How many things are more painful than realizing that your partner has been unfaithful to you? well, very few. Infidelity in relationships out of marriage may be a little less difficult to deal with. When it comes to dealing with infidelity in marriage, it is something else altogether. The difficulty a person is likely to face in trying to deal with infidelity in marriage is most probably because he or she has developed such a bond with the other person which is sealed with vows to be faithful to each other. Different people have different capacities when it comes to surviving an affair. However, no matter who you are, if there was even a little bit of love you had for your unfaithful partner, you will definitely feel the pains of being cheated on.
In dealing with infidelity in marriage, the first thing to understand is why it happened. Though it may hurt to go through knowing why your partner cheated, it will help you not only get over it but also prevent it from happening again, either in the same marriage or another, if you decide to be separated from your partner. So let’s start out by considering why married people fall into the trap of having an affair. Before we go on, please be clear that none of the following points are reason enough for your partner to cheat on you. We are going over these points so that you can possibly figure out what went wrong and take necessary precautions in the future.
Lack of attention from one’s spouse
Whether it is the husband or wife who is cheating, this is one of the reasons why unfaithful partners get into in affairs. Not long after marriage, couples sometimes become so carried away by other affairs of life that the affection and attention their partners once had from them just fades away. It is difficult to notice what the other person is going through and how much they are craving for your attention when you are insensitive to your partner’s mood and emotions.
But the busy schedule is the first drop of water that begins to put out the fires of love. Women especially feel very frustrated immediately they realize that they are losing their partner’s attention and especially that they are not at the center of his affections. Sad thing is, the man may not even know how distant he is getting until it is a too difficult to handle the issue. To most women, one of the signs your husband is having an affair is his lack of affection and attention towards you. Most often than not, an unfaithful partner is the one who has been starved of affection and attention for a while and cannot take it any longer.
The availability of another person who is giving that wanted attention
If a wife or husband were craving for attention and affection from their spouse but had no other person who gives them that attention, it will relatively be more difficult for them to cheat. Sadly, that is hardly ever the case. It seems that for every hurting wife or husband, there is a guy or lady who is ready and willing to show attention and affection. It could be the woman’s boss, husband’s friend or just a concerned person. The fact is, once a married person begins to get the attention they crave from another person, the tendency for feelings and emotions to develop is very high.
Once affections begin to build up with the opposite sex, it is challenging to break it off. Especially seeing that your spouse may not even be helping the matter by changing their ways. More than forty percent of infidelity cases in marriage have this as their root cause. Sometimes things get worse because the unfaithful partner is unable to make things work with the other person.
The need for a more satisfying Sexual experience
In some cultures, around the world, this is an embarrassing issue to discuss when it comes to marriages but it is indeed very important. The way people regard the subject of sex negatively affects their willingness to talk about it with counselors and makes it difficult for them to get help before and after they get into the trouble of infidelity. This, however, does not in any way undermine the devastation that dissatisfaction of sexual desires may cause in a marriage. Some people do talk to their partners about their sexual dissatisfaction and they are taken for granted or they may feel ignored because the other partner does not know what to do about it. If a husband who complains about being starved of sex or is not satisfied suddenly stops complaining about it, even though the sexual experience may not have changed, you can be sure it is one of the signs your husband is having an affair.
There are many more people dealing with infidelity in marriage because they are not sexually satisfied by their partners than for any other reason. Couples also usually feel embarrassed opening up to their partners about their dissatisfaction because it may only put more pressure on the matter. It is common information that men are way less sensitive to the process of sexual intercourse than women are. To men, sex is a straight forward act that can last a few minutes and be very satisfying.
Women on the other hand are built differently. They are more sensitive to the emotional state of the relationship and the man’s affection towards them. Thus a busy husband may come back from work, fails to pay attention to the little things his wife is concerned about like hugging and giving her a kiss upon his arrival at home, his appreciation of the meal she serves him and his willingness to listen to her day’s experiences no matter how boring he may think them to be. To the wife, these things mean a lot and have an important role to play when it comes to her sexual gratification. The common saying is this; “foreplay does not begin in the bed room”. The woman who does not feel loved and cherished around the house will be difficult to please or satisfy when it comes to the actual act of sex and deriving pleasure from it. Wives who find other men who are willing to appreciate and show them affection are usually more willing to have an affair with those men and more likely to derive more sexual satisfaction from the affair. If you have a wife who does not feel sexually satisfies but at the same time seems to be okay, it could be one of the signs of infidelity. This is true for both sexes. Having a husband with whom you hardly have sex, and who seems not be worried about it could actually be one of the signs your husband is having an affair.
Things further turn sour with poor communication
If only couples understood the importance of proper communication and applied it in their marriages, there would be very few affaires and even the few will be resolve with less difficulties. Poor communication itself may be one of the signs your husband is having an affair. That is of course if you both communicated well before. To be married to someone and not understand how to effectively communicate is suicidal for the marriage. When matters of affection and grievances begin to creep in, effective relationship communication skills will be very needful to remedy the situation. Sometimes poor communication in marriage could be one of the signs of infidelity. Partners who have affaires usually become very insensitive and find it difficult to communicate with their spouse. It could be out of guilt or just mere dissatisfaction with the relationship.
Things you can do to resolve the issue of infidelity in marriage
Once you realize that your partner has been unfaithful to you, there are two things you can decide to do. One is to cut off the relationship and the other is to resolve it and move on with your spouse. Divorce often seems like an easy way out of the hurt you may be feeling but it may not be an appropriate choice, especially not when you have children to consider.
On the other hand, making the choice of surviving an affair and moving on with your marriage is not half as easy to do as it is to say. There are several points you will need to consider and those points are the things we are going to discuss about in the following lines. If it is your decision to continue with the relationship (and I sincerely hope it is) these points will guide you in the process and help you make the right decisions every step of the way until you are both living peacefully with each other and having fun out of your marriage again.
Commit yourselves to building trust again
Some people say trust betrayed is impossible to win back. Well, I say that’s not true. If it were, then there would be no power in forgiveness. Naturally, it is going to take a while for the offended partner to trust the other person entirely again but it is absolutely necessary to surviving an affair. Until that happens, you must remind yourself constantly that it is your decision to continue loving your partner despite what he or she has put you through. You have to be conscious of the bright side of things or else the lingering thoughts of being offended may cause you to just give up on your husband.
In the process of building trust with an unfaithful husband or wife, you must consciously allow your thoughts to be stayed on the better qualities of your spouse. Respect and appreciate those qualities. With time you will be willing to trust them with your whole heart again and love them just like you have always done. This means bravery. It takes bravery to trust again after you have experienced hurt and betrayal, but it is not impossible. If you are brave enough, you will realize that your marriage is worth much more than you can give up because of an affair.
Consider it a fight for your marriage
This is especially important to coping with infidelity in marriage. If you see that there is another person who intends to take your spouse away from you, don’t seat back and wait to condemn your partner. Fight for your marriage. I know many people consider standing your grounds and “fighting for” one’s partner a sign of weakness and loss of self -esteem. Maybe they are right, but not when it comes to the issue of marriage. Marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. It is a bond which is far deeper than many people understand. To be married is to spiritually, legally and culturally claim some other person as your own. More than that, you two actually become one in flesh. It would not be entirely wrong to say that losing your spouse is losing yourself.
If you realize that letting go of your marriage is losing a lot to someone who does not even understand what it took to build it, you will be willing to get over the pain of an affair to avoid the pain of losing your partner and marriage for good. On the other hand, it would be unfair to ignore the fact that some partners actually prove, by persistently cheating on their partners that they are not worth fighting for. Sometimes it is best to let go and go through the pain of rebuilding. The point is, you have to be sure that it is worth it.
Make up your mind to forgive and help your partner get over it
Forgiveness, they say is for the weak, but it takes more power to forgive than to live in hatred. If you are really interested in saving your marriage, you have to understand while you deal with the hurt you feel inside, you must also assure your partner that he or she is forgiven and help them get over it too. You may still seem to see signs of infidelity even after your partner has stopped, but that may just be because you have not learnt to trust again. If your spouse really got into an error and is sorry for it, they will genuinely feel terrible and may find it hard to forgive themselves or even accept forgiveness from you. That is why you have to be strong enough to help him or her get over it and move on.
It is worthy of note that once you made up your mind to forgive, you will not automatically forget. There will always be a tendency to remember what your partner did and the temptation to open up old wounds. You must make up your mind to stay positive at all times by thinking constantly on the good experiences you have had with your partner. It is funny how we can go through uncountable great moments and after one error on the other person’s part, decide to make it the main subject of the entire relationship, bringing it up whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Learn to be sensitive to your partner’s needs
In relationships and especially in marriage, there are needs that have to be met by both partners. It is one of the most important reasons why there is marriage in the first place. Meeting those needs is something that has to be done consciously and sacrificially. In marriage, the husband has needs which can only be met by the wife and the wife too has needs that can only be met by her husband. When those needs are properly taken care of, one can effectively avoid situations of infidelity. Sometimes, realizing that the man for example is not getting his needs met at home and is not concerned about it is one of the signs your husband is having an affair.
However, if your partner has already been unfaithful to you, dealing with it in such a way as will allow you two to build your home again will require taking note of the other person’s needs. Men for example could cheat for several reasons, but the chief amongst them is unsatisfied needs. It takes time to understand your partner’s needs and to fulfil them too but you will have to put in the effort if you are thinking about surviving an affair. It may be even more confusing and difficult to understand your partner’s needs let alone meet them when you both have to deal with an affair. The truth is, once that has happened, it has happened. If you decide to keep your marriage, you must be willing to put in the extra effort required. Remember there has to be a lot forgiveness given and taken for things to work out but when all is said and done and you both have decided to move on, learning how to recognize and take care of the other person’s needs will be absolutely necessary.
Communicate your appreciations as well as grievances with your partner
Lack of communication could lead to infidelity in a relationship and it is also one of the strongest tools you have when it comes to rebuilding a broken marriage or healing the hurt caused by infidelity. Though poor communication itself is usually one of the signs of infidelity, it is sometimes a cause or catalyst of it. You may feel like a fool, allowing yourself to be used by your spouse, but that too is prove of love and nothing is strong enough to withstand true love. Talk over your grievances, let your spouse know how hurt and broken you are because of what he or she has done. Express the hurt you feel inside or it will become the very thing that hinders you from moving on successfully. Once you have done that, leave the matter to rest.
The next thing to do is communicate your appreciation for your spouse and all the good traits in him or her. Everyone has a good side, even an unfaithful partner has something that we can all appreciate. Look at that part of your spouse, fix your mind on the reasons why you got married to him and then make sure you express in words how you feel about him and how much you appreciate that positive side of him. If he or she is truly worth it and really want the relationship back as much as you do, this will be a great encouragement, not just to help your spouse move on, but to help him never make the same mistake again.
If you are the one who cheated on your spouse and you really want to make things right, you also have to follow the same steps. Express how sorry you are, not just with words though but with a change of attitude too. Remind your partner how much you still appreciate him or her and how much you cherish your relationship together. Then to show how interested you are, completely cut off any contact you may have with the one you had an affair with. This will not only help you regain the trust of your spouse faster, it will also enable you keep your promise to never let an affair come between you two again.
Seek professional counseling
Seeing a marriage counselor is usually one of the first things people consider when they start having issues in their marriage or seeing signs of infidelity. Indeed, it is a very intelligent move and necessary to surviving an affair but must not always be the first. I believe the matter of whether you should first run to a marriage counselor when you have such an issue or not is a personal one. But we can all use some advice. Go for a marriage counselor when you both are willing to get that kind of help. Sometimes, seeing a marriage counselor just further strains the relationship if one person is not in for it.
When you both decide to use the services of a marriage counselor, be open to the counselor and make both your time and money count. You also have to be sensitive, knowing that marriage counselors give advice of their experience with other couples. Their experience may not be sufficient to help you. Inexperienced counselors rely on knowledge from book rather than experience to help solve such problems.
You can make it through with a partner who has been unfaithful to you. you just have to be willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary.