Infidelity: Make up or Break Up
by Ruth Martin
Relevance Info Services, an
international publisher of quality information, approached
me as an expert in relationship issues with the question if
I could evaluate a number of websites that offer methods and
tips for saving relationships and prevent a divorce. The
fact is that, with respect for all the well-meant kind of
information, there are many offerings on the internet that
are not based upon psychological principals. A lot of the
presented materials cause more harm than any good. It is not
composed by experts and thatís certainly not what you want.
If you are in serious trouble the situation demands a
professional approach by people that are very experienced in
solving relationship issues.
This article is about what
to do after infidelity. More articles will follow about
An infidelity is a
betrayal, a loss of trust. It is lying or disloyalty to
oneís partner or lover. Infidelity may be sexual or
emotional in nature and typically involves a third person.
Infidelity does not necessarily involve physical separation,
but can be characterized by emotional detachment as well.
Emotional detachment can happen when you lose your partnerís
trust or if you lie to your partner or tell them
half-truths. Betraying your partner may inflict a deep pain
that is difficult to repair and sometimes causes irrevocable
damage to the relationship that hastens its end. There are
many things that can occur in the wake of an infidelity. If
you are married, an infidelity could lead to divorce. If you
are in a committed relationship, it could lead to a break
So what happens after
infidelity occurs in your relationship?
There are distinct stages
a relationship goes through in the wake of an infidelity.
1. Roller Coaster Stage.
This is the stage where strong emotions arise - emotions
such as anger and self-blame followed by a period of
introspection and appreciation of the relationship. Just
like it says, your emotions go for a roller coaster ride, up
and down, round and round and itís a bit hard to figure out
exactly where you are.
2. Moratorium Stage. This
stage is a less emotional stage, at least for the person who
was cheated upon. In this stage, the person affected tries
to make sense of the betrayal. They may ask for more detail
about the affair or retreat into themselves or quietly seek
help from others regarding the issue.
3. Trust Building Stage.
This stage takes place when the couple has decided to stay
together. During this stage, the couple really tries to make
their marriage work. They decide that a continued commitment
to their relationship is important and with time, eventually
forgiveness and trust can be achieved.
After an infidelity
occurs, you may still find yourself often doubting your
partner. Donít lose heart, there is hope. Here are some
signs that may indicate if a person is still worthy of your
Expresses sincere remorse and regret for cheating on you
feel true when you hear them
Accepts total blame
for his or her betrayal
Cuts off all contact
with the third party
Shows a renewed
appreciation, admiration, respect and devotion to only you
willingness and openness to talk about what happened
Is willing and eager
to go into marriage counseling with you
If both of you are willing
to participate in a deep, open, and honest conversation
regarding your relationship and how you would like it to
progress, there is a good chance you will be able to work
through your issues.
If, on the other hand,
your partner is not open to discussing these things with you
and not demonstrating any of the possible reconcilement
signs listed above, it may be time to cut your losses and
get out. Additional signs that it might be time to end the
relationship are: your partner seems to be more agitated
than usual and seems to emotionally and physically withdraw
from you. They may go out alone more often and may be making
clandestine phone calls or working late hours. You might
even receive anonymous phone calls at the house. If several
of these things are occurring, then most probably your
partner is cheating on you. If you can find concrete
evidence of this infidelity, then itís probably a good idea
to break up. A relationship that is based on lies, lacks
trust and lack of commitment is doomed to fail.