Should I Stay or Should I Go: The After Affair Decision
You have discovered or have been told that your partner has been having an affair.
You’ve been hit by a ton of bricks engulfed by a tsunami of emotions ranging from anger, resentment, wanting to seek revenge to sadness, despair, and helplessness. One of the first questions that may arise is “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”.
While the answer is there and is different for everyone, you may not have an immediate answer, or you unequivocally have the answer and are already at the height of your action plan.
10 Things to consider after your partner commits adultery
Should I stay, or should I go after the affair? When to give up on marriage after infidelity?
Whether you do not know the answer or are in overdrive planning every detail of your action plan, let me suggest hitting the pause button and consider these steps.
1. Do not make any immediate decisions regarding your marriage
You are experiencing one of life’s most devastating and traumatic events, which flood you with emotional intensity overriding judgment and reasoning.
If you are deciding to divorce after infidelity, acting now may entail regrets later.
Remember your relationship with your spouse and family has developed over time. Your marriage and children are one of your biggest life’s investments which warrant the time to determine the most important decision and its lifelong impact.
2. Experience your feelings and sit with your values
Experience your feelings as they arise.
If you find yourself asking often, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?”- take note of how your upbringing, values, and possible religious beliefs may play a role in figuring out what to do. Grab a journal and write it all out.
3. Talk with those you trust
You will want to obtain support from others. Select a few people you truly trust.
Telling everyone can be very damaging by creating more confusion and chaos. Not to mention, if you and your spouse decide to stay together, some family and friends may not be able to recover and re-integrate into your family.
4. Begin a self-care program
Taking care of yourself is vital to your well-being during this time.
Tune into the basics, such as getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and exercising. You may want to shift your focus by picking up a hobby or enrolling in a fun class.
5. Remain committed to other areas of your life
As the question, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?” hogs you, do not let it take control of your life. Stay calm. You will process things slowly.
Continue to be present by focusing on your children, going to work, and taking care of your household.
6. Confront your spouse
Find the appropriate time and environment to ask your spouse general questions about the affair. Does he want you to leave? Ask, “Should I stay or should I go?” This will give you clarity on the next steps.
Do not engage in ‘pain shopping’ by demanding nitty-gritty details that will only be more traumatic.
7. Become educated
The more you learn about infidelity, the more you will understand the core of relationships. Ask people around or take the help of books. There are several aspects of the relationship that we don’t know of.
Read some books about infidelity and begin to understand the various contributing factors that can lead to infidelity.
8. Get counseling and therapy
Meet with an individual therapist for guidance and support during this time especially given your risk of depression and anxiety.
Seeking couples therapy will be important if the goals are to explore and understand the contributing factors of the infidelity; to repair, heal, and rebuild the marriage; or to transition to separation and divorce.
9. Consult with a lawyer
You may want to obtain general information about your rights and the process.
Can you stay with a cheater? If you are sure you can’t, let your lawyer know your intentions and ask about the necessary steps for moving out of the marriage.
10. Do we tell our children
Infidelity affects children. There is no hard and fast answer to this question.
It depends on various factors. Some include the type of infidelity, whether children know or are at risk of discovering, the age of children, and whether parents remain together or divorce.
A therapist can guide parents as to what to and what not to share based on these factors.
5 Steps to make the marriage work after affair
How to save a marriage after infidelity and lies?
When you have learned about your partner’s infidelity and have been repeatedly confused with, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?” you must take some time to figure out if the marriage is worth mending.
If you feel positive about your partner and decide on staying married after infidelity, take the necessary steps to repair a marriage after an affair.
1. Communicate often
Communicate as much as possible. It is only through communication that you both will be able to let out your built-up emotions and set things right for the future.
2. Disagreements are fine
Know that it’s okay not to agree on all the topics. Surviving marriage after infidelity also means that you don’t initiate the blame game and accept your partner’s point of view as well.
3. Trust your partner
Working on trust is one of the essential ways to deal with infidelity in marriage.
Learn to trust your partner so that you don’t carry forward the hurt from the past when you are renewing the relationship.
4. Give yourself time
Work on self-care and let yourself heal. You don’t have to rush the process.
There will be times when doubt will creep in, and you might question, “Why stay married after infidelity?” Remind yourself why you held on for so long. Work on your emotions without forcing yourself.
5. Practice forgiveness
Learn to forgive your partner. Your spouse is sorry and willing to work on the relationship.
You both are dealing with infidelity in your own ways. Give them time without digging up the past.
Experiencing unfaithfulness in marriage is one of the most crushing experiences a person can go through.
If you wonder, “Should I stay or should I go after the affair?” engaging in these steps will help you get through it the best way possible with integrity, gain greater insight and awareness into your marriage, and determine the answer and the best course of action for you and your family.