“Can A Marriage Survive Infidelity?”
The simple answer is “Yes – a marriage can most definitely survive infidelity.” But, in a marriage, as in life, we don’t want to merely survive, we actually want to thrive, to grow, to experience better. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck and helpless and not knowing what to do about it.
Many marriages that don’t experience infidelity are stuck in a rut and not thriving – it often takes an experience of extreme crisis and pain to actually motivate us to do something different – and that’s what I find with most of the couples I work with, when I help them overcome their infidelity. At first they will be focused on the details of the infidelity and how it has affected the marriage since the discovery – but after a while, most couples will acknowledge that their relationship has not been thriving for quite some time, despite the discovery of infidelity.
I have actually found that rather than it being something that can destroy a marriage – it is one of the best things that can act as a catalyst for the couple to realise that things weren’t right anyway – and that can help them to be open to learning the truth about what actually went wrong. And if both partners in the relationship are willing to do this work, then not only will the marriage survive, but it will be like starting all over again – only this time you will know what can go wrong and you can grow together knowing how to build a marriage and not just drift along complacently.
The most important element of being able to get your marriage to thrive after the discovery of infidelity, is for both partners to be willing to learn something new. After all – if they knew how to have an infidelity free marriage, then they wouldn’t end up in the situation they were. Most people who contact me use the phrase – “I just don’t understand why he/she did what they did”. Understanding is an essential first step – and understanding without blame – both parties have got some part to play in what has happened. After all, it is a crisis in the marriage – and there are two people in every marriage. The marriage will definitely not survive if one party, wants to simply put all the blame on their partner and not accept any responsibility for the position the marriage has reached. This is usually harder for the injured party to understand in the first instance but with the gentle care, understanding and acceptance of a skilled and experienced professional infidelity coach, the injured party can be helped to accept their role in the situation without feeling criticised, judged or blamed. This leaves the partner who has strayed the opportunity to completely accept responsibility that the effect of their wayward choices has had on their spouse and the marriage, without feeling attacked, judged which only results in further defensiveness and deceit.
Marriages can most definitely survive an affair – but to thrive after an affair is another thing entirely. Both will need you to seek outside professional help.