Infidelity, for most, can mean the end of a relationship. Once the wronged partner becomes aware of the broken trust, their gut reaction is to leave. They view infidelity as an unforgivable offense with no going back.
However, there are those poor and unfortunate souls who decide to, against their better judgement, give the offender another chance.
It is a fair notion. People make mistakes and want to atone for them. They realize that moment of weakness was not worth floundering their relationship, and God forbid there are children involved, the potential loss of their family. So, they beg for forgiveness.
They beg for a second chance to prove their love and loyalty. And the wronged party, rightly so, doesn't want to break apart their small family for a mistake. They decide to give it another try. From the words of Hannah Montana, "everyone makes mistakes...everyone has bad days."
We give them that chance to atone, not thinking of the emotional wormhole that is in store during the recovery period. No thought is given to how long the recovery process will take. How long it will truly take to forgive their partner. To forget the offense. The infidelity.
No thought at all of the many times the image of their loved one with someone else, or multiple others, will cross their mind and break their spirit.
Or how long it will take to trust them again...
We like to imagine the happy ever after ending we see in the movies and hope that with a snap of a finger, the pieces of our broken marriage will be magically glued back together, none the wiser.
Unfortunately, that is far from the truth of what to expect after infidelity.
Those cracks live on. No matter the amount of tape and glue we use. The marriage is now fragile, where any little bump can have it come falling apart. And then, the task of putting the pieces back together again seems futile... even impossible.
Our minds are constantly racing. We are constantly doubting, despite trying not to doubt. We question when they come home late from work. We go back to that time, when the impact of the betrayal stung the worst.
Mood swings are a given. Anger is a constant.
Random moments of unexplained crying triggered by the slightest thing, be it a movie, a book, anything. The cliche saying, it is an emotional roller coaster ride, is the truest in this situation. And it can't be helped.
You may even find yourself questioning if you should even bother anymore? You wonder how much longer will this hurt? Another year. Another five.
Where do we draw the line to this excruciating mental torture?