Deciding Whether to Divorce after Infidelity

infidelity, cheating, Illinois divorce lawyerThe emotional pain of being cheated on is almost indescribable. Feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal are often mixed with insecurity and a decreased self-worth, leading to mental turbulence that can last weeks, months, or even a lifetime. For many couples, infidelity causes an irreparable rift in the relationship, resulting in an eventual—or immediate—break-up or divorce. Others, however, are able to work past an episode of unfaithfulness and eventually rebuild their marriage, but not without serious work and dedication. How can you be sure whether your relationship is worth saving or whether ending it is the best solution?

Why Did it Happen?

The first step in evaluating your relationship after your spouse cheats is to try to find the root of his or her behavior. If the episode was truly a one-time event, based on opportunity or circumstances, there may be room for forgiveness. This may be especially true for spouse with behavioral control issues while drinking or under the influence of drugs. While it does not excuse cheating, addressing the underlying problems can help create a more positive future.

On the other hand, an unhappy spouse who is looking for fulfillment elsewhere may create elaborate lies to cover his or her activities. This is often an indication of much deeper problems; as such a spouse has gone to great lengths for to accommodate his or her infidelity. In such a situation, reconciliation is less likely, although still not impossible.

Could it Happen Again?

Although there are no guarantees in life, you and your spouse need to be clear on what steps will be taken to restore trust. If your spouse cheated while drunk, for example, but is unwilling to reduce or eliminate drinking, you are not likely to be convinced that he or she is serious about preventing future indiscretions. Trust will need to be built back up over time, and the unfaithful spouse must be willing to make changes.

The innocent spouse must also be willing to examine his or her own behavior as well. Again, without offering excuses for infidelity, your actions or inactions may have played some role in your partner’s unhappiness. A marriage must be based upon the cooperation of both partners or it is doomed to fail.

Feelings of Regret

As you examine your actions, you may become aware of previously unrealized shortcomings regarding your commitment to the marriage. Such realizations will probably cause you guilt and regret. Similarly, your unfaithful partner’s reaction may offer a pretty clear indication of the viability of saving the marriage. A truly contrite spouse is likely to be just as affected, if not more so, by the pain his or her infidelity has caused you. If his or her response is one of apathy or blame-shifting, it may be time to consider divorce.

Repairing a marriage after infidelity can be possible, but for many couples, the burden is simply too much. In other cases, an act of unfaithfulness may cause a couple to realize they do not belong together. If you find yourself in a similar situation, contact a compassionate divorce attorney in DuPage County. Our experienced team can help you decide how to proceed, while understanding the sensitivity of such cases. Schedule your free consultation today and put our knowledge and skill to work for you.

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