Why Couples Stay Together after an Affair (Most Do)

Most married couples stay together after an episode of infidelity because the partners believe that their love and the commitment made to the marriage are of greater importance than the affair. Of course, this assumes that the affair is over and that another affair does not take its place. The process of rebuilding trust is often lengthy. If the couple uses the crisis brought about by an extramarital affair as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, to improve their communication, and to renew their sexuality, the marriage will be stronger than it was before the crisis occurred.

Question

Why do people stay together after an affair?

Because forgiveness is a muscle that must be exercised, for the sake of the children and for all they've built together. Just as important, they stay together because once the difficult issue between them has finally been forced out into the open, they have a real chance to get the love they've wanted from each other all along.

Affairs happen in marriages of all lengths. Very often, the feelings brought up in both partners — the one who cheats and the one who feels betrayed — were lurking below the surface, subverting the relationship for some time prior to the affair. While it would be better to approach unresolved issues without the drama and pain inflicted on both partners by one's affair, some people simply can't or won't deal with difficult emotions until or unless they have to.

When faced with the hurt and pain he's caused his wife, a wandering husband may finally have to ask for what he's been missing sexually and emotionally from his wife. The same goes for a straying wife.

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