Should You Forgive Your Spouse for Cheating or File for Divorce?

Infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce in America. Many married couples have to wonder if they should forgive their spouse for cheating or if they should file for divorce. Deciding to divorce is a major life decision so it should not be taken lightly.


We must also consider that the definition of cheating means different things to different people.  Some would define cheating as having a physical relationship with anyone other than their spouse. Other forms of cheating may be as simple as talking to a person of the opposite sex and may be considered emotional cheating.


Is Emotional Cheating Considered Cheating?


Depending on who you ask, the answer might be “yes” emotional cheating is cheating. 


One example of cheating emotionally is when a physical relationship has not transpired yet but there are text messages to prove that it's leading in that direction.  The marriage vows that were taken to be faithful until death do you part have gone out the door. The spouse that is being emotionally cheated on may feel hurt and betrayed that their spouse was planning to cheat physically. They may also question if their spouse has already cheated on them in the past. 


Once trust is lost in a marriage, it is difficult to get it back.  Also, depending on the jealousy level of a spouse, it can be harder for someone who is jealous by nature to deal with emotional cheating.  


How is Cheating Defined in a Marriage?


At a personal level, how cheating is defined really depends on each individual. It depends on what your tolerance level is, and how confident you are with your mate. What type of a relationship you set up in the beginning also plays a huge part. Furthermore, it depends on what your level of trust is with your partner; do you trust them, or do you not trust them?  There is a legal aspect as well, and how your state defines “adultery” and what proof would be necessary to meet the legal burden of proof. 


Have Open Communication with Your Spouse Before Jumping to Conclusions


If you suspect that your spouse has been cheating on you, it is best to confront them openly and candidly. You never know if you're overreacting to something that you think is going on and what if there was nothing going on? You wouldn't want to end your marriage based off that prematurely. It would be wise to gather all the facts before jumping to conclusions. You may want to seek the assistance of a professional who can help support each of you in navigating this difficult and sensitive conversation. If you do end up learning that your spouse has been cheating on you; you may have to do some soul-searching to figure out if you want to give this marriage another chance. In addition, you will need to determine if this was an isolated incident or if your spouse may have a pattern of cheating throughout the years?


Is Forgiveness Possible?


If there are already trust issues in your marriage it may be difficult to overcome this betrayal. You must think about what you want and see if you can get through this together as a couple. Marriage counseling may also be a good option to consider if you are not ready to give up so easily. 


If you are not able to get over the infidelity and feel that you will foster resentment, it may be challenging to move forward in your marriage. You will have to ask yourself some difficult questions during this process, such as “am I willing to forgive and get past this for the sake of our relationship?”


Explore Your Options and Then Make Your Final Decision


You always have the option to consult a Manhattan divorce mediator to see what your options are if you do decide to part ways.  Call Sabra Law Group today if you are considering divorce in New York at (646) 472-7971.