Infidelity can be incredibly traumatic and emotionally scarring. We’ve all encountered the topic to some degree, whether in fiction, in the different media content we consume, or in real life. In every case, we see one or both partners incredibly hurt and sometimes even spiraling into mental illness.
The effects of cheating and affairs are devastating and can be very difficult to deal with and get through, especially given the trust you may have had in the other person. In this article, we’ll discuss why people cheat on their partners, how you might be able to deal with the trauma, and if cheating spells the end of your marriage or if there may be some reconciliation.
Dispelling Any Myths About Infidelity
As an outsider who has never had to experience being cheated on, it would be very easy to respond with outrage and tell the person to “just drop them and focus on you,” but it’s rarely quite so easy – especially when the feelings are still so raw.
There is a lot to unpack when dealing with an affair, and that becomes compounded when you have to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes along with it. As a result, you will have many questions, you may jump to conclusions, or you may become emotionally shut off and refuse to deal with the issue at all. These are all normal responses, but they won’t make the situation any easier.
Many people think affairs only happen in unhappy marriages where one or both people are dissatisfied. While it is true that emotional or sexual distance can contribute to making an affair more likely, there is no definitive reason for why a person may cheat. There can be many reasons a person may have an affair. In fact, amongst these reasons, work context and the chance of opportunity are among the most common.
Communication is ultimately one of the most vital points you want to work on. Effective and healthy communication can help solve many issues in a relationship when people are willing to compromise and make sacrifices for the sake of the relationship. When all individuals are clued in and aware of how their partners feel, it will be much easier to solve many of the problems that can prompt an individual to cheat.
A person who ends up cheating may not be what you would define as a bad person. They could be a person you love dearly who provides for you and your children, does well at work, and even contributes to the community. They have done a terrible thing to you; there is no doubt about that. However, their actions after that can be the deciding factor on if they indeed are a bad person or not.
Things to Keep In Mind When Dealing With an Affair
If you’ve had to go through the terrible experience of being cheated on by a partner you love, there are some things you should bear in mind to affirm or reaffirm for yourself to make things easier.
You have to remember that it will never be easy to go through this process. It will hurt a great deal and will result in many tears, emotional outbursts, and can leave you with poor mental health. This is all normal and doesn’t make you any different from the next person.
Keep in mind that healing will take time, as will gaining your ability to trust again. However, it isn’t impossible to bounce back.
Why People May Cheat
We can all agree that cheating on a person is an awful thing to do to the person you are committed to. However, it would be unfair to generalize all affairs as the same because of the many different variables and context-based situations.
When it comes to affairs, many choose to believe that that is the end of the relationship and that the cheater is the scum of the earth. However, that may not be the case every time. As we stated before, there can be many reasons why a person may cheat beyond the commonly accepted myth of sexual or emotional distance.
One of the prime reasons people go for marriage counseling is because an affair took place. Affairs are not an indication of a bad marriage or incompatibility. Sure, that may be one of the causes of an affair, but it is far less common than people would have you believe.
The root of the problem can be found in sexual frustration, negligence, loneliness, and many other similar feelings. These issues often stem from projection, fear of not being accepted for a particular desire from the relationship, or simply buying into a particular stereotype or stigma.
For example, a partner may be afraid to share that they have a particular sexual desire because they could possibly be condemned. This won’t cause the desire to vanish, though. It will only become bottled up and can lead to frustration, guilt, and projected shame, amongst other things.
However, with honest and open conversation, you allow your partner a chance to be empathetic and compassionate with you, building upon the trust of the relationship and learning more about each other. It is often after an affair has occurred that these conversations happen.
Why Some People Bounce Back In a Relationship
To answer the question here – yes, marriage can survive cheating. However, it takes time, effort, and communication. After everything we have touched on in this article so far, you may still be apprehensive, and that’s understandable given everything we are led to believe.
However, to stick with a partner after an affair takes a lot of courage and love. Sometimes, it may not be for the best, as the affair could be born of abuse or genuine indifference to the partner’s feelings. That isn’t always the case, and in fact, it is not the case for the majority of marriages which seek counsel.
With guidance from a marriage counselor, it’s possible to confront the issues that cause infidelity. With honest and open discussion, a marriage can work through the situation as long as both parties are empathetic and the cheater feels actual remorse and wants to reconcile.
If there is genuine effort put into repairing the relationship and wanting to help the other heal, then not only is there a good chance the marriage can survive, but it could bounce back stronger than before thanks to the practice of healthy and effective communication.
Infidelity does not have to mean the end of the relationship. It is a difficult time and sometimes might not be worth the effort of repairing the relationship. Still, there is often the possibility of reconciling with your partner and restoring it, and making the relationship stronger.