Is Divorce an Inevitable Result of Infidelity?

When a partner has an affair — either physical or emotional — it can tear a marriage apart.  Whether or not infidelity leads to divorce depends on several factors, the most important being if both partners are committed to rebuilding the trust on which a good marriage is built.

If your marriage has suffered from infidelity, divorce does not need to be an inevitable result.  Here are some tips that can help build the emotional foundation for a new start:

Take responsibility.  Before healing can begin, the partner who had the affair must accept responsibility for the damage done to the marriage.  But it doesn’t end there.  The other partner must also own up to any role he or she might have had in the breakdown of the marriage. 

Be open to touch.  Physical touch is key to building a strong bond with your partner.  It is understandable that you may not be open immediately to being touched by a spouse who has cheated on you, so take the time you need to work up to it.  You can rebuild your lost attachment by staying open to just holding hands or sharing a kiss.

Practice kindness.  This is a hard one if you’re the one who’s been cheated on. It can help you to be kind and considerate of your partner if instead of dwelling on the affair, you remember all the time and experiences you have shared together.  If you’re the one who cheated, knowing that your behavior caused your partner such pain should make it easier for you to show her or him kindness.  And expect to need some patience as well as it will take time for your spouse to deal with the pain of you cheating.

Be hopeful.  Making a commitment to rebuilding your marriage and having hope that it will be a better marriage is crucial to surviving infidelity.  At first, you will need to make a conscious effort to be hopeful that you can achieve your goals; after awhile, that hope can manifest into something real on which you can build your new relationship.

Show sincerity.  To build a loving marriage, you and your spouse must be sincere about your thoughts and feelings, and what you want for your future.  You cannot rebuild trust without sincerity. 

Determining whether to end a marriage is not an easy decision, nor one to be taken lightly. Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne is here to provide you with guidance and advice regarding this difficult decision and all of the decisions that you will face throughout the divorce process.