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When To Walk Away After Infidelity (9 Serious Considerations)

by Sonya Schwartz

Media has glorified infidelity, normalizing it in the American culture. Rap videos, social media, reality TV, celebrities, the list goes on and on. "Side chicks" is now trending - and young females are actually glorifying being such a thing. The generations are now twisted, and grow up feeding on each other’s broken hearts to try and soothe their own. 

The Emotional Aftermath Of Infidelity Is Devastating

Well, that’s not how I was raised. I find our pro-infidelity culture disgusting, and vile. The effects on a person’s emotional and personal self-esteem are catastrophic to someone who has been betrayed by someone who they give their whole heart to. It leaves them wondering why they weren’t good enough, or how they could so easily be replaced by someone else. 

When a person has been cheated on, that pain can so easily turn into self-loathing and create a toxic mindset. People have developed depression and even killed themselves because of infidelity and the damage it caused to their lives.

Being cheated on is the absolute worst feeling, it makes you feel dirty, violated emotionally and sexually (because… how could your partner have sex with you after having sex with someone else?). It makes you feel unwanted, disgusting and insecure about yourself. The feeling of betrayal is overwhelming to the point that it’s hard to breathe. The trust that you had invested so securely with that partner has been smashed, stomped on, lit on fire, and peed on.

If You Are Sleeping With A Person Who Has A Partner

If you are sleeping with someone you know has a spouse or partner, I strongly urge you to reconsider. Here’s the thing, you most likely have no clue about how their relationship really is. You have no idea the damage that you are causing someone if their partner were to find out what they are doing. 

Could you live with yourself if you broke up a home with children? Could you sleep at night, knowing you ruined someone’s entire life? Do you really think that person who is cheating on their partner is going to really leave them and get married to you? 

Because if they wanted to be with you, then they would leave their partner if you left them until they did. Because in real life, it really is as simple as being honest if a person does not want to be with their significant other. One of the signs your affair is over is when the other person decides to tell their partner the truth - and they still do not leave them for you.

A Relationship Can Survive Infidelity

It’s hard to manage, but not everyone has to walk away after infidelity. Sometimes people can work together on rebuilding trust, and mend their relationship with the loved ones. It’s hard because it’s not just about one person forgiving another. If your family or friends know, or your children know, the person who cheated has to be forgiven by everyone. 

And the person who got cheated on is not going to get over the betrayal quickly. Experts say it usually takes about 2 years for the damage to be fully mended when an affair is discovered. Feelings of suspicion and distrust make it hard for one to forgive the cheating. And once trust is broken, it’s one of the hardest things to get back in a relationship. 

The Healing Process After An Affair

The healing process after a cheating partner is caught is long and grueling. Respect, trust, new boundaries, new rules, new relationship dynamics have to be established. There are things that have to happen, in order for life to return to normal after infidelity. 

Usually, a marriage counselor can help you resolve your issues better if you are staying together because infidelity is a hard wound to heal. 

When To Walk Away After Infidelity

But how do you know if you want to stay when you catch your partner cheating? How do you know if you can get over what has happened?-If you are struggling to make this decision, just know that this is normal. You’re dealing with a lot of feelings right now, and you’re probably thinking it would be easy to walk away with how much hurt you’re experiencing. 

Whether you are trying to figure out if your relationship is worth it, or if you want to walk away after infidelity by your partner, we have some important questions for you to ask yourself to help you decide. All of these questions are detrimental to your decision and will help you sort through all of your feelings, and figure out if you want to make it work.

Speaking from the heart, if you are reading this you are probably hurting right now. Why else would you read an article on when to walk away after infidelity? I am so sorry you are hurting right now. And I sincerely hope that these important, vital decision-making questions help you decide on whether or not you want to save your relationship. 

1. Can your partner cut off all ties and communication with the person they cheated with?

Obviously your cheating partner needs to cut ties with the person that had the affair with. You can’t expect to be able to fix the broken trust and feelings of resentment in your relationship if you have to worry about your partner going back to that person. 

One of the warning signs you can use early on to decide on whether or not you’re going to walk away is whether or not your partner can cut all ties to this person. No social media contact, no phone calls, no hanging out, no bumping into them. What if your partner works with this person? 

In my strong but humble opinion, my reader’s family - jobs are replaceable. You are not, and neither is your relationship and the life you and your partner have built together. A good indication of when to walk away after infidelity is whether your partner is willing to completely cut that person out of your lives.

2. Can you forgive your partner?

Can you forgive your partner

Are you truly able to forgive your partner after the infidelity? It’s easy to think that you might be able to get over it, but in actuality how well are you able to truly move on? Anger is normal. And it’s healthy to grieve, and allow your feelings to be expressed. 

However, there comes a time when you are going to have to let go of that anger, and that betrayal so that you can move on. If you don’t feel like you’ll be able to let it go, and work on giving your partner some trust after they have earned it, then it may be better to walk away after infidelity. For some, the ability to let go of that betrayal is just too much. 

3. Can you both be 100% honest from now on?

Open and honest communication is detrimental to making a relationship work after one partner cheats. Another good deciding factor on if and when to walk away after infidelity is whether or not you continue to catch your partner in lies or dishonesties. 

Lying can become a habit if one has to lie for so long about something. And not only that but sometimes a partner who's cheated may try to tell white lies to protect your feelings, thinking the truth could hurt you more. They aren’t realizing that they've already hurt you as much as you could possibly be hurt, and the only thing that could hurt more would be more lies. They are feeling guilty for wronging you and may try to fib about some things involving the affair to save the relationship

You need to be firm, and clear that lies will not be tolerated of any sort. And that only with honesty, and openness, even if they are afraid it will hurt you more, truth is the only way to keep you from walking away. 

4. Are you still in love with each other? 

I am not talking about loving each other as people, because you’ve been together for so long, and because you know you at one point in time were in love with them. Are you truly, actually and presently still in love with each other? This is a hard thing to think about after infidelity but it is vital. 

A decision like when to walk away after infidelity cannot be made without figuring out if you truly love each other enough to make it work. And are they truly still in love with you? How can you be sure? After all, they are the ones that slept with another person… and if they lied about it on top of that it makes for a hard pill to swallow that your partner could actually love you. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

This is a conversation that needs to happen after you have processed your grief and allowed yourself to calm down.  

5. Does your partner understand and have patience with you?

Another warning sign that your relationship may not work is if your partner becomes impatient with the time it takes for you to heal. A deciding factor on when to walk away after infidelity is if your partner doesn’t get pushy with you. 

After an affair you may not be able to be intimate with your partner, you may have resentments, you may have emotional breakdowns and outbursts. Your partner should be willing to understand that they are the cause of these feelings, and they should be more than willing to be patient. 

Experts say it takes about 2 years on average for a relationship to return to normal or better after an affair.

6. What was the root of the problem - why did this happen?

So remember when we talked about open and honest communication? We need to get to the root of the problem. Why did the cheating happen? Why did your partner cheat? Even though it is not your fault that your partner cheated, there may be problems that were happening in the relationship before.

If communication is not good, cheating can happen - again, it is not your fault your partner cheated on you. Infidelity is always a choice that is made, and it’s not your fault if you are the victim of it. But if problems in the relationship had built up before, it’s possible that could have been something that motivated them or rather unmotivated them to have self-control. 

It will be a difficult conversation, but it has to happen.

7. How long was your relationship? Was it a good or toxic relationship?

Is your relationship less than a year-long? I want to express the importance of time. Time is the only thing in this world we cannot get back or get more of. When our time is up, it’s up. So are you going to waste more of your irreplaceable time on a partner that could not manage just one year? 

If you have been together for a long time, and you have built a life together, it's more worth saving the situation. However, you have to make sure you’re doing it for the right reason: it’s because you love each other. No other reason is good enough. 

8. Are both parties willing to do what they have to do to rebuild trust?

A good sign on when to walk away after infidelity is whether or not your partner is willing to do what it takes to rebuild your trust and relationship. If that requires giving passwords and location access for a while, then so be it. Having that security makes trust easier to build. 

But not every partner will be willing to give you what you need - if that is what you need. So the question is, are both of you willing to do what it takes? 

9. Are you both willing to go to counseling or seek advice? 

Are you both willing to go to counseling or seek advice

Infidelity is a touchy subject, and it’s hard to talk about without arguing or emotional outbursts on your own. There is also a psychological process of healing after infidelity. I strongly advise a counselor to help you through the reconciliation process. 

If You Are Both Willing To Weather The Storm Your Relationship Can Prosper

If you can reach positive conclusions with your partner on each of these 9 conversations, then it's possible that your relationship can be saved. I truly believe that cheating can be forgiven if it was a one-time thing, and there were no emotional attachments to the other person in the affair.

Divorce After Affair

If you do happen to have to go your separate ways because of the divorce, I suggest getting counseling anyway. Being cheated on, and not being able to fix the relationship can cause a lot of damage, the damage that wasn’t your fault, to begin with. Don’t take that pain on alone, because you can find happiness again - but you have to be healed from the pain that the affair caused you.

FAQs

How long does a marriage last after infidelity?

This is situational. About 70% of married couples stay married after an affair is discovered. Most times, with the help of a marriage counselor, couples can actually work things out, and much of the time their relationship turns out stronger than it was before. 

What percent of marriages end in divorce after infidelity?

Divorce statistics say only about 30% of marriages end in divorce after infidelity. Many people who do get a divorce after an affair has come to light are not from the affair itself, but the continued dishonesty about it afterward. 

How often do couples stay together after infidelity?

It really depends on the couple. A lot of couples who are married will try and save their relationship if they still love each other. Many couples who are not married, however, will end up ending the relationship. 

Should infidelity end a marriage?

Infidelity often is not a deal-breaker for marriage. Depending on how long the couple has been together, if they have children and investments and assets tied to each other, how long the affair lasted, and who it was with are all detrimental things that determine for each individual couple if they are going to end up leaving each other. Divorce is life-changing, and sometimes a cheating spouse is a wake-up call for the marriage.  

Do you really love someone if you cheat on them?

There are too many reasons why a person may have cheated to say whether or not a person really loves another person if they cheat on them. Maybe the relationship is rocky, maybe there was alcohol involved, maybe a chemical imbalance that makes one person feel like they aren’t capable of controlling their sexual urges. 

The feeling of betrayal is what convinces a person that the other person doesn’t truly love them. And personally, I agree. I believe that infidelity is always a choice, and if you truly loved your partner, you would never choose to sleep with someone else. I feel like that love would be enough to stop someone from betraying the person they supposedly don’t want to be without. This is, however, my own personal opinion.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Have You Ever Experienced Infidelity? - Conclusion

Tell us your stories. Were you the cheater or the cheater? Why did it happen? Did your relationship recover? Tell us your stories in the comments, and share this article with your friends. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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