Infidelity in Marriage: More key points about infidelity that help you through recovery.
Key Point #2: Infidelity isn’t the end of the world
Infidelity is discovered and it feels like your world is coming to an end.
Yes, it feels like it, but infidelity does NOT mean the end of your world.
Infidelity in a marriage is common, although that thought may not comfort you at the moment but will help you in your recovery.
I estimate that 80% of couples experience some sort of infidelity during the course of their marriage. Some boundary of the relationship is transgressed and a third party enters. The violation may not be sexual in nature. However some type of attachment emerges.
This number might seem high to you. However; a couple factors from my experience contribute to this number.
First, I’ve worked with literally thousands of couples since 1981 and in a large number of cases; infidelity was a factor, although the affair was not discovered by the betrayed spouse.
I remember a number of situations where my intuition (which is highly accurate) told me a third party was involved in the marital distress, but was never mentioned by either party.
For most infidelity carries a great deal of shame and guilt.
It is embarrassing for both the cheating spouse and the betrayed spouse to talk about the infidelity and therefore, the infidelity may remain in the marital closet.
Many couples are able to work through the pain and devastation of infidelity.
There are many couples, perhaps your friends or even part of your family that have navigated successfully the turbulent waters of infidelity without your awareness.
You too can heal from the pain of infidelity, secrets and betrayal.
Marriage has its crunch points.
Marriage is not completed when the marital papers are signed.
You may carry along the myth that once you are married, you live happily ever after.
Your relationship will continue to grow, change, stretch and evolve.
Some years of your relationship will be more difficult than others, as you face new changes, new challenges and bump into development issues individually and as a couple and family.
The marital ride certainly has its ups and downs.
Some years or months you scratch your wonder and wonder.
Other years you think, “Hmmm, this is pretty nice.”
One of you may find particular times of change or transition extremely difficult.
Old feelings and patterns are thrust into the forefront and out of desperation and/or fear a third party may triangle into your marriage.
Infidelity is often a misguided attempt to cope with strong negative feelings that erupt into awareness and seemingly can no longer be ignored.
Remember, infidelity says much more about the cheating spouse than it does about the marriage or the betrayed spouse.
Your cheating spouse has met his/her relational and personal brick wall.
But, again these walls can be examined and one can, and often does, find a way to go around, over or tears the wall apart brick by brick until the sun shines on the other side.
Infidelity offers an opportunity for successful transition, for evolution as a person and couple and results in healing and shifts made in how one thinks, behaves and relates.
Key Point #3 Infidelity is a process
If you just discovered infidelity, you want it over…NOW.
And, frequently, you believe that when the affair is brought to light and talked about, there will be a quick resolution.
You may believe that if you “lay down the law” your cheating spouse will end the affair.
Or, you may think that if you just sit down and talk it through, the affair will end and you will get on with the process of healing rebuilding the marriage.
You want a quick resolution.
Sorry, but that is extremely rare.
Addressing the affair, healing from the infidelity and rebuilding your marriage and life takes time – more time than you want to acknowledge.
In most cases it takes 2-4 years to recover from the trauma of infidelity, if left to your own devices.
If you embrace learning, seek our support and learn about the complexity of affairs and dig into the dynamics of betrayal, you can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to recover – to 6-18 months is my experience.
You move through the stages of discovery, confronting the affair, resolving the infidelity, recalibrating your marriage or relationship and then rebuild the marriage or relationship.
Often a final key is the huge issue of trust and how you not only learn to trust your spouse or partner, but more importantly, trust your own instincts and inklings.
Each stage offers you challenges, predictable roadblocks to face and overcome and demands new ways of thinking and responding that temporarily upset your world.