Infidelity: Does an Affair Mean I Should Leave?

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Our society has developed many social rules which many people believe to be true.  For instance:

Whoever wins the fight is the ‘bigger’ man.  Really?
Couples who don’t fight have better relationships.  No Way!
Women must be skinny to be attractive.  Seriously?
If he hits me I need to leave.  Probably!

In addition, there appears to be a social rule about affairs. ‘When your spouse has an affair you should throw them out or leave’.  Is that really true?  Do I throw everything away for one mistake?  Is that what I want?  What about the kids, families, finances, memories, and being single again?  

I think many of us go into marriage with the thought that if our partner has an affair, the relationship is over.  I remember telling my husband that very thing many years ago when we first got married.  

However, after many years of treating couples and individuals faced with infidelity, I have learned that ending the relationship is definitely not the black and white issue society would have us believing it should be.  

In truth, there is no black and white rule about what you should do if you or your partner has an affair.  The circumstances surrounding an affair are vastly different for each couple.  Many couples not only make it through an affair, many become closer due to the work they have done to deal with their issues.

It’s hard to talk to just anyone about an affair.  Unfortunately friends and family members may tell you to do something that’s not right for you.  They may judge you or your spouse.  They may even distance themselves from you.  

Don’t let anyone tell you what to do.  Any decision to be made about your marriage should be made by you and your spouse.  Don’t let the statistics or social rules make your decision for you.  If you’re not sure what to do contact a marriage counselor and work with your spouse to correct the issues which lead to the affair.  If you’re feeling the two of you can’t deal with it together, seek individual counseling.

Affairs don’t mean you have to leave.  Affairs mean there is something wrong and it needs to be fixed.  Sure, there’s a possibility the marriage won’t get back on track.  But there is plenty of good experienced professional help available for you and your spouse.  Get the help you need to work through the affair regardless of what you decide is right for you!  

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