Perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching questions...
One of the most gut-wrenching questions is: Can my marriage survive infidelity? And if you’ve been pondering that question yourself, you are not alone.
But ponder no more. In this article, not only will I give you my definitive answer to that question, but I will also tell you what the infidelity statistics predict.
Heads up. (It’s not great news.)
Plus, I’ll share with you my checklist of…
The 7 things that increase your odds of surviving and the 7 things that decrease the odds of a marriage surviving.
As always, you can use the menu to go to a particular section or read along at your own pace.
IN THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL FIND
Dear Suzie, Is it possible for my marriage to survive infidelity?
After everything that has happened, I’m just not sure if it’s even possible for us to get past this.
Every couple has a dream.
We all go into marriage with our own ideas, dreams, and scripts about what happiness in a relationship should look like, feel like, and be like. I call this our “happily ever after” dream.
Here’s the thing…
As long as your partner cooperates and life follows your script, then it feels as if you’re living the dream. However, if life throws curveballs, and if there are unexpected complications, detours, or delays, it sends you into panic mode because you fear these things are taking away your dreams.
And I will have to admit…
In the grand scheme of things, infidelity is not a minor detour or delay.
It’s more like a head-on collision because very few things can rip a hole in the fabric of our happily-ever-after like the discovery of betrayal.
This sets off a chain reaction.
Now, you’re questioning everything.
Is this the real thing, or is this a pipe dream? Was I living a life or a lie? Was it all just a joke?
The technical term for this experience is “disillusionment”.
There are no words that can properly describe how much it hurts except to say that it’s a kind of psychological pain that can only be described as devastating.
When dreams fall apart, fear sets in.
Now you’re doubting if getting what you want is even possible. And you’re not just disillusioned about your own marriage, but you’re disillusioned about the promise of marriage itself. Is happily ever after even possible in real life, or does it only happen in fairy tales?
If any of this rings a bell, don’t despair.
You are not alone.
You are not the only one to question everything and doubt every dream you’ve ever had after having had a rude awakening. So, let’s go back to the question that brought you here: Is it possible for your marriage to survive infidelity?
The answer is YES!
Having served this community for nearly two decades, I can stand up and testify to the reality that many marriages can and do survive extramarital affairs, and some of those marriages even go on to thrive more successfully than prior to the affair. (Shocking but true.)
Relieved? I hope you are.
And yet I am fully aware that as nice as it is to hear what works for others, what’s even more important, is finding out what works for you.
A better question might be…
Can My Marriage Survive This Affair?
My answer? I don’t know. But I do know this. You can swing the odds of surviving the affair in your favor.
Here’s what I mean.
You see. When it comes to a marriage surviving infidelity, the answer is never black and white. There are numerous factors that will play a role, and there are things that increase the odds and factors that decrease the odds.
However, just because I don’t know if your marriage can survive infidelity doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find out for yourself.
To help you arrive at the answers for yourself, let’s look at the question from two different angles. First, we’ll look at what the statistics have to say about a marriage surviving infidelity, and then we’ll take a look at seven things that I believe decrease the odds of surviving and the seven things that increase the odds of a marriage surviving.
What do the statistics say About A Couple Surviving Infidelity?
Let’s take a look at the stone-cold statistics about marriage and infidelity.
- According to the Matrimonial Lawyers Association… 50% of all divorces have some type of infidelity as a contributing factor.
- According to the latest research on marital infidelity…less than 1/3 of marriages survive infidelity.
That’s pretty scary, right? The question is… why?
- Could it be that betrayal is such a treacherous act that it causes people to instantly stop loving each other?
- Is it because extramarital affairs affect the intimacy between the primary couple so drastically that they have a hard time reconnecting?
- Or maybe it’s because once trust is lost, people find it next to impossible to restore it.
- Maybe it’s because people just find being deceived so contemptible that it’s impossible to forgive.
Chances are… all these reasons play a role and contribute to those pessimistic statistics. And yet I don’t believe you need to fear the statistics if you are willing to dig deeper.
Don't Fear the statistics.
Rather than looking at the outcomes, I believe a more important question might be this? Are there things that will increase or decrease the odds of a marriage surviving infidelity?
I believe there are.
Coming up next are two useful checklists.
The first is a checklist of seven things that (when present) decrease the odds of the marriage surviving.
The second is a checklist of seven things that (when present) increase the odds of the marriage surviving.
Let’s count them down in the order of their importance… finishing with the one having the biggest impact.
Make a mental note of which ones are present in your marriage. (I’ll tell you what you can do about them later.)
Here are the checklists (just click to download and you can have these and even print them out)
14 Things That Change The Odds of Surviving Infidelity
So, overall how did you do?
Were there any surprises? Were there any concerns? Did you notice anything that gave you some hope or relief however it went for you?
Here’s something to keep in mind:
These signs are pointers, not predictors of success or failure. Because, at the end of the day, it really comes down to this:
If you both want your marriage to survive… it will. Because nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
In other words, where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
And the fact that you are here reading this, and since you’ve been considering the question of whether or not a marriage can survive infidelity, that suggests to me that there’s a part of you that wants your marriage to survive.
I believe that’s the part that brought you to me today.
And if you’re ready to take another step towards making your hopes a reality, then I highly recommend that you consider taking my Rebuilding Your Marriage couples online course.
In this course…
I will guide you and your partner through my process for removing the obstacles that decrease the odds of surviving, and I’ll show you how to strengthen the ones that put the odds in your favor. You can find more about this course here:
If you were to get nothing else from this article, get this: A marriage surviving infidelity isn’t a matter or luck or statistics. It’s a matter of increasing the things that put the odds of success in your favor and removing the things that don’t.
And I am convinced that life sends us everything (and everyone) we need in the instant we truly need it because no true call for help goes unanswered.
I have faith that’s been the case for you today. That something big or small from this article points towards the help you are seeking, so that the answers you were looking find you right where you are.
Until we speak again…
Remember… Love Wins!