10 Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes To Avoid After Infidelity
It’s a big decision for any married couple to continue their relationship after infidelity, so taking account of these 10 common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity is crucial. Avoiding these mistakes will help you sustain a healthy relationship with healthier boundaries.
Infidelity scars the foundation of your marriage— it’s quite a traumatic event for anyone in a relationship. It breaks your heart, wounds your trust, wrecks your emotions, and burns your soul. The emotions are pretty havocking— you are hurt, angry, distrustful, but still very much in love.
It’s okay to be a complete mess; it’s okay to break down and still seek comfort from your partner’s honesty. It’s okay to cry, curse, and scream at your partner. It’s okay to forgive.
Cheating leaves the other partner in ruins. You are constantly struggling between what to choose— file a divorce or forgive your spouse. The red flags scream at you to run, but your heart stops you from going away. You want to forgive and forget your partner’s affair, but it’s never that easy, is it?
Regardless, you have chosen to forgive and give them another chance at reconciliation. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s still possible. Marriage after infidelity is like a new relationship with multiple difficult hurdles.
You will have to overcome distrust and the hurt it brings, but marriage after infidelity is possible. However, you both will require time, effort, forgiveness, and a tremendous amount of patience.
Marriage after infidelity is a scary trail. Looking forward to these 10 common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity will guide you on how to walk on this challenging path without errors or impulsive decisions.
Is reconciliation after infidelity possible?
As bizarre as it may seem, reconciliation after an affair is more common in marriages than one may think. However, is reconciliation possible? Yes, but it requires a lot to make reconciliation work after infidelity. People who have been cheated in a relationship often wonder if reconciliation is the right choice.
Questions & doubts like,
- What if they cheat again?
- Will they remain loyal?
- Is it the right choice?
- Would it work?
Often conjures people who have been cheated on. It’s natural to doubt the existence and foundation of your marriage. Whatever trust you had was broken, and you are left to wonder if it ever existed.
Reconciliation is possible after infidelity if both partners are willing to work together on the relationship. How to save a marriage after an affair?
It cannot happen with a single partner’s effort. If you think your partner should mend the relationship alone since they were the ones who cheated, think again. Strengthening the relationship isn’t about putting the blame on someone and asking them to undo their mistake. It would require more than just forgiveness.
As someone who’s been cheated on, you’d need to put forth immense forgiveness, strength, understanding, and genuine effort to make the relationship work. You’d need to resist the temptation to hurt your partner, get back to them somehow, or constantly accuse them of the deed.
Similarly, your cheating spouse must show that they are genuinely sorry for their infiltrate choice. They need to show that they are aware of their actions; they must accept their mistakes, take responsibility, and be accountable.
Mere words of apology alone can never mend a broken heart. Partners who cheat must back their words with promising actions.
- Be open about your insecurities in the relationship.
- Be honest about your needs and doubts in the marriage.
- Work on the boundaries you need in the relationship.
- Show empathy constantly
- Don’t be afraid of communicating things that bother you.
- Don’t be scared of communicating at all.
- Believe in the slow process.
Marriage is commitment; marriage is loving someone for good and evil. Marriage doesn’t break away with a single mistake; it takes a lot to break something as substantial as a marriage. However, you would still need immense love towards each other to cross every hurdle infidelity will throw your way.
What percentage of couples stay together after infidelity?
Despite the hurt, most married couples don’t end the relationship over a single affair. According to research by the American psychological association, only 20-40% of couples separate or divorce after infidelity. The remaining 50-60% of couples believe in reconciliation even after infidelity.
Therapists tending to couples after infidelity often say, “when you are working with motivated couples, affair recovery is not only possible, it’s very likely.”
This percentage differs slightly between cheating married men and married women. When dealing with extra-marital affairs in a marriage, men have a more significant (67%) percentage of staying in the marriage than women. A cheating husband won’t leave wife as compared to a cheating wife.
Therapists and psychologists conclude women are more emotionally attached to their extra-marital affairs than men. Compared to 67% of men, only 44% of women remain in marriage after having an extra-marital experience.
Staying together and marriage compatibility differ significantly after infidelity.
Some couples simply choose to stay together because of societal pressure or kids. Individual and couple therapy can help partners increase their marriage intimacy and stability after infidelity.
Only 17% of couples get a divorce if not struck by the affair. This percentage shows the great impact infidelity can have on marriages.
Reconciliation after your partner’s affair is frosty. One wrong move and you both may fall deep into toxicity, distrust, and accusations.
It’s crucial to think through this before you give your partner a chance at reconciliation.
10 Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes To Avoid After Infidelity
1. Not taking a break or making impulsive decisions
Infidelity can have a severe impact on people who get cheated. You may have the urge to take revenge or hurt your partner just as severely. Some may even get the compulsive impulse to file a divorce right after finding their partner’s cheating escapades.
Take a break, breathe in, and ask yourself if divorce is something you really want or if it’s the correct answer. Sometimes, impulses can make us do things we may regret later in time.
Taking a break from your marriage and partner will help you evaluate your decision. Use this break to cry and unload the pain that seems unbearable. Once the fog clears out, reevaluate your situation.
- Do you think you can forgive your partner’s affair and move on to a brighter future as a couple?
- Or would you constantly doubt their actions in the coming future? Think carefully before you forgive your partner blindly.
This break will also help you see the reality of your relationship. It will also help you see if your partner is genuinely worth your forgiveness and if they are putting in real effort to make the relationship work.
You may collide with impulsive/rash decisions without a break, leading to divorce, heartbreak, or uglier fights. Not taking a break will constantly confuse you with the same feelings of distrust, doubt, and hurt, and it might as well trigger your self-esteem.
Take time out, and don’t be pressured into taking the decision immediately, no matter how apologetic your partner may look. Don’t continue to overthink your partner’s cheating escapades to distress your heart. Instead, focus on their apology and how to work on the relationship if that’s really what you want.
2. Blaming yourself
“It’s not you; it’s them.” One of the biggest mistakes individuals make after their partner’s affair is blaming themselves for the wrongs their partner intentionally did.
“I wasn’t good enough.”
“I’m not good enough for them,”
“It’s my fault as a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse that they cheated. I should have given them more love, time, and compassion.”
“I should have listened to them obediently.”
And it gets more toxic at this rate.
Darling, if your partner had issues in the relationship, they should have spoken about it— cheating never is an excusable answer/solution to marital problems. So, you see, it’s your partner’s fault simply because they chose to cheat.
Of course, your ongoing marriage might have many ups and downs, or it might be breaking apart for all we know. Still, these issues must be discussed— there’s a right way to resolve conflicts. Cheating is inexcusable.
Please run as fast as you can if your partner somehow gaslights you into believing that it was somehow your fault, too. It’s toxic, manipulative, and a major red flag. You are not responsible for their mistakes or conscious choices; only they are.
3. Expecting a closure from your partner’s illicit mister/mistress
They might not have known about your partner’s marriage at all. For all we know, your partner’s mister/mistress might have been in the same situation as you— being fed lies and constant gaslighting episodes.
Even if they knew, there’s no point in blaming a stranger and spoiling your tongue over them. It was your partner who intentionally chose to betray you; the other person couldn’t care less.
It can be compelling to put the blame on your love rival and prove your partner’s innocence, but the truth is your partner is way more guilty than the third person involved. It can be very tempting to accuse and unload your anger on your partner’s mister/mistress. Still, it wouldn’t do much other than satisfy your wounded ego.
Many individuals even go ahead and stalk their partner’s other interests to get some sort of closure. They somewhere believe that threatening the other person would help them find some closure, but you’d never receive closure from a third person. In fact, nobody can give you any sort of closure other than your own spouse.
Stalking, threatening, and verbally abusing your partner’s mister/mistress is one of the most common marriage reconciliation mistakes to avoid after infidelity.
4. Trusting too easily or accusing constantly
You can never restore a relationship/marriage on the foundation of accusations and persistent distrust. If you have chosen to forgive your partner— it’s pointless to be stuck in the past. Instead, focus your energy on the new chapter of your relationship.
- Openly discuss the issues in the relationship.
- Allow your partner to speak and point out what went wrong and how to resolve it as a healthy couple.
- Genuinely listen to them with an intent to understand and acknowledge their perception.
- Work on building a stronger relationship with a more vital understanding, bond, and trust.
- Give it time. The trust wouldn’t disappear instantly, and neither will your relationship repair itself within a week. It would take time. So, give your relationship an honest and open start.
If you constantly bring up the past and doubt (or worse, accuse) your partner, things will never work out between the two of you. You will burn your partner and yourself in the process.
5. Don’t be a toxic detective/spy on your partner
I know you have been hurt. I know you are doubtful that your partner may cheat again. However, playing the spy on your partner won’t help the situation either— it will turn you into a toxic person.
Spying on your partner will lead you straight into paranoia sooner or later. You are not that toxic, don’t forget. Doubting your partner would make you skeptical about their every move, and it might as well make you believe that your partner, indeed, is cheating on you— paranoia will ruin your relationship.
- Don’t stalk them
- Don’t check their phone, messages, and call logs for the sake of sanity.
- Don’t accuse them.
- Don’t interrogate them every time they receive a call or have to go out without you.
- Many wives want their husband to leave their job after an office affair, but is it justifiable? Probably not. Husband won’t leave after an affair sounds scandalous.
Wives often think their husbands might secretly cheat again; it’s a little extreme. If you have chosen to trust him, don’t make him leave his monetary stability, office friends, and progress.
Instead, let them know at the beginning, loud and clear, “I have no intention to spy on you or act like a crazy jealousy-struck wife/husband. That’s not the kind of person I’m. However, if you plan to be unfaithful in the relationship, it’s better to tell me now and end it. I don’t want to play games.”
Be clear about your boundaries!
6. Trying to forget the past
Don’t pretend that the affair didn’t happen. Sadly, it did happen. Forgetting the past wouldn’t help you improve the relationship. It will gaslight the whole situation. You would be gaslighting yourself for removing this important event from your life.
It was awful, but it will also help you strengthen your relationship and marriage with your partner.
Instead of saying, “I’m ready to forget.” Say, “I’m ready to forgive.”
“Don’t pull the past into your present, but don’t erase it from existence either.” That past will remind you of the flaws in the relationship and help you grow as a couple.
7. Not asking enough, not asking the right questions
Yes, it hurts, but some things must be done to move forward. Without an open discussion, you’d continue to overthink the situation, your partner’s actions, and why it happened. What questions to ask your partner after infidelity is a crucial element.
You don’t want to know the details of their affair because it will hurt like a bitch, but you also must know why and when it happened. So, try to ask questions that will help you move forward, but don’t divulge the details of their affair— it would bring no sound, only pain.
Refrain from asking questions too intimate that you know are bound to hurt. Knowing the places they visited or the level of intimacy they shared would hurt you and may pull you back in a spiral.
The details of your partner’s illicit affair will crack your heart and open wounds you wouldn’t know how to fill. Instead, ask questions that will aid the relationship,
“Why did you get into the affair?”
“How long have you been in the relationship?”
“Why did you hide it?”
“Do you have feelings for that person?”
Avoiding an open conversation about their extra-marital affair will further add to your agony. So, it’s better to ask every question you think is necessary instead of staying in denial and protecting yourself from the destined pain.
8. Seeking revenge
The impulse to seek revenge is uncanny. You want to reflect on the pain your partner bestowed upon you, make them feel the pain you went through, and get even. The desire to hurt your partner would ruin the marriage you want to save.
Recovering from infidelity makes a person go through multiple stages—
- There’s denial
- Accepting the reality
- Analyzing the situation
- Forgiving your partner
- And finally, moving on with them for a better future.
However, each stage is a hurdle in itself, making everything seem useless. You want to reflect your pain through anger, and it’s pretty alright. However, reflecting that pain through means that don’t justify your personality would hurt you more than it will ever hurt your partner.
So, seize yourself from doing something you will regret later. Some partners think having an affair would make their spouse taste their medicine, but this is not you. By making them suffer, you will lose yourself.
You are not a cheater or someone who wants to cause pain to others. Furthermore, taking revenge wouldn’t aid the relationship at all. You’d be stuck in a place where no love flourishes and no growth occurs. You want to save the relationship; the only way to do it is by forgiving them.
Forgiveness plays a massive role in saving a marriage after infidelity. It’s difficult, but you can do it if you want the marriage to work.
9. Emotionally attacking your spouse
We know your spouse was in the wrong, and they have genuinely apologized for the same repeatedly. Once you have chosen to forgive them, let the past be in the past.
Attacking your partner with taunts, insults, and past mistakes would bring your relationship down to zero. Consider this relationship a new start where you have completely forgiven your partner’s deeds and are ready for a healthy change.
Bringing back the past in an unhealthy stance would demotivate your partner, who’s willing to undo their mistake every day. It also tells us that you are still stuck in the past and aren’t ready to move forward. This toxic exercise would keep your relationship stagnant without any growth and openness. If the affair still bothers you (which it will, I’m sure), be vocal about it.
Let your partner know that you are still hurt and resent the ugly phase, but don’t use that past mistake as leverage to hold against your spouse. It’s pretty ugly. You don’t want to be that kind of a person.
- “Are you going out with your friends again? Are you sure they are just ‘friends’?”
- “How can I trust you when you cheated me? I don’t care if you have changed; the day still haunts me. Once a cheater, always a cheater.”
Avoid using or backlashing your partner with such sneaky comments. It’s toxic and unhealthy for you, your spouse, and the whole relationship.
10. Not asking for help
Moving on after infidelity is not easy. We may try to forget every tiny detail of that event, but it will remain with us for life. The more you persist in denial, the more complicated everything will get. Sometimes, we try to convince ourselves that it’s okay when it’s not and that resistance soon leads us toward anxiety, depression, and paranoia.
If you think this affair and reconciliation are too much to bear with, ask for help. Wanting more time to recover isn’t a bad thing. Your relationship will grow gradually, but at least it will be solid if you are solid.
FAQs regarding 10 common marriage reconciliation mistakes after infidelity
Still unsure if you have made the right choice? Here are a few FAQS to relieve your mind, body, and soul.
Does separation help after infidelity?
It depends. Sometimes, forgiving your cheating spouse after infidelity becomes impossible— the hurt is unbearable. However, separation isn’t easy. Suppose you and your partner still love each other immensely. In that case, separation may not serve your situation, especially if kids are involved in the equation.
Separated or not, extra-marital affairs hurt. By reconciling, you’d be giving yourself a chance to be happy. When separated, you will not only grieve the loss of your marriage but also the loss of your lover.
If you think the situation is inescapable and you cannot live with a cheating partner, don’t force yourself otherwise and consider the marriage to be already over. Sometimes, letting go of a cheating spouse is the right choice. Other times, it’s not. You should be the judge of this verdict, not anyone else.
How long does a marriage last after infidelity?
This significantly depends on the partners involved. As per the data, 53% of married couples who dealt with infidelity broke up after 5 years. However, the study is too short of having a final verdict. 1 year after infidelity can be very difficult. Still, if you overcome it, the coming years will be easier to deal with.
However, the pain of infidelity might not subside completely; couples may still feel pain 10 years after infidelity. It runs deeper than you may think.
So, is it safe to say that the pain of infidelity never goes away? Well, it might be true for some couples. The pain remains, although it might be very subtle in its presence. People remember infidelity and its scars like the back of their hands. Still, the intensity and pain fade as time passes by, and those memories are later replaced with happy moments.
Psychologists and therapists believe that partners can completely heal from infidelity if willing to change and move forward. Although couple therapy may not play a very significant role in increasing marriage stability, it definitely clears the couple’s head for making a decision.
“My husband cheated, and I can’t get over it… what to do?”
Give yourself the time to heal. You don’t have to make a decision right away. Take your time and process your situation. Just because you have forgiven them doesn’t necessarily mean you are past the pain. It remains with you for a long time and would take a long time to heal.
Believe in the process, yourself, and your spouse (who’s constantly trying to change for the good.
“My husband is having an affair but won’t leave me… what to do?
Are you an individual who’s alright about polyamorous relationships? If not, you leave. You have the choice to leave, especially if your husband is ready to intentionally hurt you by keeping the affair.
Is cheating a mistake?
No, cheating is a choice. Your spouse knows what they are doing, and they do it anyway despite knowing it may hurt you immensely. Cheaters often think they wouldn’t get caught, and that’s where they are wrong.
It’s not a mistake, but cheating can be considered an impulsive choice or a deliberate mistake. It varies from case to case, and you can best understand that no one else.
How long does it take to get over infidelity?
Without genuine effort, it may take years to heal from infidelity. Continuous effort and growth can get over an affair within a year or two. This does depend on the type of marriage you share with your partner. When there’s love, you can overcome many hurdles.
Couple therapy and individual therapy can help you get over infidelity faster. It wouldn’t erase the event from your mind. Still, it would make you stronger in your head, where you can accept and forgive more enthusiastically.
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