When a Partner Strays: Dealing with Extramarital Affairs

Can a marriage survive infidelity? Can broken trust be regained? Or is infidelity the death knell of a marriage? It is like asking about the effects of a bomb blowing up in the middle of a city. The effects are horrendous and far-reaching. You can’t expect a quick recovery. It will take time and a lot of work to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together again. And really, the rebuilding process may mean that things will not be as they were before.

Infidelity statistics

According to statistics from the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, marital infidelity strikes nearly 40% of marriages – where two-thirds of husbands and one half of wives have been unfaithful in one way of another. The aftermath of an affair is even more bleak – 65% of marriages where a spouse has strayed end in separation and divorce.

However, if you and your spouse are willing to stay together after an affair, there is hope. You can weather the storm and become even stronger as a couple. Getting marriage therapy in UT can also provide you with much-needed perspective and tools towards healing and forgiveness.

Dealing with the aftermath of infidelity will involve not just restoring the relationship, but also digging deep into the reasons why such an affair happened, as well as threshing out the feelings of both the “betrayer” and the betrayed. It is especially important for a couple to heal and move forward – the betrayer from his or her feelings of guilt and the betrayed from his or her feelings of anger, humiliation, bitterness and fears.

Dealing with Adultery

Marriage counseling in Provo can help but it is important to note that a marriage counselor will not make the tough decisions for you and your spouse. It is up to you to decide whether to stay on with the marriage and work towards recovery or to say goodbye. During your marriage’s lowest point, divorce may seem to be the most attractive and logical option. Feelings of anger and betrayal can lead you to this decision but, tempting as it may, it will be helpful to stop and think – especially about fighting for the marriage.  That way, you will not have any regrets about not trying “hard enough” to save the relationship.

Here are some key questions to help you decide to stay or go:
– Is the erring spouse giving up the affair? Before there is even a question of rebuilding the marriage, the erring spouse must have turned his or her back on the affair and ended it completely. Is the infidelity a one-off affair (giving in at a moment of weakness) or is it a chronic problem? Is the erring spouse willing to take full responsibility for the act of infidelity? If the erring spouse refuses to stop and is even defiant regarding his or her infidelity, then the betrayed spouse must make the tough decision of whether to stay or to get out of an unhealthy situation.
– Are both spouses willing to rebuild the marriage? For the part of the betrayed spouses, the process of granting forgiveness and getting over the pain is hard. He or she needs to be willing to grant the forgiveness and let go of the negative thoughts and feelings about the cheating spouse’s act. On the other hand, the cheating spouse should learn to accept the natural consequences of his or her betrayal. He or she can expect an emotional roller coaster from the other spouse. The betrayed spouse will need to be able to express his or her pain and anger without the cheating spouse giving in to the urge to fight back.
– Are both spouses are willing to undergo couples counseling in Utah?
There is no “restart button” that you can simply press and have everything back to what it was before. You may need the help of a marriage therapist to help you deal with both the underlying issues that caused the infidelity, as well as with the aftermath of the betrayal. This includes feelings of insecurity, negative thoughts, and rebuilding trust and self-confidence.

The process of healing and rebuilding a marriage after infidelity is long and arduous so you both have to be committed to it and feel that the efforts are well worth it.

For marriage counseling and therapy in Provo, Utah, you can go to Dr. Triston Morgan. Dr. Morgan is not only PREPARE/ENRICH certified, he is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. For years, he has been helping couples in Provo, Utah strengthen and rebuilt marriages and when that fails, to help individuals and children affected by the situation.

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