Current research suggests that up to 60% of men and 40% of women will, at some point during their marriage, have an affair. Infidelity, sadly, is not an uncommon phenomenon, but just because it is common does not mean that it is not damaging. Getting past infidelity proves challenging for many couples, even if the affair was short-lived or a one-time indiscretion.
How to Forgive Infidelity
If you’ve cheated on your wife, often times it is best to admit the indiscretion before she finds out through other means. If you wish to save the marriage, apologizing for the indiscretions and explaining what led to it, without blaming the other party, can be helpful in beginning the journey to forgiveness. Infidelity is, often times, humiliating to the person who has been cheated on. They often feel as though it is their fault, or others will judge them for being unable to satisfy their partner. While you may instinctively attempt to cover up your infidelity, it is kinder to be the person to tell her, rather than her hear it through the grapevine.
Couples who have experienced infidelity may benefit from counseling. Sitting down with a couple’s counselor, or a psychologist that specializes in relationships, can be an eye-opening and helpful activity. When finding a therapist, it is important that you both feel comfortable speaking to the individual you are seeing. Sessions can often get emotionally charged, and you’ll probably feel uncomfortable at some point during the course of therapy, but you should both trust and respect the individual you’ve chosen to work with.
A therapist can help you both figure out how to forgive infidelity and move forward, or they may be able to help you both realize that separation is in your best interest. Sometimes, while figuring out how to forgive infidelity, one or both of you will realize that separation is your best option and a divorce would be the best course of action. This conclusion is okay, and is common. After all, many marriages that experience infidelity end in divorce. A therapist can also help you both come to terms with the end of your marriage, if that is what will work best to diffuse the situation.
When It Can’t Be Fixed
In many cases, figuring out how to forgive infidelity boils down to separating. For couples who find that they simply can’t figure out how to forgive infidelity, divorce or separation is often the best option, especially if children are involved. Often times, two people can work better at parenting when apart, than they can with the tension of infidelity saddling the marriage and the time they spend together.
If you and your wife cannot figure out how to forgive infidelity, consider a trial separation, which may lead to divorce. A divorce, if uncontested, can be completed in a relatively short period of time and can also be cost effective. You, however, will both have to work together to get the process done, and often times, it is best if you sit down together and discuss your next steps as a separating couple.
The Bottom Line
Figuring out how to forgive infidelity is not easy. Every couple is different and every relationship carries its own trials and tribulations. Because of this, finding forgiveness and moving forward is not a “one size fits all” journey. Every couple must figure out how to move past the indiscretion in their own way. For some, that is divorce, for others it is a short separation, and for others still it is simply talking out the issue. If you have any remaining concerns or questions, please contact one of our Newmarket divorce lawyers and find out how you should proceed.