Infidelity: to stay or go…? | Lucy Beresford | TEDxFolkestone youtu.be
Infidelity was always viewed as the end all in monogamous relationships. Once the other party found out their partner was unfaithful, they cut it and run.
On online women's groups, other women encourage the injured party to leave when the topic broaches infidelity. Why? The simple question is this: what is to stop the person to cheat again? We already know they are capable of cheating, so why risk going through that pain in the future?
However, times have changed and you find couples to be more forgiving.
Studies have shown that with those couples who choose to try and make the relationship work after infidelity, have a stronger connection than before that fateful event took place.
There are also other studies that show that some are incapable of repairing that trust in their relationship and end up parting ways.
From what I understand, infidelity is not a black and white topic. It is not simply, he or she cheated, now I must leave. There are a lot of variables, feelings and emotions that play a part during this period of indecision or limbo.
The injured person goes through periods of questioning. They run their entire relationship through a narrow tunnel in their mind, replaying every single part of their relationship, picking apart details that at the time, seemed innocent or insignificant, but now, is a blaring red light.
They wonder why their partner cheated. Was the person prettier than them or better in bed? Were they simply not good enough? Did they do something wrong in the relationship? What really lead to the partner looking for another warm body?
Suddenly, everything matters and they are left feeling a multitude of emotions from confusion, hurt, sadness, anger, rage and/or pain. They want to blame the person who cheated but they also feel that they are to blame for the other person's actions. They wonder if they had fixed whatever may have been wrong in the relationship, the infidelity would never have happened. These what if scenarios are a constant for those that are victims of infidelity.
Then comes the ultimate question…do we stay or do we go?
For those that choose to stay, there are still obstacles that need to be overcome when trying to move on from everything that happened. There is no simple, okay, we forgive each other and that is that. There is no wiping our hands of the situation and going about our day. There will be periods of happiness where we feel like our relationship couldn't be better, followed by periods of doubt and walk down memory lanes, where the pain is still there, a sharp blade that pierces our chest as the thoughts overflow.
The questions don't just stop because we choose to try and make the relationship work.
They are always there, laying dormant in the back of your mind until something triggers those thoughts and then they are rampant.
The feelings felt during that time come back like they never left…possibly because they never truly left. The pain feels as real as it did when we found out that the person we loved hurt us the way they did.
When this happens, because it will for those who have experienced infidelity, we have to remember to talk it out. We can't keep the feelings and thoughts to ourselves. Doing so will only lead to a build up before the explosion. Also, the lack of communication could have been a factor that led the other person to look for someone else.
We have to tell ourselves that this isn't the moment for back sliding.
Sometimes we will wonder if it is even possible to heal from these events. We can't just forget what happened. The pain is a constant reminder. The thoughts come at random moments, triggered by the smallest things. And so we cast doubt. Can we truly get better and eventually move on to a stronger relationship?
The answer isn't simple and there is no true time line for when we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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