Should You Forgive an Affair?
Few things rock a marriage in the same way as adultery. The lack of trust and the feeling of wanting revenge or to make your partner ‘pay for’ what they have done can end up eroding your relationship. However, these types of cases do not always end in divorce. If you are in this situation, the following are things to consider when deciding whether if an affair is something you can forgive
Negotiating When a Spouse Has an Affair
Discovering your spouse is cheating can be traumatic and people tend to react in different ways. While some couples immediately separate, others remain together. In either situation, there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with.
If your spouse is unwilling to end the affair, your options are relatively narrow. You can either condone the behavior or decide to file for divorce. The situation is likely to be more complex if your spouse claims it was a momentary lapse of reason or a ‘slip’ that occurred due to problems with them or in the relationship. Forgiveness is possible, but Huffington Post advises that you may need to negotiate certain terms and conditions for your reconciliation. These include:
- A sincere promise that it will not happen again. This is essential in rebuilding trust. There should be no further contact with the other person involved or anyone else they may have considered cheating with.
- An appreciation for what they did wrong and the way it hurt you. Your spouse needs to understand how deep a betrayal adultery is and express genuine sorrow for the pain and suffering their actions caused.
- The willingness to be open and accountable. Rebuilding your relationship will not be easy and it is only natural for you to feel suspicious or jealous in certain situations. Your spouse can help by being open, honest, and true to their word, letting you know where they go, who they are with, and when you can expect them back.
Therapy often helps tremendously in these situations, particularly when dealing with underlying feelings of anger and shame. It is important to set a timeline for your grief and to realize that at some point, if your marriage is to recover, you will need to leave this incident in the past.
Protect Yourself After A Spouse Commits Adultery
While you may want to forgive your spouse and save your marriage, it is important to take practical steps to protect yourself in the event it does not work out. Under the Florida Dissolution of Marriage Statutes, you do not need grounds such as adultery to get a divorce, but it can influence property division and alimony proceedings. However, once you decide to forgive your spouse and reconcile, prior marital misconduct will no longer be a factor in any future divorce proceedings. A postnuptial agreement can help you in this situation, outlining the financial repercussions if your spouse ends up cheating again.
To discuss this type of agreement and other options in your case, contact attorney Vanessa L. Prieto and request a confidential, one-on-one consultation in our Fort Lauderdale office today.