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Can a marriage survive infidelity?
Thinking back over the years, there have been examples in my circle of friends and family where infidelity has “reared its ugly head”.
It’s happened to me and I’m sure its happened to many of you reading this article.
Now you may have been drawn to this post just out of curiosity and cheating has never touched your life.
If that’s the case then kudos to you and be thankful it hasn’t.
But to many of us who have been on the receiving end of infidelity, it’s a hard road to come back from, even with all the well-intentioned help and advice available from the experts today.
So…Can A Marriage Survive Infidelity?
You know, if I said yes I’d be lying and if I said no I’d also be lying.
It’s one of those situations that depends a heck of a lot on the two people involved in making their relationship work again.
If there is total commitment from both, yes it can work. If there is 100% effort from one person and 99% from the other, then no, it won’t.
It’s not just a matter of deciding yes, we are going to make this work.
When one of you has strayed “off the beaten path” and tasted what’s on offer on the other menu, the trust factor is damaged.
There are degrees of cheating and while I’m not trying to water down the seriousness of it, some acts of infidelity make saving a relationship just not worth the effort.
Here are a couple of examples where you might want to consider saving it.
A one night fling when two people just came together for a brief, one time moment. There may be a good chance of coming back from that.
Or a situation where one person in a relationship elicits paid sex on a regular basis and is found out.
Again, chances are that a reconciliation could be possible with the right help and advice.
But both people need to be committed and on the same page.
However, the one form of cheating where recovery is almost impossible is where one person in a relationship is what we call a serial cheater.
Can You Reform A Serial Cheater?
I’m a devotee of the ten commandments and follow the biblical principles taught in the bible.
But I just cannot get past the fact that someone could be a serial cheater and can change their stripes.
I just don’t think so. That’s my opinion and while it will be challenged by some of you, I’m “sticking to my guns”.
If you are married to someone who continually offends it’s time to move on.
Even after you keep giving them the benefit of the doubt and believe they will change. You should really consider moving on and get some self respect back.
Speaking from experience, if I had received this advice and taken it prior to my marriage, it would have saved me a lot of heartache.
Callum Should Have Asked The Question
Callum should also have asked the question… can a marriage survive infidelity? But he didn’t.
In fact, he was so in love it never even crossed his mind.
He was young, naive, forgiving and stupid – all rolled into one. He admitted this.
Despite initial warnings from his closet friends and relatives, he leapt into wedded infidelity with eyes closed and hopes high that he was immune from being cheated on.
The irony is, two weeks after announcing his engagement to Mara, he caught her cheating yet still pressed on with the marriage.
What followed was thirteen years of heartache intermingled among the good times but they only served to cover up the real issue.
What was that?
He was married to a serial cheater who offended regularly and yes, aided and abetted by him.
He refused to take a tough stance.
He refused to admit what was going on and was almost too timid to challenge Mara for fear of losing her.
How crazy is that?
A Marriage Usually Can’t Survive Infidelity
So in effect, he was probably as much to blame as his young wife was. And while he didn’t see that at the time, it eventually became very clear to him.
The truth is, it’s common place and when you don’t make or demand change and let the status quo remain, what incentive is there for the cheater to change their ways?
Why would they stop when there is no real pressure for them to do so.
No demands, no ultimatum. Just, please don’t do it again.
Woulda, shoulda, coulda…all three applied to Callum and this should most definitely have been ended two weeks into his engagement.
Callum says he kept telling himself that because of his standing in his community, the embarrassment would be hard to deal with.
Or that he respected her parents too much and it would devastate them.
Or simply that things would change. But they never did.
Once a serial cheater, in my mind, always a serial cheater except for some miracle.
And you know, if you’re reading this and you have been a serial cheater and have changed, I’d love to hear your story.
What you have should be bottled and used as a cure.
Final Thoughts – Did The Marriage Survive?
Can a marriage survive infidelity. Did Callum and Mara’s?
No it didn’t but it went thirteen years too long.
In closing, and forgive what almost turned into a rant, if you’re married to or in a relationship with a serial cheater, you know deep down what you should do.
But I’m not going to say you should do anything one way or the other. You need to get advice from a trusted friend or a marriage therapist.
More importantly, you should sit down and talk it out with your spouse.
It gets back to having some self respect. Unless you change, nothing will change.
And I understand that in some situations you may depend on this person for your day-to-day needs.
But aren’t you worth being loved and committed to by someone who gives back to you as much as you give to them.
Think about that.
One last thing, this leads to another topic regarding the person being cheated on and will be the topic of discussion in another post so stay tuned.