STARTING ALL OVER- CAN A RELATIONSHIP SURVIVE INFIDELITY?
Infidelity comes in different forms, shapes and sizes. Some find it relative from one situation to another but the truth is whatever makes your partner feel betrayed and hurt is regarded as infidelity.
“Why” is often the hardest and most painful question to address after someone cheats. It’s easier to respond with “where,” “when” and “how,” but those questions seldom offer the answers that fill your deepest needs. “Why?” is the one resounding question that will echo through your mind long after an affair.
Infidelity can ruin even the sturdiest bond between couples, leaving behind feelings of betrayal, guilt, and resentment. For the one-quarter of married couples who have been agonised by this breach of allegiance, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, overcoming those feelings can be extremely difficult.
Even scientists and therapists don’t have a clear reason to explain why people cheat. In fact, when researchers question men and women about cheating, men boast about their supposed infidelities while women abate, lie and cover up their affairs.
When some individuals are asked what they will do in the case of a partner being unfaithful to them, a lot of extreme solutions are put forward such as throwing the partner out, cutting them off, filing for divorce, denying rights to see the children, etc. Sadly, all of these solutions only make the situation worse.
If you have been cheated on, chances are you blame yourself for not being good enough. Whether or not it is true that you are to blame in your partner’s recline of interest is inconsequential to the current situation at hand. All that matters is the need for calm.
When there is a fire what quenches it? Water. Can fire quench fire? Definitely not. So be the water and be big enough to cry and vent in your closet. Most importantly, it is important to realize the fact that no matter how terrible an individual is, they respond to LOVE. The even more horrible an individual is, when you surprise them by loving them chances of them considering how much they hurt you and hope to make a turnaround are higher. But, don’t count on this as this is not always the case.
Never forget that it is not your fault. People act the way they do because of them and not because of you. If you have done everything possible to make the relationship work but to no avail, parting ways may be the only answer for obvious reasons of self-preservation as well as the mental and emotional preservation of children (if there are any involved)
Nevertheless, the aim of survival is to hope in spite of the odds that fight against us. The aim of surviving infidelity is reconciliation. One must never give up hope. Hope motivates us to make positive choices in life and marriage and to be in right relationship with Christ and His people. God’s Word says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19). When you lose hope, your soul is like a boat lost at sea without an anchor.
These being said, weigh the value of your life as a couple and as a non-couple. Are you more productive or not? Ask yourself why you married or chose to be with your partner in the first place. Have you both changed? Are you both able to accept each other’s changes and start a new chapter of your lives?
Infidelity is not a war you fight with harsh words and actions. It is a reaction created by several actions over time and asking the right questions can help you deal more effectively with it.
In a recent article in the Huffington Post, the question was raised on why people cheat on their partners. The summed up reason came to one thing- “self-abandonment”. In the writer’s view self-abandonment led to trying to find external pleasures to fill an internal void. As the author puts it,
“The problem lies in the mistaken belief many people hold about what makes them happy. Almost any TV commercial will illuminate the underlying problem:
Get this car — it will make you happy.
Get this house — it will make you happy.
Wear these clothes. Then you will look good and get approval and that will make you happy.
Go on this diet — then you will look good, find your beloved and then you will be happy.
Take this pill — then you will be happy.
Go on this vacation — that will make you happy.
Get this toy, this appliance, this new gadget — then you will be happy.”
Infidelity normally comes from the same inner barrenness as alcohol and drug abuse, food compulsion, gambling, spending, and shopping. In the situation of infidelity, when the primary reason is emptiness due to self-abandonment, the addiction is to attention, approval or sex — using another person to fill the inner emptiness and take away the inner aloneness.
Sadly, people who cheat do nothing more than leave a long trail of hurt wherever they choose to move on to in the search to fill the void they so desperately long to fill.
Now we know why some people engage in extramarital affairs, but the question is – how do they feel once they were in them?
Another interesting fact to consider is that a considerable number of people who engage in affairs outside of their relationships are pretty good at shifting the responsibility away from themselves. Many claim that the decision to enter into the affair was a mutual one, that their affairs were justified, and that they feel no guilt.
All affairs are not alike. Sometimes when a person makes a life decisions they consider to be a mistake and topples into more wrongly made decisions producing a domino effect, they seek an escape. This is not a justification for infidelity. It is a fact that not even the best therapies in the world are willing to admit.
Surely the craziest and most negative form of infidelity is the temporary irrationality of falling in love. An affair with someone totally unsuitable—someone years younger or older, someone needy or dominating, someone with problems even bigger than your own—is so crazily stimulating that it’s like a drug that can lift you out of your depression and enable you to feel things again. Of course, between moments of trance, you are more depressed, increasingly alone and alienated in your life, and increasingly hooked on the affair partner.
Romantic affairs lead to a great many divorces, suicides, homicides, heart attacks, and strokes, but not to very many successful remarriages. No matter how many sacrifices you make to keep the love alive, no matter how many sacrifices your family and children make for this crazy relationship, it will gradually burn itself out when there is nothing more to sacrifice to it. Then you must face not only the wreckage of several lives, but the original depression from which the affair was an insane flight into escape.
All marriages are flawed, and probably a disenchantment in one way or another, which is a piece of reality but not a warrant to mess around. There are some marriages that fail to deliver a measure of cordiality, sex, rationality, friendship, money. There are dreadful marriages people can’t get all the way into and can’t get all the way out of, divorces people won’t call off and can’t go through, marriages that won’t die and won’t recover. In some cases people in such marriages make a marital arrangement by calling in marital advisers to keep them company while they avoid living their life. Such practical affairs help them keep the marriage steady but distant. They thus encapsulate the marital deficiency, so the infidel can neither establish a life without the problems nor solve them. Affairs can wreck a good marriage, but can help stabilize a bad one.
Emotionally retarded people in love are the most dangerous. Their brain chemistry gets depressed, but they don’t know how to feel it as depression. Their loved ones try to keep from bothering them, try to keep things calm and serene and isolate them further. They may go for a time without feeling pleasure, pain, or anything else, until a strange man or woman jerks them back into an awareness of something intense enough for them to feel it.
Bearing all these in mind, one thing is definite- Infidelity is not a safe treatment for depression, boredom, imperfect marriage, or inadequate gender splendour. And it certainly does not impress the rest of us. It does not work for women any better than it does for men. It does excite the senses and the imaginations of those who merely hear the tales of lives and deaths for love, who melt at the sound of liebestods or country songs of love gone wrong.
Likewise, if you are not cut out to mend your relationship after an affair, preserve your well-being and do not bother with it.