It’s not uncommon for people to associate infidelity with the end of a relationship. It is true that cheating is the reason behind a huge number of breakups, but I’ve been working as a dedicated love and relationship coach for many years now and I can tell you that there are a couple of different types of situations.
Oftentimes a couple will break up when infidelity occurs, yes. The person who was cheated on feels that the trust has been broken in a way that could never be repaired, and they don’t think that they could ever look at their partner or spouse without thinking about the fact that they cheated.
While it is very true that infidelity is a serious problem, it is also true that it can serve as a catalyst for very important changes in a relationship, should the two partners decide to stay together.
Let me tell you about my client, Brian, for example. His wife was the one who was seeing signs of infidelity in a husband because he had actually fallen in love with his coworker, Katie. Things with his wife, Alexandra, had been going downhill for a while. They were living under the same roof but acted more like roommates than anything else. The friendship that used to exist between them had dissipated and there was no more romance. Truth be told, they both neglected their relationship and focused primarily on their careers, and the marriage definitely took a hit.
Brian started spending more and more time with Katie until he realized that he was falling for her. One thing led to another and he started having an affair. Alexandra started to pick up on the signs that I’m about to go over with you, and when she confronted him, he came clean. This was right around the time that he came to me for help as well. He explained to me that he saw that things had fallen apart with his wife because he had neglected the relationship, but he didn’t want to lose his marriage. Instead, he wanted to learn how to make things right between them so that he would feel fulfilled in his relationship and wouldn’t feel tempted by anyone on the outside.
So that’s exactly what we did. He went from being a cheating spouse to a loving husband. We started by outlining how exactly the distance between him and Alexandra began, and we zeroed in on the fact that a lot of his frustration in the marriage was rooted in his sense of feeling undervalued. As we worked together, we developed ways to communicate these needs to Alexandra, and we worked on finding ways for him to nourish his own self-esteem without seeking external validation.
With time, Brian and Alexandra were able to reconnect and Brian found that his interest in Katie had completely disappeared.
When their relationship was threatened, Brian and Alexandra both listened to the wake-up call. They understood that something was wrong in the foundation in their marriage, and they both committed to fixing it. Brian later told me that the moment he realized that he was about to lose the love of his life, he knew that he was willing to do whatever it took to make things right again between them, earn her forgiveness, and construct a relationship was stronger than ever before.
So in some instances, when a couple is confronted with signs of infidelity or concrete proof that it’s happened, it’s enough to shock them into taking action and transforming their relationship. For Brian and Alexandra for example, they both wrote to me saying that though the last year was trying and difficult, their relationship has reached a new high and they’re closer than ever before.
I would like you to keep that in mind as we dive into the signs of infidelity in men and women. As challenging as this might be for some of you, an obstacle like this can actually be something that transforms your relationship into something unshakeable. Interestingly enough, sometimes the most painful and challenging situations bring the most good into your life.