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MY PARTNER HAD AN AFFAIR – WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Divorce: 50 % of marriages end in divorce

Our ability to remain monogamous is becoming more difficult in an age where cheating is easier than ever.  Statistics show that almost fifty per cent of marriages end in divorce, and second marriages end at a rate of seventy per cent.  About one third of marriages end because of infidelity.

Although studies vary, research shows that almost sixty per cent of men and forty-five per cent of women will cheat at some point in their relationships.  Statistics further shows that affairs last an average of three years, and few last more than four years.  Looking at these numbers, it seems that cheating doesn’t make people happy either.

Infidelity is painful

Discovering infidelity can be painfully devastating and when the affair information becomes available many questions and emotions race through your mind.  You ask questions such as "what did I do wrong?" “what is wrong with me?” and “am I not enough?”  It may seem that the only option open to you is when to leave, not if you should leave.  You may feel as if you have no other choice, but in the back of your mind you might not really want to break up. 

Everything is not lost when an affair is discovered.  It is possible that, despite the incredible pain of the infidelity, the affair was a wake-up call for your relationship.  Couples who can “stand still” and take the time to recognize and come to terms with the pain the affair caused, can have the opportunity to create a better, stronger, more vibrant relationship with their partner, if both are committed to working through the issues that the affair has brought up.                                                      

Be open to the truth

One of the first things you will need to do to heal from the affair is to explore the question of why it happened. You will have to be open to hearing the real honest truth.  Most people want to blame the cheating partner, and the cheating partner does have to take responsibility for pursuing the outside relationship.  But, no affair happens in a vacuum.  So, part of asking ’why’ will most likely include the betrayed partner hearing things about his/her own behaviours that he/she may not want to hear, such as ways he/she exited the relationship prior to the affair, perhaps without even realizing it.

As hard as it may be to contemplate your own contribution to the pain of your “broken” relationship, the affair may actually point directly to parts of yourself that you will need to work on to grow as an individual, as well as the parts of the relationship that weren’t working before the affair began.

 

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