Discover the three important elements you need to learn to survive infidelity and betrayal. Saving a marriage after infidelity is possible; you just have to know how to do it.
In this article:
- Betrayal in Love Relationships: It’s Devastating
- Element 1: Commitment
- Element 2: Effective Communication
- Element 3: Be Open and Honest
Survive Infidelity | How to Give Your Marriage Another Try
Betrayal in Love Relationships: It’s Devastating
Learning how to survive infidelity is not a walk in the park. When most couples say I do, at that moment, it appears they may want to honor their vows to each other. Then, the reality of marriage emerges. Most couples do not have enough preparation to deal with the struggles. They cannot cope with the sacrifices or the idea their spouse can commit infidelity!
The structure of marriage is for two individuals to become dependent upon each other to meet each other’s needs. When infidelity occurs in a marriage, the healing process requires a structure independent of each other in the beginning due to the feeling of loneliness and the anger from betrayal.
As a result, it may appear a marriage is unable to learn how to survive infidelity and betrayal. With hard work, introspection, and changes in the relationship, though, an individual can obtain a desirable marriage.
Element 1: Commitment
The healing process after infidelity undergoes different stages. What couples need to realize first is if the marriage is worth fighting for. The couple has to decide on their own whether the marriage is still a beneficial partnership.
A common mistake in most relationships is believing love will conquer all. As long as both of you still love each other, you can learn how to survive infidelity and restore your relationship. There are lots of divorced couples who still love each other. In reality, they struggled in managing their marriage.
Marriage requires more than love! Commitment to each other is the glue that maintains it.
Element 2: Effective Communication
When infidelity takes place in most marriages, it is just the symptom of an underlying cause. More often, the inability to communicate effectively about the needs and desires in a relationship is the true culprit of infidelity!
Most people think they are communicating with their spouse if they simply just say what is bothering them. However, if their partner is not actively listening, comprehending, and understanding their partner’s needs, then the message falls on deaf ears.
Oftentimes, the couple may have more concern about getting their point understood that they completely ignore the needs of the partner. Frustration and resentment have now become a part of the marriage.
It is not that the person the spouse chooses to cheat with (better known as the homewrecker or jump-off) is better than the current spouse. The jump-off strives to be more attentive to the spouse’s needs. It is the only purpose they may serve for the spouse!
Their level of energy to meet the spouse’s needs is attractive and manipulates the spouse into thinking the grass may be greener with someone else as opposed to their husband or wife.
To survive infidelity, it is important to learn how to communicate effectively to divorce-proof the marriage. Actively listen to your spouse. Try to understand the spouse’s needs and work to meet those. It is always important to look at the role one plays in the infidelity betrayal.
To clarify, a person’s choice to cheat is their own, and they must own that. However, it helps to introspect to see how one can function better in the marriage.
Element 3: Be Open and Honest
It is possible to trust the cheating spouse again! Successful relationships after cheating are more common than many people think. However, the offending spouse has to be willing to be an open book and meet the requests of the offended spouse for as long as the individual needs it to heal. This may take years. If the marriage is worth the fight, then this inconvenience of being completely open is worth the burden.
If the offending spouse commits not to cheat again, then it should be no problem to allow the offended spouse all access to the personal belongings. These can include phone or email account. It may help restore security back into the marriage. It then allows the couple to survive infidelity. If the cheating spouse is not willing to be open, it is a clear indication of the level of commitment to working on the marriage!
Let’s listen to what Iyanla Vanzant has to say about getting over cheaters in this video from OWN:
Not all is lost in trying to revive a marriage after infidelity. However, assessing the level of commitment to the marriage, effective communication, and a willingness to be open and honest are necessary requirements to getting it back on track. Moreover, one must be willing to heal from the betrayal to survive infidelity. The person must actively forgive their spouse by doing the necessary work of figuring out the underlying causes and making the necessary changes. While infidelity is the ultimate betrayal, it can also be the catalyst a relationship needs to function in a more appropriate manner. It may help the couple obtain the relationship they both deserve.
Roselyn V. Aker-Black, PsyD, (affectionately known as Dr. Roz) is a native of Rome, Georgia, and currently resides in the Washington DC metro area. Dr. Roz received a BA in Psychology from Fisk University and completed a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Argosy University in Washington. She is the co-founder of Marriage-Exposed.com, a website dedicated to saving families one marriage at a time!
BMWK fam, do you believe infidelity is a deal breaker? If your spouse was truly willing to change and turn things around (i.e., put in the work as described in this article), will you consider staying in the marriage? Share your thoughts below!
Up Next: Can A Marriage Survive Infidelity That Results In Childbirth?
Editor’s Note: This article was published on July 4, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Forgave but Hard to Forget says
With a lot of prayer and communication, I’m working through the infidelity. But it’s hard to forget when an unwanted child is produced and the other woman is awarded child support. What do you do then?
You pray! Understanding that the child is the only innocent party in the circle. The constant reminder for at the most 21 years will be a factor. Some days will be harder than others. Take care of you. Pray and keep praying to God to soften your heat and give you the courage and will to move forward….and the strength to forgive. Avoid getting advise from friends and family. The covenant is between you..your husband and God!
Need to post this anonymous…
Honestly, i’d be OUT. I have been cheated on once, I nearly wanted to kill myself and him the pain was so bad. After it all, I stayed and now over a year later, I look at this man, the one who I loved with all of my heart and soul, as someone who I don’t trust, doesn’t respect me and live paranoid every day that he’ll do it again. I am trying to get better, but what can I say? I have never felt a pain like this, never been so betrayed, especially by the only person in the world who has any obligation to me. I don’t ask for much, accept for the obvious things in marriage (support, security, love, monogamy, compromise, communication), there’s a whole lot of depth to this cheating episode and I honestly feel like an idiot for staying. Do I really not have any self-worth?
If there were a constant, 18-20 year reminder that he’d been unfaithful and I had to pay for it, on top of attempting to get over the whole thing… good riddance.
I understand what your going thru. My husand cheated on me and made a child outside of our marriage, with a women he been knowing since he was a teenager. The problem I have is that he has been having an affair with the women for years unknowing to me. He called it off 4 years ago when I found out, and that is how long it’s been for me and I still have my moments, but I try to take it one day at a time and it is truely hard. A lot of prayer and talking to God, that is how Ive made it this far.
This say thing happened to me too! I’m still with Husband after 7 years. And still hurts knowing someone you loved betrayed you.
I do not believe divorce is the answer when the vows states”for better or worse…”
Forgave but Hard to Forget says
Easier said…we’ve been together for over 20 yrs and have 4 school age children. I love him and believed him when he said it was an alcohol induced mistake but it gets hard. The friendship with this woman was a mistake from the beginning and I told him that I felt she wanted more from the start. He thought he had everything under control. His father’s demons are now his but I refuse for them to be our son’s.
Mrs. Jones says
Reading all these post reminds of how I never wanted to get married. It seems in this day and age there are no decent God fearing men in this world anymore – only adulterous cheating demonic men who don’t take care their children, and beat their wives! God is coming soon with all this sin going on by “married men”. God is not pleased!
God is not please with a lot if things. I totally agree. He is definitely on his way back.No man is prefect…just pray we’ll all be ready.
I forgave the first time I found out and in just 8 mos., he got caught again. Im struggling with this because, he works with her. He became her comforter after the loss of her husband. We know each other and she knows were married. I have a lot to lose if we let this marriage go. Im so afraid. Hes gotten to the point, he says he wont keep letting me look at his phone. I no longer have access to his emails, hes changed the passwords. I dont believe hes changing, at least the Lord hasnt revealed that change to me. Help!!!!!
He’s not changing. No remorse? Hiding things more than before? Forget it.
Whatever you have to lose, is it really worth your sanity and happiness? You will make it.
I agree. He should be willing to be transparent
Breaking Point says
I’m glad this article was re-posted on, My husband was caught in the act of adultery in December 2010. At time the memory of all the details i know about the affair haunts me. I don’t believe that infidelity is a deal breaker however, if the person who committed the act is not willing be accountable for his action, nor does he want to do what is necessary to assist in my healing, then the healing can take longer than it should,he believe my healing is all up to me. But I have no trust. What is a relationship without trust. When the adultery blames states you are the reason he cheated, it makes things worse. His lover called our home in December 2014. When it was suppose to be over. So Now this is when I ask for a divorce. A women has a breaking point, and my point has been broken.
Hello All, the last comment on the status was back in April, but I hope someone would be willing to give some advice now. My Husband of only 1 Year (together for 4), told me that he had cheated on me 3 weeks ago with a Stripper! He just told me last night. A few days ago I went to the doctor because I was having female problems. I have an IUD, so I assumed I was having complications. My Husband came to the doctors with me, and when the doctor began examine me, she saw a lot of Discharge, and stated that I may have an STD! I said…that’s impossible, I’m Married. My husband said Nothing. Once we left, I said jokingly, I hope hear test results come back Negative, because I know that I’ve been doing what God asks of me as a wife! He said he had been doing the same. A few days Later, we were in bed and he asked me if I Loved him. I said yes, why? He says I cheated on you, and you could have an STD! He said he cheated with a Stripper at his cousin’s Bachelor party 3 weeks ago! Well…I am COMPLETLEY devasted! In the beginning of our relationship, we both had been messing around with other people, while also pursuing each other, but once we moved in together and I got pregnant(within 3 months of meeting), we settled down. We have had some Anger issues in our Relationship, and some times where we have separated for a few days, etc., but We always come back together. Times that he has made me angry, I though about cheating. There once was a time where I was thinking about cheating just because, and I asked God to remove the Lustful spirit from my soul. I feel like I am guilty of Cheating in other ways besides Intercourse, but I feel like, since I didn’t go all the way, I’m Not wrong. The fact that he went all the way Hurts me soooo bad! He said it was a Mistake and that he is terribly sorry and that he feels horrible. But, he also said that had it not been a possible STD scare, he probably would Not have told me. Now, the times that I bought about cheating on him, I didn’t tell him about, but I didn’t Technically cheat. I feel like he could have kept it to him self, and that it was better left unsaid. He says he will never cheat again, and that it was a one time mistake that will never happen again. I just don’t believe that though. This is my second marriage and my first husband made me have Severe trust issues, which my now husband knew. Why would he betray me the same way? So even if he is telling the truth, I don’t know if I can trust him anymore. And my STD results haven’t come in yet. But if I do have something, I don’t know what I may do. Ongoing to be sooo Hurt and Angry! He didn’t even use a condom! People are dying from HIV AIDS every day! I have 2 sons from my previous marriage, he has a son from a previous relationship, and we have a 3 year old together. What if we have aids, who will take care of our children if we are sick. Our kids are 7,7,8,3, all boys. My ex husband is in and out of my 2 oldest lives, so they rely on my husband a lot. Our 3 year old Loves his Daddy! My step son comes over every weekend and enjoys his time with us because we give him a Family setting, unlike he had with his mom at home. All of these children will be Devasted! But what about me? Who’s gonna think about me? And the Scary part is that my husband does all the cooking, he early goes out, he is a great provider, and for the most part, I like being Married to him. We have our arguments and sometime they are screaming matches between the both of us because we both suffer from Anger issues, but for the most part, I was Happy. I feel like we Both can be immature, and thus something we have to work on, but this Cheating is Crazy! Also, I Never see Anything suspicious. The password to his phone is my name, I know the passwords to all his social media accounts. Our cell phone service allows me to go online and see any and all calls and text messages that he has made, and I Have never found Anything! He just got. New job, we bought him a knew car, we are both making a lot of money and have stars the process of buying our dream home. I want to believe that it was a mistake so bad, but I don’t trust him anymore. I feel like my Husband is Dead and this imposture has come into my life to distroy me. I have asked him to Leave and he refuses too. He said he doesn’t want to leave. I asked him why he wants to be with me, have a family, etc. if he wants to cheat. He keeps saying that it was a mistake! I feel like he wants to have his Cake and eat it too! I Love my husband, but I don’t know if he is sincere or that he even Loves me at all! I want to teach him a lesson! I feel like if I just go back to loving him, etc., and acting like nothing happened, I would be Stupid. We went to Pre Marriage counseling, and tried Meriage counseling a few months ago. I felt like none of it worked. I just don’t think going to counseling will work for this either. I need an immediate fix, not a session after session fix. Why do I do!!!!??? Please Help!!!
I think that the biggest mistake we can make is to not forgive a person whom we love with all our heart. I never thought that I’d be cheated on, simply because I was fully committed to our family. Making sure we have what we need. Working hard and late. Not paying attention to my cherished wife is what caused her to seek attention elsewhere. I always told her, if you cheat on me I’d never forgive you. Because it happened to me before the betrayal is worse. Then I started thinking is this a pattern? Me giving my all at work, being promoted, receiving bonuses mattered more to me than spending time with her. That’s not true! I looked within myself for the root cause and found it. We are both to blame for what happened and I accept full responsibility. It is not because I can’t be alone that I want to be with you, it is because I ONLY want to be with YOU. That’s what I told her after digesting the insult and with alot of introspection. When she told me that she cheated I was hurt. I felt betrayed. The truth hurts they say. And yes it does. Nobody should feel worthless and I think that is the way she felt. I need to show her more. And I do, each day is a battle. I have left this and my job in God’s hands. I still want her in my life. I think that it is up to each person to decide what to do. You can’t look for advice here on what to do. Deep within yourself you know WHAT to do. Pray about it. Be open for feedback from your spouse. Don’t ask friends what you should do. Ask the almighty for guidance. Love does conquer all. Love yourself enough so that you can love your spouse better.
Oliver Sanders says
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I read all these comments and at a lost for words my wife cheated on me with a man who had 2 kids she had a whole other family we tried marriage counseling she didn’t want to complete it because she know the lies she told and what she was doing after begging her stop and spend time with me I started cheating and a baby came out of my cheating we both were wrong I don’t think I want to hold on I know ppl are going to say I’m wrong but I can’t stay I told my wife from day one I won’t deal with being cheated on my first wife cheated on me so she know my deal breaker lost need serious help