Finding out that your partner has been unfaithful is a horrible—yet unfortunately not uncommon—experience. Your first reactions are likely to be despair, anger, and all other kinds of negative emotions. You have every right to feel this way and suppressing your feelings is not going to lead you anywhere. However, once the dust has settled a little, you are likely to have to make a decision: should you stay in the relationship, or should you end it?
The answer to this question is most likely dependent on whether you think that the relationship is irreparably broken or if it could potentially be repaired. This can be a very difficult question to answer, so I have put together some consideration points to help you find the answers you are looking for. Let’s find out if your relationship after infidelity can still be repaired.
Consider your practical responsibilities
If you are trying to decide whether or not to save your relationship, one of the things to consider is what kind of responsibilities you have and your practical and emotional connections to the relationship. For example, you may have children with your partner, and you may have a shared mortgage, making it a lot harder to part your ways.
If you do not have either of those, cutting off a relationship can be much more straightforward. Suppose you decide that it is simply not worth trying to repair the relationship, and you would rather cut your losses and move on to the next chapter of your life. In that case, you can do this relatively easily (aside from the emotional turmoil of a breakup, of course) from a practical perspective. If you are young, for example, and have not yet invested much into the relationship, this is usually an easier choice to make.
However, if you do have responsibilities and connections to your partner, such as children or a mortgage, the decision can be more complicated. If you and your partner have a mortgage for a property together, moving into separate houses is a little more complicated, but certainly still doable. If you have children together, this is a much more significant factor. You may decide that you and your partner should stay together for the purposes of parenting. This can work if the two of you can put your disagreements to one side.
You may decide to stay together as a single parenting unit even if you no longer have a romantic connection to each other. This can be difficult, but if you believe that this is the best thing for your children, it is undoubtedly an option. If you are unable to have any kind of relationship with your partner without resentments and arguments, it may be best to separate, even if you do have children. Separation can be difficult for children, but the alternative—a relationship that is loveless and may even be volatile—can be even worse for them.
Work out if you still love your partner
When deciding whether or not a relationship can be repaired, an essential factor to consider is whether you still love your partner in the way you did previously. Discovering that your partner has been cheating or having an affair almost always leads to feelings of intense betrayal. This can damage your ability to love—not just your partner, but anybody.
In some cases, the discovery of infidelity instantly and entirely shatters the perception of a partner. You may feel like they are just not who you thought they were, and the façade is permanently shattered. If this is the case, it may well be the best course of action to end your relationship.
If this is not the case, and you still have feelings of love toward your partner while still feeling hurt and betrayed, you may be able to repair your relationship. If you genuinely want to continue the relationship rather than abandon it, you will need to work out what needs to be changed and fixed, what demands you have of your partner, and what it will take to trust them again.
It may be the case that you still love your partner, but resentment is still high, and you may need some time apart to clear your head. Your relationship may benefit from some time apart where you give each other some space. Some couples voluntarily practice living apart together, where they remain a couple but live in separate houses; at least temporarily.
Address the root causes of the infidelity
When your partner does something that hurts you, often identifying the reasons for them doing this is essential. There can be different reasons why people cheat on their partners or have affairs. Of course, being unfaithful in what was supposed to be a monogamous relationship is not okay, whatever the reason was. Still, the reason behind it happening can often be the difference between whether the relationship is fixable or not.
For example, it is incredibly common for people to cheat on their partners because they feel like they are not experiencing enough intimacy in their relationship, so they seek it elsewhere. Of course, the best course of action if this is happening is to discuss it with your partner, but unfortunately, this need is often expressed through infidelity. Whether the intimacy that is being missed is physical, emotional, or both, a lack of intimacy needs to be addressed and rectified to repair a relationship.
Sometimes people cheat on their partners because they have fallen out of love. If this is the case, there are many possible reasons for this and many things you may have to do if you want your partner to fall in love with you again. Of course, this still does not excuse their behavior, and you will have to learn to trust them again too.
Also Read: How to Rekindle A Marriage After Infidelity
Low self-esteem is also a cause of infidelity. It is common for people in long-term relationships, especially ones where intimacy has decreased, to wonder if they are still desirable, and extramarital encounters may be used as a form of self-validation.
Alternatively, studies show that a third of cheating instances simply boils down to sexual desire and temptation. If this is why your partner was unfaithful, you can look at this in one of two ways; one the one hand, there may be fewer problems that need to be fixed, but on the other hand, they may simply be lacking in self-control, in which case you should consider whether this is a deal-breaker for you.
Ensure that steps are taken to prevent it from happening again
If you have decided to continue your relationship with your partner, you will probably need to consider the future. Once you have worked out the reasons for their infidelity, the two of you will need to take steps to fix these problems to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.
For example, if one of the root causes was a lack of time spent together, making time to share activities such as regular date nights can be an effective solution. If the problems were sexual, agreeing to schedule in time for sex can prevent frustration, or perhaps even trying out new things in the bedroom can spice things up and make your sex life exciting again. Long-term relationships are unfortunately not always the best when it comes to sexual excitement, as routine can quickly kill passion. Sometimes, something as simple as having sex in a different room, or investing in new sex toys or lingerie, can reinvigorate interest.
If infidelity was linked to feelings of emotional distance or neglect, this definitely needs to be addressed. As mentioned before, if you do not love your partner anymore, ending the relationship may be the best option. If you do still love your partner, it may be worth considering why they feel emotionally distant. It may be the case that the responsibilities and routine of life have gotten in the way of your intimacy. If this is the case, it is most likely down to both of you to make an effort to show affection and to make sure that quality time together is part of your schedule.
Whatever the problems are that caused the infidelity and the steps you decide to take to prevent its repetition, you must communicate effectively with each other. Whether emotional, physical, spiritual, or practical, no problem can be remedied without open, transparent, and honest communication.
The most important thing to remember is that it is not just your responsibility to repair a relationship after infidelity. In almost all cases, repairing these relationships requires time, effort, and dedication from both partners.
However, when it comes to who has the most responsibility for putting in the work to repair the relationship, it is usually the partner who cheated on the other who will need to do most of the work.
Regaining the trust of a loved one you have betrayed is no simple, straightforward task—it can require time, effort, and no small measure of humility.