Did you know?
For many years, scholars considered the Chinese language to be the “baby talk” of mankind.
Because Chinese isn’t based on an alphabet, but on graphic symbols that stand for whole words. Rather than complicate the language with nouns, verbs, and grammatical rules, as found in Greek and Latin, the Chinese have stripped down every word to its essential meaning and purpose.
In other words…
Chinese is simple and to the point.
After realizing that language simplicity didn’t equal stupidity, scholars revised their opinion of the Chinese language. Now, they’ve declared it to be one of the world’s most sophisticated language systems. Why? Because Chinese has been stripped down to the essentials.
The word “crisis” in Chinese is two characters combined. The first character means “danger” (when a situation has reached an extremely difficult or dangerous point). The second character means “opportunity to turn for the better.” So the Chinese word for crisis could be interpreted this way: a dangerous or difficult situation, which may also have the opportunity of taking a turn for the better.
I’ve always liked that idea.
That in a crisis, there can also be opportunity. And that somehow… within life’s many adversities, hardships, difficulties, bad luck, wrong turns, or mistakes lurks the potential for things to turn for the better.
In other words…
Whether you’re dealing with infidelity, cancer, bankruptcy, or the death of a loved one, if you’re willing to look for it, there’s a way to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.
Am I saying that infidelity is good for a marriage?
No, that’s not what I’m saying, no more than smallpox is good for children. What I’m pointing to is that within every painful situation — including this one, if you’re willing to look — there’s a way to turn things toward the better. This is good news, and knowing this gives us hope because this tells us that no situation is stronger than your willingness to turn it around. You have the capacity to bounce back from adversity because within you exists an unlimited reservoir of amazing resiliency.
There’s no doubt about it: infidelity puts your marriage in a crisis and at a crossroads… all at the same time. The crisis is caused by the loss of trust, the sense of violation, and the loss of specialness… because it fractures the bonds of exclusivity that marriage depends upon. And the crossroads happens because it brings partners back to a place of decision where they’re now forced to question, reevaluate, and choose whether to continue the relationship or to end it.
Which path is right for you?
Remember, there are only two options: either you rebuild your marriage, or you divorce. Which way you go is a decision only you can make (not your therapist, not your pastor, not your priest, or psychic) because in the end, YOU are the only true authority in your life.
Here’s what I’d like to offer you.
Coming up next are some insights, guidelines, and pointers to help you gain clarity as you discuss your options. Use them as pointers but not as substitutes for your own thinking.
As you read…
Keep in mind that this article (like every other article in my website) isn’t here to tell you what to do, but rather, to help you ask the right questions — questions that can help you get to a place of clarity and power, so you’ll feel confident about whatever you decide is right for you.
Here’s another suggestion.
After reading this article all the way through yourself, if you feel it’s been helpful, then email the link to your spouse, and use it as a conversation starter or a way to begin an honest dialogue about what is best for you and your family.
With that said, let’s jump right in…