You notice that your partner has been acting differently lately.The occasional late night work meeting now falls on every day of the week. He or she has been constantly texting and having secret telephone conversations in the bathroom. The scent of a different perfume or cologne lingers on their clothing. There’s an emotional distance in your relationship that ceased to exist before. You have a gut feeling of what is really going on, but you don’t want to believe it. Plus, there is no proof … until you get a call from a friend letting you know they have spotted your other half in a compromising position with another person at a local restaurant. You rush over to find your beau holding hands, kissing and gazing lovingly into the eyes of someone else. All you see is red through the blurred vision of your tears.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. You’re feeling hurt, pain, betrayal, confusion and anger. Your partner has admitted their wrongdoing and has apologized countless times. Friends and family are all trying to give you their best advice, but you’re hearing conflicting resolutions of what you should do.
If you’ve never been in this situation, you most likely know someone who has. It may not have happened exactly like the given scenario, but we’ve all had a friend come to us for advice on infidelity in their relationship. So what do you tell them? What would you do if you were in a similar situation? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself and your partner when deciding between reconciliation and a breakup:
Related: When Can You Trust Him?
1. Was the affair short-term or long-term?
Some affairs last months, even years and others are just a night of poor judgment. While you may not want to know the details of your partner’s infidelity, it’s important to know how much time was spent cheating. This allows you to better understand whether there was an emotional investment, whether it was strictly physical or both. Either situation would be difficult to rectify, but it helps in getting to the root of the issue.
2. Why did this happen?
There had to be something your unfaithful partner felt was lacking in the relationship for an affair to happen. Did they feel you were working too much and not showing them enough attention? Did having children cause you to lose your spark as a couple? A decision to reconcile is often dependent upon what caused the infidelity. Is it something that the two of you can fix through compromise, communication and counseling? If not, then the chances of reconciliation are slim.
3. Do you still love each other?
How did your spouse react to being caught? Did they express remorse and shame, or were they trying to justify their actions by putting the blame on you? A partner who shows regret for their actions is a better candidate for reconciliation than the latter. While their profession of love for you and endless apologies could be just words, it shows they are willing to try and do whatever it takes to get you back. It’s imperative for you to consider your partners past behaviors in your relationship as well. Have they always shown their love for you or have there been signs of cheating before? More importantly do you love your partner enough to try and work it out? The answer to these questions will help you figure out whether you choose the path of reconciliation or separation.
4. Will you be able to forgive and move on?
For many people cheating is a deal breaker. No amount of love, good behavior or money will allow them to get past the fact that they were betrayed. Many couples try to stay together and work through their problems only to find out that trust was never regained and forgiveness was never given. Before you consider reconciling, sit and think about whether you can get past the infidelity. If not, it may be time to part ways.
Related: Can Love Conquer All?
Countless other questions should be considered when deciding upon reconciliation. Each relationship has different factors to reflect upon after dealing with infidelity. Forgiveness and resolution take a lot of effort, time and healing for both parties involved. While many couples have split due to cheating, many have resolved their issues forming an unbreakable bond.
Have you ever found yourself in this predicament? Let us know how you resolved it below.