This is the second article in our six part Common Causes of Divorce series. Links to the other articles are at the bottom of the page.
If you have been the victim of your spouse being unfaithful, you are probably feeling a wide range of emotions. Anger, hurt, and resentment are all feelings that are common for spouses who have been cheated on by their partner. You may be wondering whether you should try to forgive your husband or wife and save your marriage or whether it is time for you to walk away. Learning about infidelity has a huge impact on a marriage relationship. Many spouses feel like their trust in their spouse has been obliterated by infidelity, trust that cannot be repaired. We will discuss some of the further questions you should consider when deciding whether to walk away from your marriage after infidelity.
1) What is the Quality of Your Marriage Relationship?
Many different questions are probably rushing through your head. It is difficult but important to take your time to consider what steps you want to take next carefully. One of the first things you may want to consider is the quality of your relationship. If you are trying to analyze how likely it will be for you to restore your marriage after learning about infidelity, the history of your relationship is important. If you have been married for a long time, you may feel more likely to dig deep to try to understand why your spouse is behaving this way and fight for your marriage.
However, if you have not invested a significant amount of time and emotion in your marriage and feel a sense of betrayal that cannot be fixed, you may feel like saving the marriage is out of the question. Ask yourself if you feel like you and your spouse have the emotional history and tools needed to go forward with your marriage and work together. Do you still feel a sense of loyalty to your spouse in your marriage?
2) What is Your Partner’s Dating History Like?
Unfortunately, you are not alone in dealing with a spouse’s infidelity. After one or both spouses have been unfaithful, the divorce rates prove that unfaithfulness in marriage is far too common. Examining your spouse’s past history of infidelity will help you decide which path to take. For example, if infidelity has been happening for years and with many different people, it is a warning sign that your spouse will end up cheating again.
If this is not the first time you have caught your spouse cheating, there is a likelihood that your spouse will begin cheating with someone new at a later time. In some cases, when a person is a habitual cheater, there will not be anything in your power that you can do to stop them from cheating in the future. In this case, filing for a divorce may be the most reasonable option for you to protect yourself.
On the other hand, in some cases, a person will be suffering from depression or anxiety, the loss of a loved one, or another emotional or physical trauma. These types of traumas are not an excuse for cheating, but they can be seen as a reason why an otherwise loyal spouse may step out. When a couple is loyal to each other, and one spouse does not have a one-night stand, it may be more of a reflection of other issues than how much your spouse loves you. Even though it is an act of betrayal, you may feel like you can investigate the true reason for the infidelity and work hard on your marriage.
3) What is Your Emotional Involvement in the Marriage?
Consider how you are feeling about your spouse. Of course, you are probably angry and not feeling loving toward your spouse right now. However, think about your long-term feelings. Do you still love your spouse? Do you feel like you have fallen out of love with your spouse since you learned that they were unfaithful? Keep in mind that hate is not always the opposite feeling of love. You may be feeling apathy and ambivalence after learning about infidelity. If you thought about divorce after learning your spouse is unfaithful, and the thought of filing for divorce fills you with a tremendous sense of relief, this could be a sign that your feelings of love are gone. There is not even a redeeming feeling of mutual interest or respect for your spouse.
Alternatively, if learning about your spouse’s infidelity was extremely painful, this could be a sign that you still love your spouse. You may be getting ready to deal with the anger you are feeling after learning about the affair. If you choose to go forward, it is essential to get help from a therapist who can help you understand the trauma of infidelity. You and your spouse can work on healing yourself and understand why the infidelity happened to prevent it from happening in the future.
4) What Was Your Partner’s Reaction to Committing Infidelity?
So far, we have discussed your feelings about infidelity. It is also important that you consider your spouse’s reaction to the infidelity. Did your spouse tell you about the infidelity, or did you have to catch them in the act? Did your spouse lie about the infidelity or come clean? Have they ceased all contact with the person or people with whom they were unfaithful? Have they been willing to say they want to stop cheating on you and work on your marriage? It is possible that the affair was a signal that something is wrong in the relationship that you can both work on. However, if your spouse is unwilling to work on the marriage, you may be more inclined to file for divorce.
Discuss Your Case With Divorce Concierge
Are you considering filing for divorce after your spouse has been unfaithful? If so, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced attorney at Divorce Concierge. Divorce Concierge offers unique and affordable legal packages for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. Contact Divorce Concierge today to discuss your case and learn more about our legal services.