Is my relationship worth saving? Surviving Infidelity.

by rodney on September 27, 2012

Infidelity strikes many relationships and when it does the fallout is enormous. People experience an emotional trauma, going through feelings such as anger, sadness, pain, confusion, inadequacy and betrayal. These feelings cause people to act in ways that cause destruction. People become fixated on seeking revenge- intentionally trying to hurt their partner through violence, manipulation, financial ruin and separating them from children. Revenge rarely ever helps people to heal emotional wounds and everyone involved, including children.

The majority of couples don’t survive infidelity. For many people the relationship is over as soon as an affair is discovered/ admitted, without even the thought of reconciliation. The sad thing is that a lot of couples don’t need to break up. A lot couples can work through their issues repair their relationship and become stronger in the process.

The difficulty lies in the fact that when infidelity happens, trust is broken. When trust is broken, it can be hard to decide whether it is worth the time, effort and pain in repairing your relationship. Investing in a relationship that is not worth it will create a pattern of betrayal, hurt, rejection and isolation. To help you navigate your way through this difficult time and arrive at a place where you can make that decision, here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

Why did this happen?

This question is the most often asked but very rarely answered; however, it is important that you look deep within to your relationship, your partner and yourself and come up with the reason why an affair has happened. Was there something missing in the relationship that your partner was looking for elsewhere?  Was your partner isolated- geographically or emotionally? Were drugs or alcohol involved? If the answer is anything like these, it tells me there is a deeper issue that lead to the infidelity and that by solving that issue, you can prevent an affair from reoccurring.

Is my partner as dedicated to reconciliation as I am?

A relationship is a two way street. It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication if it can be salvaged.  Is your partner willing to do as much “work” as you in order to save the relationship? Are they communicating in an honest and open manner? Are they willing to go to counselling or do something else that will have a positive impact on your relationship? Are they doing whatever they can to rebuild trust? If they are not committed to making it work, they are not worth the effort.

Has my partner broken off their relationship with the other person?

If there is to be any repairing of a relationship, it can only contain two people who are dedicated to each other, 100%. If your partner is still in a relationship with someone else, it means they are undecided about who they want to be with. If they are not 100% committed to you, why should you be committed to them?

Will I get anything of value out of this relationship?

Though this will seem selfish, the reason we get into relationships is that they give us something of value. Relationships where we don’t get anything, where partners seem to take and give nothing back, don’t work. We need to get something of value whether it is love, companionship, support, security, financial support, status, meaning, whatever it is that you personally value. Value relates directly to the worthiness of pursuing a relationship.

Do you love each other?

What is a relationship without love? It’s not much. An empty shallow of a union that will leave everyone involved broken, lonely and bitter.  After everything that has happened between the two of you, do you still truly love each other? If you do, then the relationship just may well be worth saving.

You’ll notice that I have not mentioned children as a reason to reconcile. That’s because children are not a reason to stay together. Sure it is nice for kids to have two parents are together, however it is more important for children to have parents that are happy, well-adjusted and working together which may happen if you’re apart.

So, hopefully, by now, you have a better idea of whether it is worth trying to save your relationship or whether it is better for you to separate. Whatever you decide, your next step now must be to seek counselling, either as a couple or apart. Whatever road you take, it is going to be tough, long and painful.  It is important to surround yourself with the support you need.

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