Experiencing infidelity in your marriage or monogamous relationship can be devastating, especially if you had no way of knowing that your partner was or is cheating on you.
If your partner has cheated on you, you may be wondering what the next step is for you and whether or not you should attempt to stay together.
Ultimately, approximately 31% of couples will stay together even after one partner has their affair discovered or admits that they have cheated on the other.
Those who cheat on their partners or significant others may do so even if they believe they are happy in their current relationship or marriage.
There are many reasons why someone may cheat, which is why it is difficult to pinpoint why your partner may have cheated on you without first considering their personality as well as their past relationships and life in general.
Some reasons why a person might cheat on their partner might include:
- Feeling inadequate
- Feeling as if their partner is no longer in love with them or attracted to them
- Feeling neglected
- Having a tendency to seek out those who are married or unavailable for illicit affairs
- Dealing with mental turmoil or mental illness that is undiagnosed
- Having a sexual addiction
- Feeling bored or despondent in the current relationship they are in
- Feeling unfilled in other areas of life that may include sex
This statistic will vary based on the region you are living in as well as your culture.
It is estimated that at least 20% of all men will cheat at least once while married and committed, whereas at least 13% of all women will do the same while married.
This one is tricky, as anyone from just about any walk of life has the propensity to cheat given the right circumstances.
However, those who are most likely to cheat are likely to include individuals with sexual addictions, those who feel sexually unfulfilled, as well as those who are also checked out of the current marriage or relationship they are in.
One study from the Institute for Family Studies found that those who are raised in dysfunctional family units and those who do not attend religious services are more likely to cheat on their spouse.
Surprisingly, yes. Many studies have shown that anywhere between 60 and 80% of all couples who attempt to rebuild the trust in their relationship can succeed given the right amount of time as well as proper tools, resources, and therapy.
In many cases, partners who choose to stay with their significant other after experiencing infidelity do it to help preserve the love and relationship they have built with one another.
However, other reasons someone may stay with a partner who has cheated on them may include:
- Low self-esteem
- Fear of being alone
- Financial stress and/or uncertainty
- Lack of relocation options and solutions
When a partner is cheated on, their entire world can feel as if it has been turned upside down.
If you have been cheated on by a long-time partner or even a spouse, it can be difficult to know where to even begin when it comes to addressing the situation and resolving it.
When you are cheated on, you will likely require time for yourself in order to take in the situation and assess all of your options.
You may also need time to consider how you feel about discovering the affair, whether you were told directly or you uncovered the lie yourself.
Once you have considered all of your options, you can then begin the process of working out a plan of action with your partner, if you choose to do so on your own.
Whether you have cheated on your partner or you have been cheated on, you may be wondering where you will go next with one another.
The first step to overcoming infidelity is facing the issue head-on.
Discussing the affair and cheating out in the open can help both of you to air your grievances and emotions.
This may also help you to work through various feelings and emotions you are experiencing while coping with the discovery.
You and your partner can then begin discussing what actions you should take next in order to preserve your relationship with one another.
You may consider some of the following options:
- Traditional counseling: Individual counseling and therapy sessions for both partners who have experienced cheating can help you to feel confident and strong enough to make a decision that is genuinely right for you and your future.
- Couples counseling: Marriage counseling is another option that is available for couples who are interested in staying together and working on the relationship after an illicit affair.
- Taking a hiatus: Having a separation trial is another way to determine whether or not you are interested in pursuing the marriage any longer. When you are away from your spouse for an extended period of time, you can also come to terms with how you are really feeling about the affair you discovered or took part in.
While it may seem impossible in the heat of the moment, it is possible for someone who has cheated on another to change for the better in the future.
With enough hard work and self-awareness, it is possible for just about anyone to change, even those who have a history of cheating and infidelities.
How can someone change if they have already cheated on their spouse?
At times in life, it is possible to make mistakes, even when it comes to cheating or connecting with someone other than your partner or spouse.
However, acknowledging one’s shortcomings and flaws is the first step to making a true change in one’s life.
For a cheater to change, they will have to acknowledge the following:
- Their wrongdoing, even if they originally believed that they were in the right to illicit an affair and cheat on their spouse.
- The amount of emotional and mental pain they have caused their spouse or significant other.
- An understanding of the ramifications of their affair and how it has not only impacted their lives personally but also the lives of those around them (especially if you share children together)
- That cheating is never an answer to feeling unsatisfied or unfilled in everyday life.
It is difficult to tell if someone will cheat on their partner or spouse again, especially if they have a poor track record when it comes to remaining loyal and committed in relationships.
If you want to know if your partner is more likely to cheat on you again in the future, you will need to consider the following potential challenges that he or she may be facing:
- Differing preferences when it comes to sexual partners and/or the ways in which they prefer to become intimate with others
- Feeling as though they have drifted apart from their current partner or significant other and spouse
- Communication issues between partners
- Conflicting schedules that make it difficult to rekindle and/or repair the current existing relationship
- Different opinions about what actually constitutes cheating in a relationship
You may be able to, depending on how you feel about your partner after discovering that he or she has cheated on you, as well as your own personality.
Not everyone is wired to forgive those who cheat on them, so it is important to consider your own personality and how you truly feel about the situation before coming to a decision.
If you want to know if you will ever be able to trust your partner again after they have cheated on you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was I told about the affair, or did I discover the cheating on my own?
- Would my partner have ever told me about the cheating had I not discovered it?
- How did I feel when I initially discovered the affair?
- Do I believe that I can trust and love my partner even though we have experienced an affair in our marriage or committed relationship?
- Do I still feel genuine love for my partner?
- Do I find myself thinking of filing for divorce or leaving my partner to start a new life on my own?
- How do I feel when I think of leaving the relationship and living independently?
It is not always easy to accept and overcome infidelity in any relationship, especially when you have been in a committed relationship for years.
A few ways to heal a relationship after experiencing cheating might include the following.
Open and honest communication
It is essential to clear the air with open and honest communication with regard to the cheating and affairs that took place during your relationship.
A partner that has cheated should always acknowledge and accept accountability for their actions when they have been unfaithful to a partner or spouse.
Letting go of negative emotions
If you are committed to working through infidelity in your marriage, you will only be able to truly do so once you are capable of letting go of negative emotions.
Avoid constantly placing blame on one another to begin moving forward and past the affair.
It is also important to keep your self-blame and jealousy in check, regardless of which side of the equation you are on while working through the issue in your marriage.
Forgiveness is key
If you truly want to move past an affair in your relationship, you can only do so by genuinely forgiving your partner once he or she has worked through their own internal struggles.
Forgiveness is key in any relationship or marriage, regardless of how long you have been together with one another.
Once you forgive your spouse for his or her indiscretions, you can begin to work on repairing the relationship you have with one another.
Only through open communication and honest dialogue can you begin to rebuild the trust you have once had with one another.
Forgiveness will also allow you to feel less burdened and less bitter when it comes to working through the issue with your partner or spouse for your future together.