Laura’s Take: Marriage is a holy union between two people and God, a union that is meant to stand the test of time. But God gave each and every one of us free will to make our own decisions, and sometimes we, as humans, don’t always make the best ones. Some bad decisions can have only a small impact on our lives, while others can completely change the rest of your life. How does a person cope with the knowledge that their husband or wife is having an affair? If you’re in this position, here are a few things to take into consideration.
- How did you find out? If you had to do your own snooping to find out, then the odds are that he or she wasn’t planning on ever telling you. If they confess without your snoopage, then they are most likely remorseful of their actions and wanted to be honest with you.
- Do you have any children? Sometimes couples that have experienced infidelity decide it’s better to remain in the relationship for the sake of the children. Children don’t like having parents who are constantly fighting, in fact, sometimes they’d actually prefer the divorce. Talk to your children and ask them how they feel about the issue. It’s not just about you and your spouse, it’s about the entire family.
- Do you want revenge? It’s a natural feeling to want to hurt the person who hurt you, but vengeful cheating will only hurt yourself. Having meaningless relations with another person will lower your self esteem and only make you feel worse. Try to get over your pain the hard way, lots of tissues and ice cream.
- Will they cheat again? Well it really just depends on the person, but my belief is if they’re willing to risk their marriage once, why not again? It’s like the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
- Can you ever trust them again? Well I can answer this one for you. No, you’ll never be fully able to trust them after there’s been infidelity. When he’s late coming home from work, you’ll wonder if there’s something still going on. I wouldn’t be able to deal with the constant paranoia.
- What do you want to do? There’s only two options, stay in the relationship or move on. Tell your spouse you need some time to think about what you want. Go away for a few days, and during those days, avoid talking to them, because they could try and persuade your opinion. They already made their decision, it’s time for you to make yours.
If you decide that you want to work things out, try going to a marriage counselor to talk about ways to deal with the situation. Counseling is one of the only ways to really be able to rebuild a relationship. If your spouse truly wants to work things out, there should be no fighting about going to the couple’s therapy. It’s so sad to hear when a couple is torn by infidelity. Please, don’t put yourself or your marriage in a compromising position by letting the world’s temptations get the best of you.
Kris’ Take: This is a very sad subject to tackle but unfortunately it’s a rampant problem. I completely agree with the counseling. I don’t think anybody involved in a situation like this is any kind of condition to try and repair the relationship. A counselor can be an invaluable tool that will allow you to make amends rather than just bury the hurt deep down inside. Chances are, if you decide to manage a cheating relationship just between the two of you, one of you is going to just be burying the hurt. A counselor will have the ability to bring out the emotions and arrive to the conclusions that would otherwise be overlooked, or considered too bothersome to face.
The best thing I can say about cheating in the first place is to prevent it. The reason cheating is so common is because people put themselves into situations where it can easily be accomplished. do you have a female colleague? Don’t go out to lunch with her, or do overnighters with her, or put yourself in any position where the two of you could be found alone. Not only will this help to prevent cheating, it will also prevent office rumors that can be just as equally damaging. Do you have a female friend? Don’t spend hours on the phone with her, and if you two are to hang out, bring your wife along. What will the two of you be doing that you couldn’t do with the woman that you supposedly will love until death do you part? Maybe she’d like to get out of the house or meet another female whom she can be friends with.
If you have a “look but don’t touch” attitude, get rid of it. All it takes is for one of those guys or girls that your day dreaming about to say hi and ask you to lunch, then it’s just a friendly lunch, right? Then he or she is giving you nice friendly compliments, friendly, right? Then you start noticing that your husband/wife doesn’t give you those nice compliments, that means this friend is better, right? They make you feel good so you should spend just a tad bit more time with them, right? But your husband/wife doesn’t need to know about these extra meetings, what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? The answer to all of those is no.
If it sounds like I’m being too strict, then that’s because I take relationships seriously. You must make sacrifices so it will work, and if you don’t think that’s the reality of it, then you’re willing to sacrifice your marriage for another relationship which still validates my point. You can’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time if you never went there to begin with.