Does Infidelity Mean the End of My Marriage?

One of the most destructive and devastating things that can occur in any marriage is for one of the spouses to commit adultery.  The discovery of the breach is usually accompanied by vacillating feelings of shock, rage, grief, mistrust, betrayal, and confusion.  The person whose spouse has committed adultery has five choices:  have an affair, ignore the situation, separate, divorce or repair the damage.

Adultery is never the appropriate response to marital distress and ignoring a serious situation in a marriage is never a healthy option.  Although it may seem impossible and improbable, a marriage can sustain an affair with a willing man and woman.  However, much work has to be done for the marriage to survive.  Below are some helpful guidelines to follow to get the marriage back on track:

  1. Seek marital therapy.
  2. Strengthen your relationship with your support network.
  3. Limit the number of people with whom you discuss the crisis.
  4. The persons involved in the affair must discontinue ALL contact with each other.
  5. The person who committed adultery must do what is necessary to restore the trust in the marriage (this may include informing the spouse of your whereabouts at all times, changing jobs if you worked with the other person, making your cell phone, email, and social media accounts available, etc.)
  6. Learn from the affair – examine the relationship, unearth the causes of infidelity and don’t repeat the same mistakes in the relationship.

For the spouse contemplating, an affair, please understand that your marriage may not survive.  Before you act on your impulses, allow yourself to be guided back to the one with whom you promised to forsake all others for.