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!
Editor’s Note: This article was published on July 4, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.