Finding out that a spouse has cheated is one of the most devastating things in the world. Knowing that you’ve cheated on the man or woman you love can be just as devastating … in a different way.
No matter who did the cheating—you or your partner—once the deed is done and everyone involved knows … and knows that everyone knows they know … you have one question to answer before all others:
Will you stay … or will you go.
What’s the right thing to do? Unfortunately, there’s not a straight answer, but below, we’ve provided the points of view of two experts, one from each side of this issue.
If you decide that you are ready to make things work, there’s advice for you that you must read at the end.
NO: Your Marriage Can’t Be Saved
Psychologist Dr. John M. Grohol is tired of dealing with cheating spouses in his practice. He doesn’t give them an inch for the most part because his opinion is that cheating in any form means that the unfaithful partner has no respect for their spouse.
In his opinion, infidelity is not only abnormal for someone to want to do, it’s an immediate sign of serious trouble in the relationship. The spouse who even thinks about cheating, even lets it cross their mind … has already crossed the line. And in many cases, the person who either has already cheated or is considering it … needs to just do the honorable thing and end the relationship because chances are that it won’t be fixable.
YES: Your Marriage Can Be Saved
Caroline Madden is a marriage therapist based in Burbank, California, and she knows that marriages can be saved after a cheating incident because she’s seen it. She’s worked with couples who have had success.
From her point of view, it’s not the actual affair that causes divorce. It’s A) The spouse that cheated not being truthful about all of the cheating events that occurred and B) Both partners not being able to move past the episode.
Madden says that the unfaithful partner must be an open book, and they also must show their commitment to their current partner instead of just implying it. The partner who was cheated on must accept these displays and be able to move on as well.
What Route Do You Want to Take?
So how do you feel after reading those two points of view? Do you want to try to stay in this marriage and make things work? Or do you want to cut your losses and call it quits?
If you’re having trouble discerning your true inner thoughts, one way of really getting to the bottom of things is to watch your reactions as you read through both of the above opinions.
Which opinion do you find yourself giving credence to? Which one gives you … hope?
If you found yourself saying “I knew it …” as you read through the expert opinion that no marriage can survive cheating, you might be someone who’s ready to just end this relationship and move on to other things.
But … if you find yourself saying “Yes! I knew it” as you read through the expert opinion that a marriage can survive a cheating episode, it’s safe to say that you’re ready to move forward in this relationship, resolve the issues that are there and make it last.
If you’re in this latter camp, your prospects are good because you’ve already shown yourself to be up for the challenge and committed to the cause. That’s the positive news. But there’s one thing: You’re going to need some help.
There are a number of programs that we could recommend here, but we’re going to hone in on one, and it’s the one that keeps coming back with successes for most failing marriages … Time and again it helps couples reunite and have connections that are stronger than ever before.
The program is aptly named How to Save Your Marriage (We love that it gets right down to brass tacks!).
When you go to the website, you’ll be able to click on your gender. This is another thing we love about the program: It has designations for both men and women. And that makes sense—Obviously men and women deal with broken marriages from cheating in different ways.
The “divorce geek” is Brad Browning, and he created this powerful method for keeping marriages together—So powerful, in fact, that if you’re not the one who cheated, your partner will end up breaking down and apologizing for everything, begging to have you back. And you’ll know that they truly mean it. Or, if you’re the one who’s cheated, you’ll be able to truly apologize wholeheartedly for everything, and your spouse will finally understand your truth.
But the longer you wait, the worse the rift between you is going to get. Just worse … and worse. So stop the toxic environment that you two have been living in right now, and do something about your marriage today.
Finally, remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. But if you are willing (your partner doesn’t even have to be at this point) you can rebuild the trust and the security, so that it’s even stronger than ever before.