Or Are You Setting Yourself up For More Heartbreak?
You’ve heard the myth.
Once a cheater, always a cheater.
And that goes over and over through your mind as you make a decision to try to get over his affair and move on staying married to your spouse.
While an affair is certainly heart breaking, if you take the time to learn about the facts you’ll see that it does not really have to spell the end of your marriage.
Rebuilding your marriage after an affair isn’t any chancier than deciding to end your marriage and start anew with someone else.
50 Percent of Men Cheat
Kinsey’s research showed that at least 50 percent of average men cheat; this rises to more than 70 percent for wealthy and powerful men. Cheating happens no matter what religion you are, and can happen at any stage of your marriage. It doesn’t matter how good looking you are, how happy you are, or whether either of you is under pressure or not.
Infidelity seems to be part of the human condition. When you consider that 28 percent of women are also likely to cheat on their spouse, there is plenty of opportunity for infidelity to affect any marriage. In a long marriage there are more chances than not that one of you will have an indiscretion. It does not mean that the marriage is over, that something is wrong with you, or that it will even happen again.
Cheating Not Always a Sign of Marital Unhappiness
During Kinsey’s research it was surprising to learn that marital happiness did not affect whether men cheated or not, although sometimes it was mentioned as a factor it was not the main reason given for cheating.
Men who have powerful jobs are much more likely to cheat due to the availability of people to cheat with and the belief that their spouse will not find out. Most men report that they would not want their wives to discover their cheating because they did not want to hurt their wives and loved their wives and their family.
Women are actually more likely to cheat in order to form an emotional connection with someone else, while men are more likely to cheat for the sexual activity without emotion and as a stress reliever. But, in both cases, men and women aren’t always cheating due to being unhappy in their marriage and report that if they believed they would get caught they would not have done it.
Half of All Marriages That Experience Infidelity Thrive
The good news is that at least half of all marriages who experience infidelity not only survive the discovery, but they thrive. Sometimes an affair can be the catalyst for real intimacy in a marriage and open up discussions on how to improve the marriage even if the affair was not done due to marital unhappiness.
Sometimes affairs happen due to the cheater’s own personal issues and self-esteem issues that can also be worked on during couples therapy as well as individual therapy. If you really want your marriage to thrive after infidelity it takes both spouses to work on the marriage after infidelity. Only the two of you can know how serious you are about this issue.
Not all Affairs are Just About Sex
Many people think that affairs are always about sex, but there are many reasons for affairs. Some happen to be just chance opportunity and are indeed sexual in nature; some are due to a deep lacking of self-esteem on the part of the person having the indiscretion. They need to have more emotional connection than they feel a spouse can give them so they seek out the attentions of others.
Many affairs don’t even involve sexual activity. Sometimes an affair can be on a purely emotional level. Remember that a lot of vows are made in a marriage, some stated specifically and some implied. A workaholic who never has sex outside his marriage can be just as guilty of having an affair as someone who sleeps with women for sport due to a sexual addiction.
Affairs Only Happen to People Who Want One
You’ve heard people tell stories about how their affair happened and they’ll use terms such as “it was an accident” and people scoff at the idea. However, they forget that humans are sexual beings and some have more powerful sexual hormones and inclinations than others. Working in close contact with attractive members of the opposite sex, or finding one’s self in a situation at a party where they feel they won’t get caught and they make a split second decision to do something that they shouldn’t is not at all uncommon.
A man suffering from low self-esteem , due to age, or work issues might find himself with a woman coming on to him in such a way that he gets caught up into the experience and loses control of his senses. This can also happen to women, and it is not an excuse. It is just a fact that these things happen. Because they aren’t uncommon you can rest assured that if you do choose to forgive your husband, and move on past the affair, you’re not any more likely to suffer additional heartbreak than if you move on with someone else.
Cheating Once Not Indicator of Continued Infidelity
Baring sex addition or other personality disorder, many affairs are just a onetime thing and the person never repeats the mistake again. This is especially true when everything comes out about the affair and they see firsthand how badly they hurt the spouse that they love.
For spouses who want to stay married and work on their marriage it’s the actions that happen after the affair that matter most and determines not only marriage survival but ensures the happiness of both spouses moving forward.
You can overcome your husband’s infidelity without setting yourself up for more heartbreak. However, it takes the willingness of both spouses to commit to the marriage so that mistakes are not repeated. Since at least half of long term marriages experience infidelity, the chances are great that you can move past the infidelity and improve your marriage. Learning the myths involved and seeking help from professionals experienced with repairing a marriage after infidelity can ensure your success.