The answer to this question will depend on so many elements within ur relationship, so lets’ start things off with a success story. You are the one that knows the ins and outs of this relationship, and you’re the one that knows that’s you’re willing to do to save it or not. I want to share this story with you to show you what is possible.
This will help you to create your own opinion on the subject and have more clarity.
I started working with a man named Matthew, and we started working together last summer. When he came to me, he was completely heartbroken and devastated in this relationship because he had learned this his girlfriend of many years had been having an affair. When he learned of this, he approached her about it, and she was forthcoming with honest information. She explained to him that yes, she had, in fact, cheated, she admitted to everything, and she ended her affair with the other man. They decided that they wanted to make their relationship work, but Matthew was having a very difficult time moving past it, as many people in this type of situation often do. He was struggling with believing that the relationship could be saved, that he would ever feel peace in the relationship again, that he would be able to feel confident that this would never happen again, that he would feel fully loved and respected, and he was afraid to trust her.
Trust was broken and he did not know how to handle this situation. As we began working together, we started to focus on exercises that were rooted in personal development. We needed to work on ways for him to allow himself to feel safe and vulnerable with her. He also needed to work on allowing himself to feel vulnerable with himself again, because the interesting thing about infidelity is that it influences the way you see yourself. Matthew, like many people who have had to face this type of situation, felt unattractive, unlovable, and that somehow, it “made sense” that he would be cheated on. This, of course, was not the truth and needed to change. As we continued to work together, he started to come to some very interesting observations and realizations that actually ended up saving their relationship.
He realized that over the years that they had spent together, he had begun to neglect his girlfriend and their relationship. This often happens to couples that are confronted with cheating because one person gets too busy with work and their personal lives. Without realizing it, he expected her to maintain their relationship on her own. This doesn’t make what she did excusable, but it does help to explain why she would cave in to the temptation to look outside of their relationship.
When he was able to finally dive into this journey of personal development and fully analyze their relationship, he was able to realize that the cheating was a symptom of a problem, as it most often is. His girlfriend did not handle the problem in the right way, but by zeroing in on the root of the issue, we were able to zero in on concrete solutions. Everyone has room for growth, and we need to remember that people do make mistakes. Yes, sometimes very good people make mistakes, and what I have seen over the years is that in many cases, a horrible situation winds up being a powerful catalyst for positive change. I wish I could tell you how many clients have come to me saying that infidelity wound up being such a blessing in disguise because it helped them to recalibrate their relationship and transform it into something better than ever before.
These situations can make both people in the relationship grow, evolve, and transform if it’s handled correctly. Getting back to Matthew, the man I know I today is completely different from the man I met a year ago. Now, he is confident, he feels empowered, motivated, loved, he’s sweet with her, they spend more time together, she feels more fulfilled, loved, nourished, and both of them feel more seen and heard in the relationship. For Matthew and his girlfriend, this run-in with infidelity served as a wake-up call that ultimately transformed their relationship into a better version.
What I want you to take from this success story is that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s not uncommon to be in a situation where you’re wondering, “how long does a marriage last after infidelity?” But the people that can grow from the mistakes are those that deserve another chance, and your relationship can truly flourish.
That said, if you are with someone who is a compulsive cheater, we have a very different situation on our hands. This is a different type of person. If your partner made a mistake because they were unable to communicate their needs in the relationship, are able to recognize this, and you are willing to do some personal development as well, your relationship deserves a second chance and could truly grow. This is also true if the roles are reversed, and you were the one that cheated. As long as both of you are willing to acknowledge what happened and use it as a tool to make longterm changes that benefit your relationship, not only can your relationship survive this, it can thrive!