Signs Infidelity Is Not the End of Your Marriage
Adultery is devastating for a marriage. Discovering that your spouse has been having an affair, or even a one-time incident, can shatter the foundations of your relationship. Affairs involve lying, and lying destroys trust, on top of the severe emotional pain and other effects of such a betrayal. Infidelity does not, however, have to mean your marriage is irretrievably broken. Many couples are able to move past an affair, so long as they are willing and able to put in the work. Rebuilding the foundations of a marriage is not easy, but if both parties are committed, you might yet be able to preserve what you have. Below, our seasoned New Jersey family law attorney offers a few hopeful signs that may indicate your spouse and your marriage can be redeemed.
Your Spouse Takes Accountability For Their Actions
Not every person who commits infidelity is a terrible person, and not every instance of infidelity means the perpetrator has given up on the marriage. They may have had a momentary lapse of judgment, or the infidelity may be a symptom of larger problems with the relationship. If your spouse committed infidelity, the first and most important factor in determining whether the marriage can, or should, be saved, is whether they have taken responsibility for their actions.
Will your spouse admit that they cheated? Will they apologize? Do they acknowledge other areas of the relationship where they have been flagging, such as finances, parenting, or maintaining the household? It’s easy enough to just say “I’m sorry” — it’s harder to take full responsibility, promise to do better, and commit. Of course, if they refuse to even apologize, or if they try to shift blame, then there may be deeper problems that cannot be resolved.
Your Spouse Changes Their Behavior Significantly and Commits to Personal Growth
Part of taking accountability for your actions is actually changing your behavior. It’s not enough to stop the affair–of course, that’s a bare minimum–your spouse must commit to changing their behavior more generally. If they continue to hide things from you, such as refusing to let you see their phone, then they might not actually have reformed. If they remain short-tempered, distant, or otherwise feel uncommitted to the relationship, then they may not truly be working toward maintaining the relationship.
If, on the other hand, they make a real effort to engage more with you and your relationship, then the marriage could be redeemable. If they leave their phone unattended around you, stick to plans, stop making excuses, and keep you involved in decisions, then they are working toward bettering themselves and preserving the marriage. It’s even better if they admit their flaws and take proper steps to improve themselves, such as attending therapy or a program for addiction, depending upon the circumstances.
Your Spouse Stops Lying
Affairs involve lying, and the lying may permeate other areas of the marriage. They may even lie about little things, such as where they were on a given day even when they weren’t pursuing an affair. If you find your spouse continues to lie after you discover an affair, they might not be committed to fixing the marriage, and you will never be able to rebuild the trust you’ve lost. On the other hand, if they are an open book, honest with you at all turns, then you can start to rebuild that trust and redeem the relationship.
Your Spouse Agrees to Get Counseling
Infidelity rarely occurs in a vacuum. More often, there are issues with the marriage generally or being faced by one spouse alone. Marriage counseling is one of your greatest resources should you hope to preserve your marriage, especially after infidelity.
If the spouse who committed the infidelity suggests or agrees to attend marriage counseling, it means they want to work on whatever issues led to the affair. Marriage counseling can be a tough sell–many people, especially men, are used to hiding their feelings rather than sharing them. Vulnerability is challenging. If your spouse commits to marriage counseling, it suggests that they truly want to change for the better–whether that requires resolving issues with the marriage, personal issues they are experiencing, or a combination of both.
Call Today for Help With a New Jersey Family Law Matter
If you’re considering divorce or dealing with issues involving parental rights, child custody, equitable division of property, alimony/spousal support, child support, or other family law matters in New Jersey, contact the compassionate and effective Union family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation.