having an affair | cheating spouse | surviving infidelity | dealing with infidelity

After Having an Affair, Why
Does a Cheating Spouse Confess?

Cheating Spouse | Having an Affair | Get Help from a Life Coach Today | Surviving InfidelityWhy does a cheating spouse confess after having an affair? What possible good does it do? Is it a throwback to our Puritanical ancestry with its ingrained belief that "confession is good for the soul?" Maybe so, but how good is it for the one betrayed?

Reasons Why a Cheating Spouse
Admits to Having an Affair

The motives and intentions that crop up when a cheating spouse wants to confess to having an affair are numerous and complicated. They include:

♦ They feel guilty and want to ease their conscience

♦ They want to hurt their spouse, as retaliation for the pain they've suffered in the relationship

♦ They don't want their wife or husband to find out from someone else

♦ They know that they've done wrong and really want to clear the air in a troubled relationship

Before Confessing to Having an Affair

Before a cheating spouse admits to having an affair, he or she must be ready for the very real possibility that the confession may end the marriage. When there are children involved, this realization can be terrifying. Unfortunately, the fall-out from this single conversation will last a lifetime, one way or another.

Because of the potential life-altering ramifications, the spouse who has strayed should think about how the betrayed spouse will see the affair, by considering the following:

♦ How long ago did the affair take place? The more time that has passed, the more the betrayal might hurt as the betrayed spouse looks back and relives the past in light of this new knowledge.

♦ How long did the affair last? A one-night stand might be more easily forgiven than a relationship that lasted a year.

♦ How serious was the relationship and how deep was the emotional investment? A "good time only" affair is again probably easier to forgive than one that was very committed.

♦ How far into the marriage did this affair occur? A history of trust and love might weather an insignificant infidelity better than a new relationship.

♦ Is this the first indiscretion or has there been a pattern of infidelity?

For a Cheating Spouse, Honesty
Starts at the Moment of Confession

When a cheating spouse does admit to having had an affair, complete honesty is absolutely necessary from that moment forward if the marriage is to stand a chance at survival and recovery. This includes honesty about how the marital relationship evolved in such a way that having an affair was even an option, and of course honesty about the future.

After Having an Affair, what to Expect
After a Confession of Infidelity

The cheating spouse will have to expect enormous amounts of anger and hurt for quite some time from the betrayed partner, and must learn to be patient and supportive. It's during this highly emotional and stressful period that professional therapy should be sought, as a couple and individually, if necessary. There will be many issues to work through, and both partners will need to be completely committed to the process.

The cheating spouse who was having an affair and the betrayed spouse will be feeling:

♦ Guilt at causing so much pain

♦ Fear of the future (Will he or she cheat again? Will she or he leave me?)

♦ Loss of the foundation of any relationship, which is trust

♦ Terrible hurt, sadness and loneliness on the part of both people

How a Cheating Spouse and his or her
Partner Can Move Past the Betrayal

You can move beyond the betrayal, though. Both spouses need to forgive themselves and each other - people in healthy marriages and committed relationships simply don't have affairs. There was something wrong in the marriage when the cheating spouse started having an affair, and both spouses should be willing to discuss this.

Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic acknowledges that forgiveness can be incredibly difficult and take enormous amounts of time. She defines forgiveness as "a commitment to a process of change."

In other words, once you're ready to commit to the process of change, you will be able to forgive and to heal. A Life Coach can help you work through this process - either individually, or together, as a couple.

Get Help Dealing with a Cheating Spouse

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