It depends. While it may sometimes be desirable for both parties, many couples want to find a solution that allows them to continue in the marriage. It is possible for a marriage to survive an affair, if you know what to do.
Your marriage may survive an affair, but it will take a great deal of work to move forward. You are most likely to be successful if this is the first indiscretion and if both of you are open to working on rebuilding the marriage.
How do you go about rebuilding a trusting, loving relationship? There are many factors that need to be addressed. Loss of trust; anger and resentment; and feelings of betrayal, confusion, depression, shame and guilt must be acknowledged, discussed and dealt with in a supportive setting. This can be a painful and uncomfortable process for both parties but it is critical.
As you move through the negative feelings created by the affair, you will also be rebuilding communication with your spouse. This is another key part of overcoming an affair.
What to Expect
Couples who choose to try to survive an affair need to be aware that one or both parties may experience numerous things that can complicate the healing process. For instance, there may be reoccurring thoughts about the affair, an obsessive need to find out exactly what happened, or a tendency to distrust everything, including people and situations that have nothing to do with the affair.
You may also experience strong fear about losing your relationship, the life you have together and the future you assumed would be there. Certainly there will be emotional upheaval as your state of mind turns from optimism to hopelessness and back again. There may even be periodic desires to give up and end the relationship. The person who did not have the affair may also have obsessive thoughts about the other being intimate with someone else and may also experience revulsion when touched by the unfaithful partner.
Healing is Possible
As you address the feelings and thoughts brought up by the affair and begin to communicate more effectively with your spouse, healing will occur. Learning to forgive and love again happens in time, if you are willing to make the effort. At some point, you will be normal once again and may find that your marriage is stronger, and happier, than ever.
It is best to have someone to guide you through this painful but worthwhile journey. If you would like to learn more, contact us.