Your Relationship After An Affair
- Many People Who Cheat Have Happy Marriages – Cheating is often not a sign that a partner is unhappy in his or her relationship and looking to get out. However, a study from Rutgers University found that 58 percent of men who've had affairs reported to be happier in their marriages, while 38 percent of women who had cheated were more satisfied in their current relationships. People in happy marriages cheat because something is missing from those marriages that they fear they can’t get from their spouse. After many years of marriage, and often after the arrival of children, sex and romance often drop to a minimum, leading some partners to miss the excitement and passion. If these things can be rekindled in a relationship, it may survive and even become stronger following an affair.
- Some People Cheat Because They Want to Save Their Relationship – Some people have affairs outside their marriage because they believe it will help them to save their relationship. They want their relationship to survive, so they try to plug any holes with help from outside romantic or sexual liaisons. Is this a misguided approach to saving a marriage? Definitely. These individuals would serve themselves and their relationship much better by discussing their dissatisfaction with their partners and seeking solutions together. However, a sincere desire to keep the relationship together may help the couple to rebuild after an affair.
- Affairs Can Help People to Realize They Want to Save Their Relationship – Sometimes, straying from a relationship can help people to realize how important or fulfilling that relationship is. However thrilling an affair may be, some people realize that the thrill is not enough to take the place of the committed partnership and friendship that their primary relationship provides. While the couple will still need to address the factors that led one partner to pursue an affair, the straying partner may feel re-committed to the relationship and happier with the present state of the relationship than they were before.
- Infidelity Is Not the Leading Cause of Divorce – If you are hoping to save your marriage or relationship after an affair, it may help to know that you are not alone. While infidelity does contribute to the dissolution of many marriages, it is actually not the leading cause of divorce. More broken marriages cite an inability to communicate as the primary reason that the couple sought a divorce. If your partner and yourself are open to clear and constructive communication, and both want to find ways to revive and solidify the relationship, you probably have a better chance of keeping your partnership alive than couples who are not dealing with infidelity but have simply forgotten how to talk.
Trust Your Gut And History
None of these truths about affairs guarantees that your relationship will be able to survive infidelity, nor should they convince you that you ought to try saving your relationship if you don’t want to do so.
It’s important to trust your instincts about the sincerity of your partner’s contrition over the affair and desire to mend the relationship. It’s also important to take lessons from the past: a one-time cheater may never do so again, but someone who has cheated in a previous relationship or earlier in your relationship will probably do so again.