The question on everyone’s lips is most likely, “Why on earth would you want to go public with this story?”
According to reports by Sexual Health Australia, approximately 70% of all marriages experience infidelity. This tells us that there needs to be a more open conversation on the subject.
If two out of three marriages are impacted by affairs, there are a few questions we need to be asking ourselves. Why don’t we know where to turn? Why is it so hard to find the right support and critical care when you need it most? Why must there be so much judgement toward those who choose to stay and work it out? Why is it a common misconception that the betrayed partner must have somehow been responsible for or contributed to their partner cheating? Why don’t people talk about the reality of what affairs are, how they begin and the harm they cause? Why don’t we hear about the full impact keeping secrets has on families, health and community? Why are we not aware of the behaviours coexisting with the keeping of secrets, behaviours often showing up as mental health issues and abusive manipulation?
The secrets we keep will always reveal themselves sooner or later…
When the world as you know it implodes, the bombshell of betrayal thrusts both parties into unimaginable pain, confusion and chaos. Everything a betrayed spouse once thought to be true appears false. All standards an unfaithful spouse might have held close and hoped to maintain are destroyed.
Identity is called into question and safety is out the window.
On top of it all, you feel so terribly alone.
No one else, apart from those who have experienced this, could possibly understand the feeling.
I know that I’m not the first betrayed spouse to say, “I’d never put up with that!” and I’m certain that Dave isn’t the first wayward spouse ever to declare, “Well, I’d never do that!”
We both did what we thought we would not.
There are many myths and assumptions about affairs, and there’s a ton of stigma, shame and isolation, creating barriers, making recovery even harder.
The statistics for marriage failure after affairs is far too high. We don’t believe this is because couples don’t want their relationship to succeed, it is because they really don’t know what recovery looks like and all of the steps involved. Many don’t have the right support for moving beyond the pain. It’s hard, hard work, there’s no denying, but it’s not impossible with the right support. It’s just damn hard trying to do it alone.
We want to hear about marriages thriving after overcoming the trauma of infidelity. We want to see deep sustainable love, growing stronger healthier relationship bonds.
Not all marriages can be saved and not all should, but there is a large percentage of unions that are lost simply because the couple is unaware of the crazy flight path recovery takes, they are often left feeling alone and like their situation is hopeless. Whether the marriage continues or ends, both partners must heal for their own sakes. Unhealed pain, trauma and negative coping mechanisms will continue manifesting into the future and eventually, history will repeat itself. You can’t fix a broken leg with a bandaid.
Men and women everywhere would benefit from having a greater understanding of how and why affairs happen. People don’t need to suffer in silence.