A marriage should be based on trust and understanding, but this foundation can be shaken to its core when a partner has an affair. As painful as this breach of trust may be, it does not have to be the end of the world or the marriage.
One can generally pick up signs of a cheating spouse. Some signs that point to a cheating partner are secrecy, a sudden increase or decrease in intimacy between the two of you, and financial discrepancies.
Infidelity generally points to a lack of a certain something within the marriage, because of which the partner strayed. Although this holds true most of the time, there are also cases when a spouse cheats for other reasons — psychological, emotional, or just because of a chance encounter.
Here is what you can do if your spouse is cheating:
1. The knowledge of a spouse cheating can be traumatic and too great to handle. The first thing to do is to reign in your emotions. Reacting by screaming or ranting will make the situation worse. Accepting the storm of emotions that hit you and finding ways to deal with them is a better strategy. Take some time off if you need to and find someone impartial to talk to.
2. Once the storm has settled and your head is clear, the best thing would be to confront your spouse. Affairs thrive on secrecy. Chances are, if it is a casual affair, the cheating partner will immediately put a stop to it once he or she knows that you know. Even if it is not a casual affair, it is possible to save the marriage.
3. Open communication might seem impossible when you are angry and hurt and in so much pain, but if you are intent on saving your marriage then keeping communication lines open is the only way ahead. Talk things through. Discuss why it happened in the first place. Look into your marriage, because more often than not the root may lie there.
4. Surviving the trauma of infidelity can be a daunting task, but it is extremely important that you be practical even when emotions are tearing you apart. If there are children involved, you should tell them that you are going through something stressful, but the details need not be divulged. They will not understand and they should not have to deal with the implications of the affair.
5. Trying to find out who the other man or woman is and involving them will be futile. The problem lies between you and your cheating spouse. Involving the third person will only further complicate matters.
After all this, you may find that there’s a possibility that your marriage is not salvageable. It is important to safeguard yourself financially if your marriage is on rocky grounds. Based on where you see the marriage heading, it would make sense to separate bank accounts and maybe get in touch with a lawyer as well.
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