Most people in a relationship value monogamy. When they cannot trust their significant other to be faithful, it erodes a marriage. While fidelity is no guarantee of a happy, lifelong marriage, infidelity can almost always end a marriage. Such a dishonest move can cause irreparable damage, and in most cases, it leads to divorce.
However, that does not always have to be the case. Some marriages survive infidelity. If you have found out that your spouse was having an affair, should you try to save your marriage?
It depends on the situation. If your spouse is a serial cheater, then it is likely he or she will not change. The infidelity will only continue and make matters worse.
However, if it was a one-time fling that your spouse truly regretted, then mending the marriage may be possible. Both parties need to be committed to being open and honest with each other. If one or both parties do not want to take the time to work on the marriage, then it will not last. While infidelity is a serious issue that is primarily physical in nature, it is one that can cause emotional damage to the one who has been betrayed.
Why do People Have Affairs?
There is not only one clear-cut reason why people have affairs. Sometimes the reasons are complicated. A person may be bored at home and in search of a more exciting relationship. Maybe they need an ego boost. Some people are not getting their needs met at home, and they may be constantly denied sex by their spouse. Maybe they met someone with whom they share a strong mental or emotional connection. In some cases, people cheat in order to get ahead in their careers. Some do it for revenge, especially if they have been wronged by their spouse. Perhaps they are simply curious about what an affair would be like, especially if they know someone else who is cheating on their spouse.
No matter the reason, infidelity does not usually just happen. There is usually a reason behind it and a problem with the marriage. Usually this problem is an emotional disconnect, unfairness, ambivalence, hostility, or a lack of commitment. In some cases, there are personal issues that make an affair more likely, such as attachment styles. Those with avoidant attachment styles are more prone to cheating because they tend to be more emotionally detached in their relationships. This allows them to have a physical affair while feeling emotionally disconnected from both their spouse and lover. It is almost the perfect situation.
Those with an anxious attachment style are also prone to cheating. These people often worry about abandonment. They tend to doubt their partner’s feelings and commitment to the marriage, so they then limit their own commitment. However, they crave an emotional bond to boost their self-esteem, so they find it with someone else. Self-esteem and fear of abandonment are the primary motivators. Therefore, these affairs are often both physical and emotional in nature, which can be especially damaging to the affected spouse.
In any case, people tend to cheat in order to feel better about themselves. However, this rarely happens. People who have affairs tend to feel even worse because of the guilt involved. Some suffer from depression and have a constant fear of the affair being discovered by their spouse. Those having emotional affairs tend to feel less remorse.
If you are considering an affair, question yourself. Why do you feel this is the answer? What problems are evident in your marriage? Have you discussed them with your spouse? If not, then now is the time. Having an affair will not make things better at home. If your spouse cannot fulfill your needs, then divorce is the better option.
How to Get Past an Affair
There is no doubt that infidelity can damage a marriage for good. Many couples have gotten divorced over cheating. If you discover your spouse has been having an affair, should you go the same route or try to make things work?
Getting past an affair is no easy task. It takes time and effort. A couple cannot just simply choose to forget about it and continue to stay married and move on as normal. The thought of knowing that your spouse broke your wedding vows as well as your trust can be hard to bear. The affair will always act like a dark cloud hanging over your marriage. Counseling can help put the affair in perspective and perhaps help both spouses understand why it happened. This can lead to positive changes for the marriage.
If a person confesses to the affair—rather than being caught by the unsuspecting spouse—then this may lead to a better outcome because it shows more remorse. In some cases, marriages become closer after such a confession, but this is not always the case. If it happened once and your spouse did not find out, then it may be better to just ignore it. However, you need to work on the issue that led you to cheat. Otherwise, it will happen again.
Seek Legal Help
Infidelity is a physical act that can cause emotional damage to the spouse who has been cheated on. It is one of the biggest deal breakers in a marriage. It is a dishonest act that can break the trust in even the strongest relationship.
Some marriages are able to move forward, but most do not. Palm Beach divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you move on after infidelity. If you do not want to save your marriage, we can help you move on with ease. To schedule a consultation, call (954) 346-6464 today.