In my opinion, the number one myth out there about infidelity is that divorce is inevitable. And it is understandable why we think this. Have you heard someone say that if an affair happened it’s the one thing that would not be forgiven, the unfaithful partner would be asked to leave on the spot? Or that the discovery of an affair is a deal breaker?
People who have experienced a spouse being unfaithful may have said some of the same things themselves. And yet, when it happens, the decision is not always as clear-cut. It might even be surprising to learn that many people who experience infidelity stay married.
So why don’t we hear about it, why don’t we talk about it? When a spouse is unfaithful, the betrayed person is often left feeling very alone and thinking they are the only one to experience this. Intense feelings of guilt and shame may be present. There may be many reasons why talking about the experience outside of the relationship may feel impossible, a compelling one being a fear of judgment or the emotional effect on others.
Affairs are not one of those experiences that couples laugh about later and tell their kids and grandkids. So much confusion and pain can cloud judgement, can separate you from how you feel. Should you leave, should you try to work it out, it becomes challenging to navigate.
Some people stay married, happily married, there are those who feel that they should have separated long ago but remain even after an affair, and there are some who decide that this is the breaking point for their relationship and that it is time to move on.
No decision is right or wrong; each situation is unique. No one other than the couple involved can judge the decisions made next after the affair.
If you would like support through the difficult times in your relationship, please do not hesitate to contact me.