Infidelity is usually a result of deeper issues in a relationship and those issues need to be resolved regardless of the infidelity. We would also need to determine what is considered infidelity. is it the act of conversing/flirting with someone behind your partner’s back or being physically intimate with another either kissing of sexual intercourse (some believe kissing isn’t cheating)
However, when it comes to confessing to the act of infidelity… the question I usually ask is…..
Are you confessing to the benefit of the relationship or to ease your conscience? I believe we need to examine our motivation first, when we choose to confess any indiscretions.
Yes, its great to be open and honest in your relationship but does your partner knowing that you cheated going to make your relationship better or worse?
Its my opinion that confessing usually hurts the person who didn’t cheat because it makes them question all aspect of the relationship.
It makes them question if they were not enough for the person who cheated and this can lead to insecurity in the relationship and themselves.
They begin to question every conversation and action of love that was supposed to demonstrate being in love. After all, if you were in love, why would you be tempted to cheat and go ahead to act on it as well.
The trust that the relationship wad built on would be broken and if the foundation of trust is broken, its very hard to get it back because doubt would have crept in. Every act or decision will be questioned. Anything that is out of the norm will arouse suspicion and that is definitely not great for a relationship.
These reasons make to difficult to for a relationship thrive after a confession of infidelity has been made.
However, if a confession has been made, how do you overcome the infidelity so that the relationship can survive.
- You need to be completely honest with your partner about what happened and why it happened without giving excuses or blaming your partner.
- Expect and accept that your partner will be upset, angry and hurt and may lash out.
- Ask for forgiveness and know that it will take a while before forgiveness is given (if ever).
- Recognise that the relationship will not be the same as it was before, there will be a change and it could be a positive change
- Provide each other a safe space to speak freely on why the infidelity happened and for the expression of hurt to be given also.
- Work hard to be open and honest going forward and offer reassurance to your partner if they have doubts during the recovery period
- Ensure that you are vulnerable, kind and patience because it will take time to restore and rebuild the broken trust.
- Be prepared to seek outside help such as a relationship therapist or coach
- Also be prepared that the forgiveness you seek may never come and that the relationship may end.
Relationships can overcome infidelity, but you need to be sure that you are prepared for the consequences should you choose to confess or not.