Wish upon a star that the strife of unfaithfulness does not fall upon you or you will be caught between confusing choices, not to mention the excruciating heartbreak. When infidelity strikes, you will find yourself walking a lonely and empty street, contemplating if you should just break the relationship off completely or stay even after knowing that all this time, you were the only one in love. It’s a hard decision to make; after all, it’s a whole future that is at stake.
Yes, cheating is still cheating, regardless of whom your partner did it with or how they tried to redeem themselves after it. The relationship has been damaged, and it’s impossible to patch the broken pieces back together. You will reach a point where you think leaving is the only sensible step you could take. You owe it to yourself to walk away from a toxic relationship that does nothing but leave you in tears.
But you can stay. Some do. And if you do, know that no one is judging you. It’s natural for someone deeply in love to forgive their partner, no matter how big the sin was.
Either way, deciding to leave or stay after an affair can be a long and rough road. Before making a choice, there are things you need to consider and people to think about.
The Aftereffects of Infidelity: What to Consider When Deciding to Leave or Stay After an Affair
Relationships aren’t perfect. At some point, it will face challenges that seem impossible to overcome. Infidelity, for one, has always been one of the top reasons people get divorced. But not everybody who’s been cheated on chooses to leave for good.
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When deciding to leave or stay after an affair, it’s not just your own future that you need to think about. Here are a lot of other things you need to take into account.
1. Your children’s feelings
The pain of infidelity can be too much, it’s blinding and parents tend to forget that it’s not just them that’s suffering. What most couples overlook when dealing with infidelity is what their children feel. According to psychologist and author Ana Nogales, it may not always seem like it, but kids get affected too.
Nogales, who published a book called Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults Are Affected When Their Parents Are Unfaithful, said, “People think an affair is just something personal, and the kids will never find out. But in most cases, it creates emotional distance within the family.”
Infidelity is already hard to deal with in itself, but when kids are involved, it gets ten times harder. If you only had yourself to consider, you would probably leave without a second thought. But you have kids to protect, and sometimes, the only way to do it is to keep the family intact.
But then again, you don’t have to stay and endure the pain just to keep them safe from the fallout. You can talk to them. Know their thoughts and their feelings. And then use it to make a better decision.
2. Scars of infidelity remain
3. Frequency of affair matters
You don’t fix something only to see it break again. It’s a waste of time and feelings you could have invested in something better.
If your partner cheated once, then maybe you could forgive them. And if you do, make sure that it won’t happen again or you’ll just be feeding your partner’s ego for accepting them once more. But if it happened more than twice, you definitely need to rethink your entire relationship. Or maybe you shouldn’t be in it any longer. Everybody makes mistakes, yes, but doing the same bad thing over and over again is a blatant disrespect.
4. Truth about your relationship
If you choose to stay after the infidelity, do not pretend like nothing happened. Ignoring your partner’s unfaithfulness may calm the storm in your heart, but that won’t do you both any good. Resentments will likely accumulate and will resurface later on.
So before deciding to leave or stay after an affair, go talk to your significant other. Discuss things with them and ponder upon your individual failures that caused your relationship to stumble. Ask about all the things that are keeping you restless, regardless if you get the answers you want to hear or not. If you still want to walk away after everything’s been talked about, then at least you’re leaving with a lighter heart.
5. Don’t try to get even
It’s not a secret that infidelity wreaks havoc in a relationship, and the pain can be unbearable. That’s why most, if not all, victims of infidelity thought of getting back at their cheating spouse just to make them feel as much pain.
However, trying to get even will only add fuel to the fire. Having your own affair just because your partner cheated on you is simply not the proper way to mend your broken heart. So if you decide to stay just so you can cheat on them too and get even, maybe you need to give that decision another thought.
How you should go about dealing with the disaster caused by your spouse’s unfaithfulness is up to you. But never forget that there are a lot of things attached to every move you make. Give yourself time to think. Don’t rush it. It may feel like you need to walk out of the house right away or that you need to forgive them now so your family won’t have to suffer no more, but you don’t have to. This is a big thing to decide on, so sit down, think it through, view the issue from all sorts of perspective before you say or do anything.
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