What Choices Does the Straying Spouse Have After the Discovery of the Affair?
By Kajay Williams
The straying spouse has a number of options following the discovery of the affair by their spouse. Some of these options are very damaging and can potentially lead to a number of broken relationships – while some of these options can lead to a stronger, more positive primary relationship. Outlined below are the five options that a straying spouse has after the discovery of an affair, from the most potentially damaging to the least damaging, and most preferable option.
Choosing to leave the marriage for the affair partner
This is the most damaging and the most hurtful choice that a straying spouse can make after the discovery of their affair. It will devastate the spouse and could actually damage them for years to come, making them afraid of intimacy in case they get hurt again. Any children involved will be utterly devastated and will feel alienated from their parent – and they will forever feel upset that their parent chose someone else over their own family. It is also incredibly difficult to have any type of relationship, good or bad, with your ex-spouse because of the acrimony involved in the end of the relationship.
Such a huge decision – choosing someone else over your entire family, being willing to give up the comfortable life you have with your family in favour of a life with someone that you don’t know very well, will reverberate for years and years to come. And the stats are not in favour of this option – around 90% of relationships that started as an affair will end before marriage, meaning that just 10% of affairs end in marriage.
But of the affairs that end in marriage, only 25% of those will survive – meaning that a whopping 75% of them will fail. In total, relationships that begin as an affair have only a 3% chance of actually surviving the distance. A relationship that begins as an affair is borne out of mistrust, lies, deceit and untruths, and it starts out of the ashes of another relationship, between two people that probably know little about each other – so it is not surprising that it is unlikely to ever go the distance.
Choosing to leave both the marriage and the affair partner
This is slightly less damaging for all involved, but only slightly less so. A straying spouse that chooses to leave both the marriage and the affair partner is taking the coward’s way out. Instead of fighting to save the marriage – or even the relationship with the affair partner – they instead choose to do nothing. Often, the individual that chooses this option is still looking for that “perfect” relationship, but what they fail to realise is that they had the perfect relationship with their former spouse and children. Constantly striving for that next “perfect” relationship – or even for that next sexual high – will leave you feeling dissatisfied. You’ll never succeed in finding whatever it is you’re looking for.
Stay in the marriage but make no effort
In this case, the straying spouse will stay in the marriage, but they make no effort to rebuild their marriage and they may even still stay in contact with their affair partner. They are reluctant to give up the creature comforts that their marriage brings such as a home, roof over their head, someone to spend time with, someone to help out around the house – but they don’t actually want to be in the marriage. The straying spouse might make no effort to do anything around the home, they might expect their spouse to run the home and the relationship and they may well regularly spend time with the affair partner.
In this case, the straying spouse may make statements like “You wanted me to stay – this is what you wanted. Why aren’t you happy? What more do you want from me? I didn’t want to stay”. This is a very passive-aggressive option to choose, as it could actually prompt the betrayed spouse to seek a divorce or to end the relationship, despite it being the straying spouse’s fault that there are problems in the relationship to start with.
Stay in the marriage and make a bungled attempt to save the relationship
In this case, the straying spouse chooses to stay in the marriage, but they may have no idea how to go about actually resolving the issues within the relationship. The straying spouse may well have the best of intentions with regards to the marriage, but they might have no idea just how deeply their actions hurt their spouse.
They might make statements like “I stayed didn’t I? Shouldn’t you be over this by now? We’re still together, aren’t we, so what’s the problem?” This insensitive approach to rebuilding the marriage can actually cause it to crumble, despite the initial best intentions of the straying spouse.
Stay in the marriage and make a heart-felt attempt to save the relationship
This is undoubtedly the best option for the straying spouse – staying in the marriage and making a heart-felt attempt to save the relationship. In this case, the straying spouse will do everything they possibly can to rebuild the relationship and the marriage. They will be fully accountable for their actions and they will take full responsibility for the affair. They will make every effort to make it up to their spouse – to apologise for their actions and to heal the wounds that the betrayed spouse may have experienced.
A straying spouse that tries their hardest to heal the marriage will have the best chance of enabling that relationship to weather the storm caused by the affair, and although they may have to go through some unpleasant things – such as discussing intimate details of the affair, discussing deep-rooted problems in the relationship and working through those problems – when the couple gets to the other side, the relationship has a much, much stronger chance of surviving. Oftentimes, the relationship can actually be stronger and happier than ever before.
What To Do If Your Partner Is Having An Affair?
Time To Act: There is hope.
An affair may be the best thing to happen to a marriage or relationship.
Contrary to popular belief, experts say that many couples survive infidelity and are able to rebuild a stronger, better and more fulfilling marriage after the betrayal.
Whether you suspect your partner or spouse is cheating on you or whether you have just discovered your spouse’s affair or whether you are wondering if you want to save your marriage or opt for separation after an affair or whether you want to redefine the boundaries of your relationship or marriage to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, I can help you.
CLICK on the link below for more information.