According to one recent study conducted by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, infidelity isn’t just common — it’s probably a lot more common than most people even realized. That publication’s statistics revealed that about 57% of men who responded to a survey fully admitted to committing infidelity at some point in their lives. Lest you think that this is strictly a male issue, you might want to think again — the same was true of about 54% of all women. Overall, 22% of married men admitted to having an affair at least one time during their marriage and 14% of women did, too — pointing to an issue that has grown incredibly severe over the last decade in particular.
But at the same time, not all of these marriages end in divorce — and the cheating spouse often doesn’t want them to, either. All of this demands the question: Is it possible to save your marriage when these types of events occur? More than that, is it possible to save your marriage when you were the one who cheated in the first place? The answers to these questions and others require you to keep a few key things in mind.
The Science of Cheating: What You Need to Know
If you really want to save your marriage after infidelity, the most important thing you can do is permanently end the affair as soon as you can. This is especially key if you’ve developed any type of a truly emotional relationship with your new partner. If you want to show your husband or wife that this was just a temporary thing and that you can truly come back from this, you need to always remember that ACTIONS speak louder than words.
Likewise, you’re going to have to do a fair bit of soul searching to find out exactly what you need to do next. It’s difficult to be truly honest with your spouse if you can’t be honest with yourself, too. Because of that, you need to think about EVERY aspect of what just transpired. Why did you cheat in the first place? What were you looking for that you couldn’t get from your spouse? Was it REALLY just a one-time thing, or is it a sign that you may not be in love with your partner anymore?
The answers to all these questions will be specific to your situation, but you NEED to find them before you can move forward. Finally, you need to be willing to not only commit to complete honesty with your spouse in the future, but you need to fully accept responsibility for your actions. After infidelity takes place, you’re probably not going to be able to “put things back together again” with a simple conversation or even a few conversations. If your spouse thinks you both need to go to marriage counseling, you need to support that. If they think you need to spend some time apart, you need to support that, too.
If your spouse wants to know the “sordid details” about what went on, with who, and where — it’s up to you to provide that information. You’re not going to be able to get back to the way things were if you don’t commit to total transparency and ALL of these things are a part of that. Likewise, you need to accept full responsibility for your CHOICE to have an affair. This isn’t something that your partner drove you to. In all likelihood, it probably doesn’t have anything to do with them at all. Everything you did says more about you than it does about anyone else, and you need to understand that to the fullest extent if you want to save your marriage.
Keeping all of these things in mind isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you’re going to hang onto your marriage… but it does put you on the path you need to make things right again, one day at a time.