Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful can come as a dreadful shock, especially if you had no reason to suspect that there was anything wrong in your marriage. However, once you have had time to think things through and consider your options, should you divorce a cheating spouse?
Do Not Make Any Hasty Decisions
In the heat of anger and frustration following news of your spouse’s betrayal, it is all too easy to make a hasty decision that you could come to later regret. Rather than hastily conclude that divorce is the best solution, give yourself time to accept the news you have received and to let it sink in.
An innocent spouse has two options before them. They have the option of extending forgiveness to their spouse and then work at repairing their shattered marriage, or they can choose to dissolve the marriage. As tempting as it may be to serve your cheating spouse with divorce papers right away, give yourself time to really think things over and decide what would be best for you.
Do Not Be Influenced by Others
One of the most common mistakes that many couples make when they are dealing with a case of unfaithfulness is to be influenced by the opinions of others. No one else knows exactly what has gone on in your marriage, nor can they gauge the feelings you might still have for one another. Choose sympathetic friends or family to confide in who will not try to sway you one way or another. The decision is ultimately yours to make.
Are You Actually Willing to Forgive?
Accepting an apology from a contrite spouse is one thing, but actually forgiving your cheating spouse from your heart is quite another. If you are genuinely able to forgive your spouse, you must demonstrate through words and actions that you really mean it.
Genuine forgiveness means accepting what has happened, but making a concerted effort to move on, rather than letting what has happened blight any chance for future happiness with your spouse. If you are willing to forgive, it would be an act of unkindness on your part to bring up your spouse’s unfaithfulness.
In the future, when it comes down to it, the innocent spouse must ultimately decide for themselves whether they will stay in their marriage. Before you make your decision, make sure you do not make a hasty decision you could live to regret and do not be influenced by the advice of others. If you do decide to forgive, make sure that your forgiveness is genuine and that you do not use your spouse’s past actions as ammunition during future arguments.
About the Author
Sophie is a freelance writer, originally from the UK, now residing in Northern California. She has a BA (Hons) in English and Sociology. She works as a full-time freelance writer on a variety of subjects.