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mostlyclueless's avatar

Can a relationship recover from infidelity?

Asked by mostlyclueless (701points) July 7th, 2013

Does cheating always mean the relationship is over? Should the person who was cheated on always leave, even if it means breaking up a family?

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, relationships can recover from infidelity, but it takes a lot of work by both sides and the one who cheated needs to be committed to rebuilding trust.

Some couples will gloss over incidents like that, a strange form of denial where one partner is in denial of the other’s behavior, even though actually aware. When that happens the relationship is not at all healthy. The couple may stay together for a long time, but it is not a relationship that encourages the best out of both and often is a miserable existence, but the person is not strong enough to take steps to get out of their rut.

It is best if the couple work through their issues, including the cheating, with a good counselor..

livelaughlove21's avatar

A relationship is not necessarily over when someone cheats. Any relationship of mine would be over, but all couples are different. Trust is a very hard thing to rebuild. It would take a lot of work and perhaps counseling, but if the individual that was cheated on can get past it and forgive (and the cheater can cut it the hell out), they could remain together and even be happy.

I personally don’t understand how someone can know that their partner touched, kissed, and had sex with another person knowing damn well they are in a relationship and not leave right away. However, some people enjoy open relationships in which each partner is free to sleep around as long as it’s just sex. And then there’s all that gray area in between. No two couples handle this type of stuff in the same way.

marinelife's avatar

Sometimes, with a lot of hard work on both parties’ parts and a willingness.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

They quite often do.

downtide's avatar

Every couple is different and some manage to work it out. In some cases an extra-marital affair isn’t even cheating in the first place, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

cookieman's avatar

In the case of my friend, it becomes an arrangement.

A week before my friend and her husband were to move their whole family to South America, she caught him cheating with their babysitter. Apparently it had gone on for a while.

Thing is, the husband’s new job in South America could afford them a mansion, and nannies, and a maid. What’s more, my friend would never have to work again, the kids could go to excellent international schools, and they had two free trips a year back to the states.

A week later, as scheduled, they boarded the plane for this new life.

My friend decided that turning a blind eye to his indiscretions was a price worth paying for her new life.

I hear he has a very attractive secretary now.

harangutan's avatar

Yes, it can.

The reasons for cheating are different for everyone and not all cheaters are habitual cheaters. Some people cheat because they are hurting, but the hurt they see in their spouse once the spouse finds out about the cheating is enough to never do it again. It takes a long time to build the trust again, but it is possible, and it is also possible the relationship will be stronger than it was before.

jca's avatar

Very few things in life are absolutes. Yes, relationships can recover from anything if both sides are willing and put in the time and energy.

Some people have open relationships or “don’t ask, don’t tell” and to me, whatever works for the people involved is up to them.

Blackberry's avatar

Of course. This is just my own controversial opinion, but I feel people are somewhat dramatic about cheating. I see a difference in how frequent it is. One time is forgivable, what Tiger woods did is not.

Bellatrix's avatar

It depends on the people involved, the circumstances of the infidelity and their motivation for being in the relationship in the first place. Lots of relationships do survive ‘cheating’. The cheating may have come about because of recognised, existing problems in the relationship that both parties are prepared to work on. They two people may have very liberal ideas about relationships and what constitutes cheating. There may be too many pros for staying in the relationship to leave because of infidelity. There are so many reasons why a relationship might survive infidelity and especially if the couple are prepared to seek help to work out why it happened and what they can do to either accept it or prevent it happening again.

mostlyclueless's avatar

What if the cheater said s/he just couldn’t control him/herself? Would you forgive that person?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@mostlyclueless That’s probably one of the worst excuses for cheating (though there’s no good one). So, you have no control over your own body? What kind of a weak piece of shit are you? I really didn’t want to punch you in the face, but I just can’t control myself.

Bellatrix's avatar

@mostlyclueless – personally I would not accept that as an appropriate reason. If we care about the person we are in a relationship with, and we are both supposed to be participating in a monogamous relationship, then there is no justification for ‘I couldn’t control myself’. That’s a childish excuse. You don’t mess with your relationship and hurt your partner because you can’t resist temptation. That’s a cop out.

Really, think about it, have you ever felt compelled to have sex with someone outside your relationship to the point where you couldn’t stop yourself? Even though you knew you would hurt your partner?

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