An extra marital-affair can feel like the most devastating blow to a relationship for many, many reasons. The betrayed spouse will feel all sorts of negative emotions following the discovery of an affair, and this raw, painful emotion can make them feel like the only way out is a divorce. After all, their spouse hurt them in one of the worst ways possible.
For some individuals who are feeling nothing but negative emotion, they want to hurt their spouse back by taking away their love forever – and the easiest way to do this is through a divorce. However, a life-changing decision such as a divorce shouldn’t be borne out of painful emotions. It should be thought through rationally when the aftermath of the affair has started to settle – and then, and only then can you make the decision.
Wait for the Dust to Settle
Before you can even begin to think about divorcing your spouse, you need to wait for the dust to settle on the discovery of the affair – and you need to wait for your emotions to settle down too. According to a Maryland divorce lawyer, the discovery of an affair can make you want to lash out at your spouse by any means possible, and threatening to leave your spouse forever can feel like a great way to get your own back. But the truth is, your emotions may be so overwhelming that you won’t have a clear enough head to make such a momentous decision.
It can be tough to feel any emotion whatsoever, and this is just as bad a place to make any decisions from as a place of heightened emotion. Before you make any kind of decision regarding the future of your relationship, wait for the dust to settle. Only then can you use a clear head to look towards the future.
Talk to Your Spouse
It might be the last thing in the world that you want to do – sit down and talk to your spouse in a controlled environment. But to see where you stand and to see how you can possibly move forward, you need to open up the channels of communication between you and your spouse.
Talk it all out. If you want to discuss the affair and you feel like you need to know more details about the affair to move on, do it. If you don’t want to discuss the affair, and you just want to get back to talking how you used to, do it.
It’s also worth talking about what you think might have caused the affair – not just what led your spouse to actually break the boundary of their marriage and cheat on you, but what problems in the marriage caused them to embark on an affair.
Discuss these problems and what you both could have done to strengthen your marriage – and what you both didn’t do. Doing this can help you to start repairing these problems, and if you get them all out in the open, it can help to strengthen your marriage if you do decide to stay together. If you decide to go another direction, you can save both sides a tremendous amount of emotional damage and money with an uncontested divorce, where both parties agree to part amicably.
Decide Whether Your Relationship is Worth Saving
There is no simple way to decide whether you should get a divorce or not following an affair. To help you decide whether to stay or whether to get a divorce, there are a few questions that you need to answer.
a. Can you forgive your partner? This means that you truly have to forgive them – and you need to be able to forget the image of your spouse with another person and you need to be able to truly move on.
b. Can you move on without holding the affair against your spouse forever? Many people believe that they can get over an affair, but actually, they will become angry and aggressive with their spouse and will keep bringing the affair up every time they have an argument. This isn’t fun for anyone – so you need to decide that you can truly move on.
c. Do you still love your spouse? If you still love your spouse, despite the affair, there is definitely a relationship still worth saving.
d. Do you like spending time together? If you still enjoy spending time with your spouse and you can still think about all of the good times you’ve had together, despite their affair, it shows that you still have a chance of saving your relationship.
e. Do you have children? Although this shouldn’t be the only reason for you to stay together, if you have children, it is always worth at least trying to save your relationship before you opt for a divorce for the sake of your children.
Work on Your Marriage
An affair can seemingly reduce a marriage to nothing but a pile of broken promises. It can therefore seem like the easiest thing to do is to divorce. But to truly see whether your marriage can withstand an affair and make it through the other side, you need to work on your marriage. According to one Baltimore divorce attorney, the best thing to do is to become more open and honest with your spouse and start talking to them again – really talking to them. Try to go back to the way you used to be before the affair – go on dates, spend time together outside of the house and try to get back to the way you used to be.
If there is still something there and you still feel something for your spouse, you should try your hardest to work on the relationship. If you try to work on your relationship but you find that you just cannot move on from the affair, it may be worth thinking about a divorce. But at least you’ll know that you did everything possible to save your relationship.