This question in the title of this blog is a tough one. I think every marriage is different, and the ways each one of us are able to handle these types of large questions – especially when our marriages have deteriorated to the point where we’re asking them in the first place – depends on our relationship, our makeup, and just who we are in general.
I have seen couples who got through affairs and I have seen couples who haven’t. My friend Rick Reynolds runs AffairRecovery.com, a great organization that’s helping with this issue. He spells out the 6 different types of affairs here.
A lot of times there are underlying issues that lead to the affair (for example, we often discover that addiction is present for a lot of people who cheat). Whether you stay or go is going to be up to you and no one else (Tweet This).
No matter who we are, we’re going to make mistakes; the tendency to do that is only going to increase when you’re dealing with the aftermath of an affair. In this terrific article, Leslie Harde of Affair Recovery has spelled out twenty common mistakes that a hurt spouse can make:
- Believing that, once your spouse agrees to end the affair or the behavior, it is truly ended.
- Demanding that your spouse pledge 100% commitment to the marriage right at the moment of disclosure.
- Bludgeoning your spouse with guilt, thinking that this will be helpful.
- Drawing too much security from changed phone numbers and email addresses.
- Believing that you can keep your mate safe and away from temptation.
- Trying to compete with the affair partner, pornography, or other behavior.
- Trashing the affair partner.
- Trying to convince your spouse that nobody will ever love him/her as much as you do.
- Using your children or grandchildren as pawns.
- Beating up the unfaithful mate with guilt, shame, or the opinions of others to keep them from leaving.
- Making threats.
- Trying to drive the affair partner off by personal confrontation.
- Contacting the affair partner and then believing them.
- Believing there is a simple formula or a set course to fix the problem.
- Believing that the threat of exposure will be enough to convince your mate to quit the behavior.
- Trying to get all the unfaithful spouse’s friends on your side.
- Trying to “woo” your spouse back and expecting instant gratitude and immediate results.
- Believing that you, the faithful spouse, are “blameless” and the only one who has things to forgive.
- Believing that your unfaithful mate will find you more appealing if you get attention from others.
- Believing that if you, the faithful spouse, should or can do the same thing
You should really check out that whole article, and if your marriage – or the marriage of someone you know or love – is being affected by infidelity, be sure to check out Recover.org.
For those of you who are not dealing with affair: thank God. We have a great workshop for married couples that can help strengthen your relationship and draw the two of you even closer together. It’s called Fighting for My Marriage. You can learn more about that workshop at FightingforMyMarriage.com.
At XXXchurch, we believe strong marriages are a cornerstone for individual freedom, so please check out these great resources and do the work you need to do to keep your marriage going strong.