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No need for divorce: how to overcome your spouse’s betrayal and save the marriage

26.02.2019 Author: psiholog pavel horoshutin

It always hurts to know that the person you love betrayed you. When it happens continuously, it hurts even more. You try to convince yourself that it will change soon, that he will change his mind and stop “staying late at work”, that all men cheat and that is not the reason to blow up the marriage… and yet it goes on and on.

You are not alone in this. According to statistics, adultery is the most common reason for divorce, and almost a quarter of marriages in Russia end due to this. [1] If you feel at your wits’ end, if you feel that you marriage is almost over and you don’t know how to live with it, then you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you why people cheat on their partners, how to build relationship with a person who betrayed you, and how to bring the passion back to your family.

Contents:

  1. What counts as cheating
  2. Reasons for adultery
  3. Should you forgive your husband? Psychologist’s advice
  4. Restoring harmony and forgetting about adultery

What counts as cheating

Every person sets their own boundaries. Some consider a conversation with an attractive co-worker as cheating, while others are ready to forgive an occasional cheating if it was “just for sex”. And yet, any adultery is a direct breach of obligations towards your partner. Here we will consider adultery to be a voluntary and consensual intercourse between a married person or a person in a committed relationship and a person who is not their spouse or partner.

There are different types of adultery. We can define the main three based on the conditions of it:

  • an episodic adultery that happened only once;
  • constant cheating as a mode of behavior. A person regularly engages in sexual affairs with different people;
  • extra-marital relationship, a long-term adultery which is based not only on lust, but also on emotional attachment to the other person.

Reasons for adultery

restore a family after infidelity

There can be various reasons for cheating. In this article we won’t be talking about a single and unintended adultery. We will be talking about voluntary cheating, both for men and women.

Every person has certain psychological convictions that can push them towards infidelity.

An episodic adultery might happen just because it is easy and seems to have zero consequences. At this moment a person is driven by lust, the desire to achieve maximum pleasure, which is a big temptation.

By constantly committing adultery a person tries to compensate the lack of something else in their life. Such relationship becomes the replacement of true emotion, close relationship, love and acceptance. We will talk about these reasons later.

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Trying to escape reality

There are probably some problems in your family that you are downplaying or neglecting. Also, the desire to bury your head in the sand can be related to work problems. Another reason is a midlife crisis, when a person tries to find themselves once again. The outcome is the same: another one’s bed becomes a shelter to hide from troubles. Cheating here is considered to be entertainment, a way to relax.

Desire to boost self-confidence

Sooner or later all men and women start to wonder if someone else can still find them attractive. An affair often becomes a way to answer this question. A person wants to prove, to themselves mostly, that they can still go a long way. Adultery lets them confirm their attractiveness and explore their sexuality. Moreover, sometimes people commit adultery in search for a more socially fitting partner.

Checking the strength of marriage

In this case, the conviction pushing a person to adultery looks like this: “Let’s kill the relationship or revive it again.” A spouse tells you about their affair, and now your family life is at stake. Will you forgive them? Will you cast them away from your life? The result is often surprising. Sometimes a person simply wants to “rekindle” the passion in their marriage, so they think that telling about their affair can be a good way to freshen up the relationship. However, as the result they may be end up alone.

Desire for revenge

In this case an adultery is a way to avenge yourself for the previous pain. Sometimes “good friends” can suggest “venting a bit” after learning about spouse’s infidelity. However, it can only add the sense of guilt about your own affair to suffering from your spouse’s infidelity.

Unrealized desires

If a person has needs that cannot, or will not, be fulfilled by their current partner, an extra-marital affair becomes the easiest way to solve the problem. A man starts to think that only his mistress understands him, that he can be himself only around her, that she is guessing his deepest desires. However, his spouse might not even be aware about those desires, as he never felt the need to tell her about them.

Searching for new experience

Psychological research shows that men feel the need for new experiences more often than women, and therefore are more likely to have an affair. [2] This is particularly strong in people who have married young. People often say about such people: “Didn’t have his fill.” A man tries to compensate for the lost opportunities. They can also feel the urge to experiment, to try something new. They want to find out if they can get something they lack in their marriage from someone else. And is there such a great difference between their own bed and someone else’s?

Should you forgive your husband? Psychologist’s advice

Of course, when a woman learns about her partner’s betrayal, the reasons become irrelevant. It is more important to find out what she should do next. Should she forgive her partner? Can she even forgive an affair?

«I’ve been married for five years. We have two children, our daughter is four and our son is merely 10 months. I learned about my husband’s affair when I was pregnant with our son, it was the fifth month of pregnancy I guess. At first I had a bad feeling, I couldn’t sleep at night, always having worrying thoughts. Of course, that was not out of the blue. Husband started to come late from work, left the house at the weekend, we spoke less and less, and I had no idea what was going on, as he used to love me so much and was also expecting our second child. We were dreaming about having a son, came up with a name for him… Then one lonely Saturday I went for a walk to unwind and saw them together. When he came back home, he realized that I already knew. We didn’t speak for several days, and my state was getting worse and worse. At the end I decided to have a talk. He told me that he didn’t want to abandon the family, that he loved his children, that he would not leave me alone, as I had nowhere to go. We made up, but it left a bad taste. When my son becomes a bit older, I’ll think about what I should do next. For now, I haven’t decided yet whether I can forgive my husband»

– Tatiana, 35

A comment  from Veronika Sasova, a psychologist of the Russian branch of the Institute of remote psychology:

«The most important thing to do when you have experienced you partner’s affair is to take care of yourself and find inner balance. A betrayal of a loved one is always a great shock, and it is always hard to find a right decision in that state. You can do something rash which you won’t be able to undo. Therefore, you should give yourself time to acknowledge the situation, listen to you heart and your feelings.

Only then you can decide whether you can forgive an affair or not. Adultery and divorce often go hand in hand, and the desire to leave a person who causes you pain is perfectly normal.

However, in Tatiana’s case we can see that she loves her husband and is not ready for such drastic measures. She did the right thing by talking to her husband. It is hard, but it gives them the opportunity to develop their relationship further. It is important to find out in such conversation what the spouse wants and whether they are ready to refrain from cheating for the sake of family. This conversation will make it easier for you to decide if your spouse deserves forgiveness.

Keep yourself composed, but let your partner know that you are hurt. Let them also know that you care, as it will help them realize their wrongdoing and understand how to build the relationship further. Tatiana is somewhat lucky to have her husband: he assessed the situation properly and didn’t abandon his wife and his children.

Your decision about keeping or ending the marriage becomes more important if you have children. A child needs the love of both parents, as it becomes a solid foundation for their life. In order to have a happy family in the future, a child needs to have a great role model: Mom and Dad that love each other, the atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Which is why you must never argue in front of your children. Also, if you decide to break up, do everything you can to let your children have a father.

There is one more thing. If you have no solid proof that your spouse is cheating on you, only your own suspicions, do not start an argument right away. From the point of view of psychology, signs of adultery, which may seem pretty obvious, can mean a completely different thing. A meaningful talk can clear all reservations between partners.”

Restoring harmony and forgetting about adultery

how to restore relationships after infidelity

However you might want to restore peace in your family, never forget: it requires two people to have a relationship. You cannot do it on your own. A lot will depend on your partner: are they ready to refrain from cheating? Do they want to work on their relationship? Do they try to understand why that situation even happened?

If your spouse feels genuine remorse about their actions and you are ready to forgive them, then your relationship has a future. One day you may be grateful to have such a rough patch to your marriage, as that adultery can become an opportunity for you to find and solve all the problems in your relationship.

However, even if you are eager to fix your family, your spouse’s cheating habit can get in the way. It is hard to break an established mode of behavior by yourself.

That is why it is important to get help. For example, you can take a 7Spsy course on behavior modification technique. It is a new method based on behavior psychology. This program will help your partner realize the convictions that push them towards infidelity and change their mode of behavior. Your spouse will learn that all the needs can be fulfilled in marriage, without destroying a family, and will find a way to do so.

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Only your partner takes the course on 7Spsy technology, without your presence. It ensures better results, as people often refrain from revealing their secrets during marriage counseling in front of their spouse. However, your partner will require your patience, support and faith in restoring your family.

References:

1. https://moi-pravoved.com/razvod/statistika-razvodov-v-rossii/

2. Avtory issledovaniya: Lalasz & Weigel, 2011 g.