Sunday, August 7, 2011

Second Chance After Infidelity

Whether to give your spouse a second chance after infidelity is your biggest decision as you try to cope with infidelity. Are you going to stay in the marriage and try to rebuild your relationship, or are you going to file for divorce? Infidelity not only puts you on an emotional rollercoaster, it leaves you questioning the beliefs you have in what your life is about.

Infidelity in marriages is becoming more common. Fortunately, that provides you with a lot of information on what to do about the situation you now face. Unfortunately, it doesn't make figuring out exactly what course of action you should take any easier.

There is no magic formula for forgiving your partner and rebuilding a successful lifelong marriage. You, your spouse and your relationship are unique. Even if you thought you knew your partner well, you didn't see this coming. So how do you figure out if giving them a second chance is smart, or foolish?

First, concentrate on you. Evaluate how you feel about yourself, your other half and your interaction between you and your partner prior to finding out about the betrayal. Then ask yourself, do you still have affection for them, despite what you're now going through?

If your answer is no, then even considering giving your partner a second chance would be foolish. If you can't find any redeeming qualities from your past experience with them, then why would you want to continue down that road?

If your answer is, you're not sure, or yes, then change your thoughts to your partner. Evaluate their reaction to the circumstances. Have they apologized for their poor behavior? Have they expressed the desire to make things right? Do you feel that their overall attitude is what it should be in this situation?

If they are defensive and not admitting that they have done something seriously wrong, then giving them a second chance is not the smart thing to do, regardless of how you feel about them.

Your partner's attitude should be one of regret and apologetic. If it's not, then they are not going to change their cheating ways. Giving them a second chance is only going to make your state of affairs worse, not better.

If you feel their attitude is right, then you should discuss how their actions have affected you. When you do this you need to be looking for positive signs from your partner that they understand what you're telling them. Make sure they're not just agreeing with you and telling you what they think you want to hear.

Test them by telling them how difficult it is for you to trust them right now. Get them to agree to help you re-establish your faith in them. Do this by setting some rules of behavior you would like to see them follow, until you can believe in them again.

If you can get them to do this, you're on the road to recovery, and their second chance has begun. But, you're not out of the woods yet. Make sure they follow the rules you have set forth. If you find they're only putting forth minimum effort to appease you, call them on it.

Your partner has done something serious in violation of your marriage. You need to test them until you're satisfied that they're willing to work at fixing your relationship. If you find that they're not cooperating as you would expect, then they're not serious about the relationship and will eventually rebel against the rules, showing their true colors.

If they cooperate with your rules, you can gradually ease up on your requirements. Do this only when you feel you have more faith in them and use this to reward them for their support. Don't ease the rules only because they want you to. They need to earn your trust. Make them work for it. If they succeed, you will both be happier in the long run. If they fail, better that they do it on your terms, not with another act of infidelity.

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