How long does a marriage last after infidelity?
Infidelity, adultery, or cheating is the act of being unfaithful to a spouse.
It is a form of betrayal, and while it may not always signal the end of love and commitment in a marriage, it causes heartbreak to the betrayed spouse.
The betrayed spouse may find it heart-wrenching and deeply infuriating to remain in the marriage.
If someone has cheated on you, you may still be dealing with many hurts and emotional pain.
You may be wondering if your marriage will ever survive the phase you’re in.
You may also wonder if you should stay and work on your marriage or take a walk.
All these thoughts and feelings are normal, and they is nothing wrong with having them.
However, there is hope, and your marriage can still be saved.
But it’ll take a lot of forgiveness, courage, and effort to rebuild commitment and trust.
It won’t be easy, but if you two are willing and committed, your marriage can stand the test of infidelity and last.
Being unfaithful to your partner can happen in many ways.
It can happen when you are physically intimate with someone outside your marriage.
This may include grinding, kissing, cuddling, and oral and penetrative sex.
It can also happen when you have an emotional connection or relationship with another other than your spouse – nothing physical and no sex.
You had a deep emotional connection with another man or woman other than your spouse.
If you ask me (and some other men and women), I’d say that emotional infidelity is even a bigger slap on the face than a physical sexual affair.
This is because it is a deep connection with someone else, and you can’t just write it off as fantasizing about someone.
It is deeper, and it’s only a matter of time before physical intimacy happens.
More so, anyone can have sex with anyone without any strings attached but it takes more to be emotionally connected with another person.
Depending on the boundaries established by some spouses, infidelity can also happen when one spouse watches pornography, visits a strip club, or enters a sex video chat to connect with other men or women.
This may mean nothing to your spouse, but another person will interpret it as unfaithfulness.
As I said earlier, it all depends on the boundaries of the partners involved.
How Long Does A Marriage Last After Infidelity?
Research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that 53% of couples who experienced infidelity in their marriages were divorced within 5 years, even when they’ve undergone therapy.
According to the study, couples who have experienced infidelity are three times more likely to separate than faithful couples.
While this study is a bit discouraging, the truth remains that no two marriages are alike.
Some couples split up and ended their marriages, while others survived and grew old together despite having gone through infidelity.
I’d say that the answer to this question depends on you and your spouse.
It depends on your willingness to work together, seek therapy and healing and rebuild trust and commitment.
It takes a lot of time, and it may probably take months or years, but with effort and the factors I’ll be discussing below, a marriage can survive infidelity:
1. Commit To Fixing Your Marriage.
This may sound insensitive.
“I mean, who exactly am I committing to? The same person who broke his/her commitment to me and shattered my trust?”
I understand this is hard, but remember that if you desire and decide to stay, you have to prioritize your marriage.
This means committing to fix whatever is broken.
But you aren’t the only one committing.
Your cheating partner also has a lot of commitments to make and efforts to put in.
2. Your Partner Should End The Affair.
As part of his/her commitment to fixing your marriage, the defaulting partner must get all third parties out of your life and marriage.
This is one way to show a willingness to prioritize your marriage.
3. Talk Openly And Honestly About Everything.
You have to be open and honest with one another, and the key is pursuing effective communication.
Start by speaking openly and honestly about how the affair made you feel.
Then ask your partner if he/she is unhappy with you and your marriage.
It’s a heartbreaking topic to discuss, and you still feel the hurt but resist the urge to yell and call names.
It will make the conversation a lot more productive and effective.
While you talk, take the time to listen.
Apart from helping you to understand your partner and the reason behind his/her action, listening attentively will help you to observe your partner’s body language and his/her approach to infidelity.
You can then decide if this is something that can or can’t be fixed.
If the communication gets intense and you feel your emotions rising and raging, take some time to cool off and have the discussion some other time.
It’s still okay.
4. See A Therapist Or Counselor.
You and your partner can benefit immensely from the unbiased and supportive perspective of a relationship therapist or marriage counselor.
They can also help you structure a plan for rebuilding trust and making your marriage strong again.
5. Try To Connect With Your Spouse On An Emotional Level.
It may be hard for you to be physically intimate with your spouse after their infidelity.
This is understandable, but you can try to build and establish an emotional connection with them.
You can spend some time with them on a date night, hang out at your favorite restaurants and visit your favorite places.
It may be difficult but always remember your desire to rebuild your relationship.
6. Learn To Feel Your Feelings.
Even while you actively work on your relationship with your partner, sometimes, you may still experience fear and deep insecurity about your spouse.
You may struggle with thoughts and questions like:
“Is my spouse cheating on me again? Is there someone else?”
“My spouse has cheated on me before. How do I know they won’t do that again? God! I don’t want to face this hurt again.”
“I’m with my partner and I feel happy. Does it mean I’ve trusted them again? I don’t want to let my guard down.”
All of these are normal, and there’s nothing to feel ashamed of.
Learn to feel them when they come to you.
Don’t ignore or suppress them.
You can speak to your spouse about your thoughts and feelings, and they can support you by reassuring you of their love and commitment.
You can also share them with a trusted friend, family, or therapist.
Whatever you decide, make sure you aren’t suppressing your feelings.
7. Practice Self Love And Care.
Take the time to focus on yourself.
Take the time to soothe and take care of yourself.
We tend to get lost in our relationships, and our marriages become our identities.
Take time to focus on yourself, your wants, your needs, and your hobbies.
Having a developed and better sense of self will help you make the best decision for your life in the future.
Infidelity ranks as the one of highest contributing factors to broken marriages and relationships.
Even if you discover that your partner is unfaithful to you, you can still heal.
There’s still hope for your marriage, but you and your partner must be willing to work on your marriage and be transparent with each other.