You just found out that your spouse has cheated. You feel broken. Shattered. Your marriage has been stepped on and smeared. Because of this act, you wonder if your marriage is over. But should you divorce a cheater? You may feel conflicted right now about the next step to take. Take a look at your options to determine which is the best course of action for you.
Can You Trust Your Spouse Not To Cheat Again?
Should you divorce a cheater? It depends. Can you trust them? In order for your marriage to survive, you must trust in your partner not to cheat again. If it was a one night stand that they feel guilty about, the chances of them becoming a repeat offender are low. Is this the fourth time they have betrayed you? It’s almost guaranteed that you cannot trust them moving forward.
Ask yourself these questions. Consider your spouse’s reaction to the affair. Emotions like guilt and remorse often point to people who will correct their mistakes. Failure from your spouse to report their actions or to own up to what they did after you found out is not as favorable.
In short, divorcing a cheater depends on whether you feel comfortable staying with them in the future. If you don’t feel secure in your relationship, divorce becomes far more probable.
What Are The Options?
If you decided that, yes, you can trust your partner, you have two options:
- Improve your marriage
- Do nothing
Obviously, the second option is not the best one. You do not want to give your partner the opportunity or motivation to betray you again.
Trusting your spouse is one thing; correcting the issues that drove them to cheat is another. You want to be able to move forward together. Couples counseling is an excellent way to learn skills for building a healthier marriage. You can learn to set boundaries and communicate your needs more effectively.
Keep in mind that both of you need to be on board with counseling. Without such a commitment, there is no way you can heal the rift between you.
Signs It Is Time To Divorce a Cheater
What happens, then, if you can’t trust your partner to change after cheating on you? Most often, that leads to divorce. Sometimes divorce is the best option. Here are some
signs that it may be best to divorce a cheater:
Your Spouse Didn’t Apologize
Betrayals like infidelity hurt a lot. You expect your partner to show some regret about what they did, to acknowledge how much they wounded you. Should they betray you and seem unsympathetic about your pain, there is something wrong. See, the thing about apologizing is that it costs them nothing. If they cannot say sorry in a meaningful and honest way, it is a sure sign that they are already thinking about how they can betray you again.
They Do Not Want To Attend Counseling
As mentioned earlier, the eagerness of the offending spouse to attend therapy is a good sign. They should want to fix things. When it comes to fixing your marriage after infidelity, marriage counseling is an incredible resource. You learn how to overcome the pain and start to trust one another again. Not only that, but you resolve any underlying issues that may have driven your partner to cheat on you.
Cheaters who want to cheat again will avoid couples therapy. They do not want to talk about their feelings. They do not want to probe the problems or trauma.
Even if your partner refuses to attend therapy, it is important that you speak with a counselor. They will encourage you to do what is best for your personal well-being.
They Have A Questionable Dating History
Has your spouse cheated on others before they married you? Did this happen before in your union? Habitual cheaters should not be trusted. In fact, there is very little you can do in this situation. Habitual cheaters can only change themselves, and most of them do not seek to put in the effort.
They Continue To Lie To You
We have all heard it before: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” In some cases, this is untrue. Usually, someone who makes a mistake will never cheat again, especially if they put in the work and heal themselves. Someone who has a habit of being dishonest, however, has given you more than enough evidence not to trust them.
After the affair, you will be less inclined to trust them. Instead, trust in your gut. Even small lies can reveal a pattern of deceit. You may even feel triggered by their small lies or circuitous answers to your questions.
Continued lying does not give you a foundation upon which to build a stronger marriage.
Save Your Marriage With Counseling From Couples Academy
Should you divorce a cheater? At the end of the day, only you will know for sure whether divorce is in the cards. Consider your spouse’s behavior regarding the affair. If they are eager to heal the relationship and are committed to change, then no, do not divorce them. If they are only perpetuating the hurt and sowing more distrust, divorce may be the best option.
Couples counseling from Couples Academy can help you through the roughest parts of this healing journey. Whether you decide to attend together or alone, our caring team will guide you toward understanding and fulfillment. Start repairing your marriage today. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services or to book a consultation.