If you have had infidelity (emotional, physical, or both), you don't have to go to a lawyer right away. Of course, separation or divorce is always an option, both now and in the future. After an affair, the couple's trust is eroded, but that doesn't always mean an immediate divorce. A study by the American Psychological Association showed that among married couples who experienced infidelity but then underwent couples therapy, 53% divorced after 5 years.
In comparison, only 23% of couples who did not experience an affair divorced after 5 years, which is a big disparity. Even so, these numbers show that marital infidelity is not a death sentence in the relationship. The interesting thing is that in heterosexual couples, whether it is the man or the woman who does the cheating, it seems to have a big impact. In a survey conducted by Health Testing Centers, 20% of unfaithful women and only 10% of unfaithful men reported that they were still in the relationship in which the affair occurred.
Therefore, you may be more likely to reconcile if it is a matter of the husband than the wife. The results of the survey do not indicate whether this is because men were more prone to forgiveness or if women were simply better at hiding the fact that they were cheating. Unfortunately, statistics also show that a husband's infidelity is much more likely to occur than his wife's. While only 13% of women surveyed by the Institute for Family Studies reported that they had cheated on their spouse, 20% of men admitted that they had been unfaithful to them.
This leaves many marriages at risk. In reality, the answer largely depends on whether the extramarital affair comes to light or not. Do you remember the APA study we talked about in the last question? While overall, 53% of couples who experienced infidelity had filed for divorce before the age of five, the break between secret and revealed infidelity was marked. Five years after undergoing therapy, only 43% of couples who revealed and overcame their past indiscretions had opted for divorce, while a whopping 80% of couples whose marriages contained secret affairs were no longer together.
Tell your wife you're having a hard time and suggest she go to marriage counseling. Talking to a licensed mental health professional could help you overcome this. Ultimately, it's up to you and your husband or wife to decide whether you'll be able to survive this betrayal, find forgiveness, and preserve your marriage. And it's important to deal with the underlying issues so you can feel confident that your wife isn't likely to cheat again.
Hosmeing on your wife's phone when you leave him unattended or checking his purse is only further damaging your relationship. When you understand why it happened, you and your wife can ensure that you are building a healthier relationship in the future. If you don't trust your wife now, you're not likely to trust her in the future unless something changes.