You can often predict if there is hope for your relationship after infidelity by paying attention to how the cheater replies to the awareness that such a betrayal has occurred, and how the information was obtained.
If the cheater comes to you with the details of the affair and appears to express remorse over the event and says that he or she will do whatever is necessary to repair the offense and the relationship, there is a good chance the relationship is not only salvageable but may grow to be better and stronger than before the infidelity.
What if You Find Out About Cheating in Any Other Way?
If you heard about the affair in some other way, such as hearing about the infidelity from a third party or caught your partner either in discrepancies or worse yet, actively engaged in unfaithfulness, then there may still be hope for the reparation of your relationship.
If you have been betrayed by your partner, this should never be taken lightly. This is the worst thing that could possibly happen in a relationship. I don’t know how many times I have been told by couples that infidelity is the one dealbreaker in the relationship, to where there could be no recovery. Yet, I have seen these same couples face such a relationship crime and not only recover but thrive as their relationship grows beyond the possibility of couples who have not faced such a challenge.
How the Cheater Responds Will Help Predict Your Relationship Future
If the person who participated in the infidelity demonstrates any of the following responses, there is little or no hope for your relationship having any successful outcome.
Relationship Death Clues
|Denies everything||Leaves the relationship without discussion|
|Devalues and disrespects the betrayed||Protects objects of infidelity|
|Inability to be truthful and honest||Does not accept responsibility|
|Chooses to live a life of secrecy and deception||The adulterer thinks their needs are primary|
|Adopts an air of superiority||Blames the betrayed partner|
|No respect for the relationship||Not seeing any worthwhile future|
You may hear statements that are commonly used by those who are unable to rebuild trust and take the relationship to a new label. These cheaters will say things, like,
- It’s my body, I can do what I want
- Any sexual urge I have must be satisfied
- If no one knows, it doesn’t matter
- I must feel good, whatever it takes
- If I am aroused by someone else, I must be with the wrong person
- If I am stressed, I need (outside) sexual energy
- That’s how I one-up my partner (by having someone else)
- I always give, now I’m taking
- I’ve been with so many, I could never go back
And even though these attitudes and statements statistically reinforce the idea that there is no hope for the relationship, there is still hope, even though the outlook is bleak.
The thing to look out for here; is that someone with sociopathic or predatory psychopath tendencies may feign efforts to reconcile only to further brutalize you far worse by increasing the stakes monumentally.
In this case, the sooner you end the relationship, the better.
You can see this is a delicate balance, and by now, you are starting to see the wisdom in seeking out third-party help in a family counselor or relationship coach to help you navigate these murky waters.
Once a Cheater Always a Cheater
It is commonly said “once a cheater always a cheater” and statistically, there is truth to the statement in general, but it does not take into account the greater number of success stories that abound about cheaters turned faithful spouses.
How Can I Predict If There Is Hope for My Relationship After Infidelity?
There are certain clues to look for that will in a sense predict if your relationship has a higher chance of surviving infidelity.
Surviving Infidelity Successfuly
The number one indicator is that the offender came to you directly, humbly, remorseful, and this is how you found out. In this case, if he or she has intimated to you his or her sorrowfulness for the betrayal and the willingness to do anything to make up for the affair. This is the best hope you have for a stronger relationship in the future.
Regardless of how you became aware of the infidelity, the initial response of the offender is a leading indicator of a healthy and positive outcome from this otherwise relationship-destroying crisis.
- Takes full responsibility, does not blame the faithful partner
- Is remorseful, sincerely apologetic, and feels guilty for the betrayal
- Seeks forgiveness, and is willing to do whatever is necessary for as long as it takes to heal the relationship
- Is completely honest and forthcoming about any and all details regarding the infidelity
- Makes a complete break with the object(s) of the infidelity, i.e., no contact
- Surrenders all devices and communication methods if requested (burner phones, bills, bank records, email accounts/passwords, etc.)
- Allows the betrayed partner to dictate the path the relationship-healing will take
When a cheater is willing to come forth and cooperate in such a manner, the person who was betrayed by the unfaithful partner is more than likely able to do the work necessary to establish trust in the relationship once again.
If your unfaithful partner is willing to come to you with this level of openness and honesty, there is a high probability that a supremely successful relationship with this person who has failed the relationship is likely. (Unless he or she is a predatory individual on the Anti-Social Personality Disorder spectrum.)
These are the two extremes.
No Chance of Recovery
Signs of little chance of success, so that you can feel better about cutting your losses and finding ways to shore up your own self-love and wellbeing and severing ties with a cheater who is likely to make matters even worse if given half-the-chance.
Being forewarned is being forearmed. Unless you decide to try to rebuild the relationship even from this bleak position. Let it be known that there are no absolutes in statistics regarding infidelity because after all, the participants are human beings, not statistics. I have seen relationships recover in the harshest circumstances but be fully aware that this is very rare indeed.
Best Chance of Full Recovery
The other extreme depicts the humbly brokenhearted contrite spirit of a man or woman who admits his moment of weakness, acknowledging his or her mistakes, and willingness to do whatever it takes to reestablish trust, wholeness, and oneness.
Restoration is Possible
Even in the best of circumstances, successful relationship restoration may not or may be possible. The best chance of full recovery is only the starting point. In no way am I saying that if the cheater represents himself or herself as honest and repentant as can be, does not mean that the betrayed partner should forgive and reembrace the betrayer based on face value.
Infidelity is a psychological and/or physiological activity that indicates that there is deep work to be done which either or both parties may have no idea may be simmering deep beneath the surface of either one or both participants in this relationship.
Only the Beginning
Regardless of how you decide to go forward in this relationship, this is only the beginning of a long journey, that could end up being your worst nightmare, or the most glorious awe-inspiring example of love’s power to overcome even the worst of circumstances.
This is why you should seek out a family counselor or relationship coach to help you deal with this growth process who has experience in such things.
Only the going forward or not and time will tell.