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Should You Divorce After Cheating? 5 Reasons For / Against

Did you recently catch your husband or wife cheating, and are unsure what to do next?

Although 62% of people have claimed they would leave their partner in the event of an affair, 60-75% of couples end up staying together after cheating occurs.

In this article, we’ll look over some of the potential reasons why you may want to consider staying with your partner, as well as some reasons why divorce may be a better idea.

Note that this article will be focused on reasons behind making a decision, and will not discuss legal / law related manners in any way. While researching other people’s opinions on this matter, I came across a lot of articles from divorce attorneys. Keep in mind that these companies have a financial incentive to encourage you to divorce, with the hope that you will become their clients.

By keeping things unbiased, our hope is that you can make a decision that’s right for you and your specific situation.

Before We Begin, Let’s Slow Down

First things first, divorce is not a decision to be taken lightly.

At this time, it is likely that you are very hurt. And understandably so – cheating on someone is one of the worst, most hurtful things you can do to them. You have every right to feel everything that you’re feeling at this moment, and you shouldn’t feel the need to suppress or hide your emotions. The thoughts and feelings you are experiencing are perfectly valid, and you should take as much time as you need to let yourself heal.

It’s very important that you’ve taken some time to process what has happened before you consider whether or not a divorce is right for you.

As humans, we are prone to making rash decisions in the heat of the moment. Considering this is likely one of the most significant events that have happened so far in your marriage, it’s vital that you take the time to calm down and process things before you consider whether or not to divorce. This can take days or even weeks, so wait until you feel you can think in a completely rational manner before proceeding.

With that out of the way, let’s start by looking over some signs that a divorce may be the right move.

5 Reasons To Consider Divorce After Infidelity

1. It Probably Wasn’t The First Time – And Maybe Not The Last

Here’s a fact that nobody wants to hear.

If you’ve caught your partner cheating, it probably wasn’t the first time. It may be the first time they’ve got caught, but it likely wasn’t the first time they’ve cheated.

In fact, they may have had the opportunity to cheat many times before they finally got caught doing so.

To make matters worse, this situation indicates that they were willing to proceed with it when the opportunity popped up. This may mean that they’re more likely to do it again in the future, if they believe that they won’t get caught.

Keep in mind that most people never cheat, regardless of the situation or the opportunity. So, the fact that they’ve done so even once can be worrisome.

2. Your Partner Deliberately Hurt You

Unless the cheating was due to unclear expectations (i.e, they thought whatever they did was allowed), then your partner deliberately chose to hurt you.

It doesn’t matter how excited your partner was to cheat. They knew that by doing so, they were putting your feelings, emotions, and even the whole dynamic of your marriage or family at risk.

This is never okay. In fact, if your partner truly loved you, this fact alone should have been enough to dissuade them from cheating, regardless of their reasoning for it.

It’s important for your partner to understand just how important this issue is, and how they are hurting you by choosing to cheat. If the two of you talk about the incident, it may be a good idea to bring this up as a talking point.

3. The Dynamic Of The Marriage Has Changed

Once a partner cheats, the entire dynamic of the marriage has changed – and it may never go back to the way it was.

It goes without saying, but one of the hardest things about being cheated on (in my opinion) is the fact that the trust is gone. It becomes so much harder not only to trust your partner around other people, but even just in general.

After all, if they were unable to remain faithful to you – one of the most important aspects of marriage, than why should you trust them with anything? 

If they were willing to hurt you, how could you look at them in the same light you did before?

Of course, context is key. Did they try to hide it? Did they admit to it straight away? Do they have a long pattern of suspicious behavior, and you fear that they may have been cheating on you for a long time?

4. Your Relationship Has Other Underlying Issues, That Can’t Be Solved

If you have other issues with your husband or wife that you don’t believe can be solved, then an affair may be the thing that pushes your divorce over the edge.

For some couples, they may have had divorce in the back of their mind for a while. Perhaps they are constantly arguing, they feel their needs aren’t being met, or they simply start feeling like roommates rather than partners.

Although most issues truly can be solved with a bit of work and focused effort, some problems may seem to big to handle.

In these instances, it may be time to explore the idea of moving on.

5. You Don’t Believe Your Partner Will Change

Finally, this is one of the big ones.

It is one thing to cheat once. It is even worse if your partner shows no signs of wanting to change.

Perhaps they are blaming you as the reason that they cheated, or they don’t seem to feel any remorse or regret for what they’ve done.

Or, maybe they are claiming it ‘wasn’t a big deal’, and signs indicate that they’d do it again in the future.

At this point, you have two options. You either get a divorce, or you accept that you’re with someone that doesn’t care for your feelings, and will cheat on you again whenever they feel like it.

You are better than this, and you deserve better than this.

One helpful exercise is to think about the advice you’d give a friend. If a friend explained told you that they were going through this exact situation, what advice would you give them?

Sometimes, it’s easier to give advice to others, than to take that same advice ourselves. However, this is also the advice that reflect what our heart and mind truly feels, and is probably the advice we should take!

5 Reasons To Consider Staying With Your Husband / Wife After They Cheat

Next, let’s look at some potential reasons why you may consider staying with your partner, even if they’ve been caught cheating.

Again, every marriage is different, and there are no right answers. So, don’t take everything we write as

1. You Believe It Was An Honest Mistake

First of all, there is never an excuse for cheating. But of course, some situations are worse than others.

If you believe that your partner has otherwise been faithful and there was a specific circumstance that led them to cheat in this one instance, you may consider looking past it and focusing on ensuring that it doesn’t happen again.

For example, perhaps you consider something like flirting to be a form of cheating, whereas your partner didn’t know that this wasn’t okay.

Spending some time talking about what exactly led up to them cheating can help you decide how you should feel about it going forward.

2. Your Relationship Is Otherwise Strong

If your relationship is great outside of this cheating incident, you may consider staying with them and continuing to work on the relationship.

Although cheating is unforgivable, the reality is that all relationships have problems in one area or another.

If the two of you are otherwise very compatible, you don’t have any underlying issues causing resentment or disdain for one another, and you otherwise are happy in the relationship, it may be worth trying to save it.

Just because someone cheats once, does not necessarily mean that they ever intend to cheat again. In fact, they may have never had any plans to cheat in the first place.

Regardless, here we are. Analyze your relationship in detail – had this cheating incident not happened, how would you typically feel about it?

3. You Two Have Worked Through Other Large Problems In The Past Successfully

One of the biggest signs of successful couples, isn’t that they don’t have any problems. Even couples in very happy marriages still have arguments, insecurities, and issues that pop up.

Instead, effective couples are able to confront their problems, and work through them together until they’re no longer an issue.

If you’ve been able to tackle other large issues in the past successfully, and the two of you are able to communicate effectively, you may wish to hold off on the idea of divorcing right now.

Instead, take some time to really talk through this issue. You may ultimately still decide that a divorce is the right move, but you may also realize that the two of you can grow from this experience.

Either way, you’ll know for sure whether or not remaining together is the right option.

4. Your Partner Is Clearly Committed To Improvement

When someone cheats, it’s a good sign when…

  • They take full responsibility for the incident, without being pressured into it.
  • They tell you first, rather than waiting for you to find out.
  • They do not assign any blame to you, or even the other person that they cheated with.
  • They are willing to make sacrifices or compromises to show you that they can be trusted. Some examples may include completely cutting contact with the person they cheated with, sharing passwords / pin numbers, and other actions that aid in transparency.

We can usually tell when someone is being honest, and when they genuinely regret their actions.

If your partner owns up to the fact that they made a mistake, and is willing to make sacrifices to ensure it will never happen again, you can feel more comfortable staying with them (should you wish to, of course.)

5. You Genuinely Believe It Won’t Happen Again

Cheating even one time is terrible, and has long-lasting effects. However, if you truly believe that this was a one-time event, and you have faith that your partner will never cheat again, you may consider staying with them regardless.

This is a completely personal decision, and however you decide to move forward is completely up to you.

One word of warning however – keep in mind the statistic at the beginning of this article. Most people say they would divorce if their partner had an affair, but most couples actually end up remaining together.

Friends and family members may pressure you to divorce, without a full and complete understanding of the situation. “There’s plenty of fish in the sea,” they say. Unfortunately, things aren’t always that simple.

Ultimately, only you and your partner know what’s truly right for you.


Cheating is a major event, and any decisions coming out of it should not be taken lightly.

Ultimately, only you know whether or not a divorce is the right course of action. However, we want to remind you again that whatever you’re feeling is perfectly valid, and you should take as much time as you need to think through things.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions or you would simply like to share your experience, let us know in the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James and Amara

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