Your spouse cheated on you. Now, you have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The anguish, hurt, and distrust you feel after their betrayal can be difficult to get over, even with a partner who is remorseful for their actions. Yet, there are many couples who can overcome the pain of an affair and move on together. What happens, then, if you regret staying with your spouse after infidelity?
Here is some insight.
You May Regret Staying For Awhile
Sugarcoating the truth will not make it any easier, so here it is: Affairs are not easy to get over. It takes years for couples to heal after one of them is unfaithful. In the beginning, when you are still processing the emotions following the discovery, you may regret staying with your spouse.
You may also be dealing with friends and family telling you conflicting information. “Go before they can do it again!” and “If they love you, things will change” are heard so often by those recovering from an affair.
Either Statement Can Be Right.
You may regret staying. You may hold your partner in contempt for their actions, for messing up your life, and for destroying the trust you had in them. It happens, and it is okay to feel that way. However, these negative emotions can keep you from seeing the truth, which is why having a therapist on your side is incredibly important.
Speaking with a therapist, either as a couple or alone, can help you suss out the reasons for your emotions and understand the infidelity. It may even help you get beyond regret and work towards a healthier marriage or relationship.
Signs The Tell You To Back Away Before You Regret Staying
There are many stories online that speak of people who regret staying with their spouse after infidelity. The common scenario is the wife taking the husband back after he had an affair only to have him do it again. Other spouses get blamed for the affair and are told that they are the reason their partner cheated on them. These are all instances that can indeed happen, but they don’t have to happen to you.
If you are struggling with making a decision about staying or leaving, look for the signs:
- Your partner doesn’t apologize
- They do not put in the work to preserve the marriage
- Your spouse blames you or others for the affair
- Your partner maintains contact with the person they cheated on you with
- They refuse to join you for couples or infidelity therapy
- There is no commitment to healing or the relationship
- They continue to lie to you after the affair
While all these points interplay, there are two that are major indicators of whether you will end up regretting staying with your partner: They don’t apologize and they don’t take responsibility for their actions.
Yes, your partner might feel guilty for hurting you, but guilt and remorse are not the same. Remorse is more honest and empathetic, as it comes from true self-awareness. If they understand that what they did is wrong, they will make any and all attempts to right the wrong.
Secondly, if your partner insists they are not at fault, they aren’t sorry. There is nothing deterring them from doing it again and blaming you or someone else a second time. In this case, you won’t have peace of mind.
Ways To Tell You Won’t Regret Staying With Your Partner After Infidelity
What about those couples who triumphed over infidelity? Cheating damages relationships, and it takes a lot of work to move forward together. That said, many partners have succeeded in moving beyond an affair with no regrets.
Here are some signs that you won’t regret staying with your spouse after they cheated:
They are genuinely remorseful for their actions and provide apologies for their actions. They do not use blanket statements to cover up their wrongdoing.
Your partner attempts to do things for you that lessen the pain, such as cutting off contact with the person they cheated on you with and owning up to their mistakes.
They are willing to do whatever you ask of them to move forward, including going to a therapist or showing you their text messages.
Your spouse understands their role in your pain and in the issues within your relationship.
They do not blame anyone but themselves for the affair. They don’t make their betrayal about something you did wrong, only about their poor choice.
As long as you are both willing to come together and work for the good of your relationship, an affair won’t stop you.
Hopefully, with couples therapy and time, you will never have to say yes when someone asks, “Have you ever regretted staying with your spouse after infidelity?” While choosing to stay or go is difficult, there are signs to consider. Speak with a therapist, take some time to deliberate, and then move forward from there. Infidelity is difficult, but you don’t have to regret the outcome.
Couples Academy can help you work through the aftermath of infidelity and strengthen your relationship. Our programs and services teach you how to rebuild trust and regain peace of mind in your marriage. Get in touch with us today to learn more.