Most marriages don't survive infidelityWhen should you try to save your relationship, and when should you let go?
Marriages can, of course, survive cheating. Many of them do. But getting there is a complicated process.
It's possible for relationships to continue post-affair, but should they? How successful are couples who try to work things out? And how do you even begin to repair a relationship after infidelity?
Last year, dating site Ourtime.com found that only 42 percent of adults polled would be willing to work on a relationship after finding out their partner had cheated. According to that poll, most of us would rather move on.
Only 31 percent of marriages last after an affair has been discovered, says the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Another interesting statistic: Only 15 to 20 percent of adulterers cheat more than once, according to Bill Mitchell, author of "The More You Know."
Rick Reynolds is the man behind the relationship site AffairRecovery.com. He started the online help forum after an affair nearly wrecked his marriage. He told MSN Living’s The Heart Beat that couples can not only recover from infidelity, but can also “find a higher level of marital satisfaction than they once had.”
But a few conditions exist. The unfaithful spouse must be repentant, honest and willing to fully engage in the recovery. As recovery begins, the hurt spouse must witness positive changes taking place.
But if there’s ongoing abuse or either party refuses to do what’s necessary to maintain the relationship, it might be best to move on, Reynolds adds.
"From the beginning, I tell people this process will take anywhere from 18 to 24 months, and it might even take longer," he says. "And even if they take responsibility for healing both as individuals and as a couple, there is one last barrier I see that happens toward the end of the process. Will they choose to be married?"
He offered The Heart Beat some tips for starting the healing process:
- Find others who have survived an affair and are doing well.
- Stay focused on the activities that help you move forward.
- Find a group of others who are recovering from infidelity to help with empathy development and emotional regulation.
- Find professionals who specialize in infidelity.
What do you think? Have you been hurt by infidelity, and if so, would you recommend trying to repair the relationship? Or is it best to move on?
love: friendship, dating, sex & marriage
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