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How to Overcome Infidelity and Stay Married

Many people think a marriage is automatically over after one of the spouses has an affair. In fact, American society is much more accepting of people who end their marriage after an affair versus those who decide to stay together and fight for their marriage. Oftentimes, the spouse who was cheated on is viewed as weak and codependent. However, it takes great strength, courage, and love on the part of the spouse who was cheated on to actually stay and work through the infidelity to build a new, stronger life together.

Bad marriages, or even mediocre ones, will be much more difficult to save, but for the most part if you really love your spouse, and your spouse expresses genuine remorse and is willing to do their part in rebuilding the marriage, it definitely can be done.

According to experts, saving a marriage after infidelity can work when:

  • There is no physical abuse
  • The unfaithful spouse is honest and takes responsibility for their actions
  • The unfaithful spouse is willing to work on earning trust back from their spouse
  • The unfaithful spouse takes the necessary steps for recovery
  • Both spouses work to understand why the infidelity occurred
  • Both spouses focus on the good aspects of the marriage, each other, and why they should stay together
  • The injured spouse is truly willing to forgive, trust again and move on

The statistics may surprise you! Research shows that staying married after infidelity actually increases your odds for happiness. According to a study by marriage experts and the Institute for American Values, 64% of unhappy spouses who stayed together after one of the spouses cheated ended up happily married five years later. Even more powerful, 78% said their marriages were very unhappy before the infidelity, but they stayed together and worked through it and ended up happily married five years later. So the more unhappy the marriage, the more likely they were to be happily married five years later! Conversely, however, only 19% of unhappy spouses who divorced or separated after the infidelity occurred were happily married five years later. Pretty interesting study!

We definitely don't want to make light of the hard work involved. The reality is that some people simply don't have the desire, or the capability to overcome the emotional aftermath and make the changes that staying together requires. Both spouses will need to deal with their individual feelings of shame, guilt, blame, anger, embarrassment, and resentment before they can learn to learn to trust again and work together to rebuild their marriage.

If you have experienced infidelity in your marriage and are looking for some professional help from a marriage and family therapist, please feel free to call our office at 714.969.9910 and we will be happy to refer you to someone!

Disclaimer – The materials contained in this blog have been prepared for informational purposes only. The information contained is general in nature, and may not apply to particular factual or legal circumstances. In any event, the materials do not constitute legal advice or opinions and should not be relied up on as such.

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