Should you forgive an affair to save your marriage?

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The biggest question you need to answer is, will forgiving the affair mean your cheating spouse will now be faithful, or is it giving him license to continue his adultery?

A childless couple has one advantage in that each is free to choose the best path for themselves without innocent young lives becoming casualties of the cheating partner. As anyone with young children knows, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect them — even stay in bad marriage.

On the other hand, having a reason to really push through the tough times, to go above and beyond what you thought was possible, can be a giant opportunity for growth — individually and as a couple.

If you haven’t sought a marriage therapist or joined a support group of some kind, now is the time to do it. Questions like this need to be thoughtfully explored from all angles so you can be best prepared to undertake whatever actions are needed as a result of your decision.

What is your partner’s history? If given a second chance, does he (or she) ‘blow it’ or make it right next time? Is he willing to give up the affair completely, and immediately? Is he showing by his actions that he is truly sorry and willing (and able) to walk your new line to prove his worthiness to you?

Would you be staying together just for the kids, or did you want to get that spark and romance back into your lives? You had that once — the same attentiveness and passion that the cheating spouse was lavishing on ‘the other’ during the affair.

If the answer is that you think he can make the most of a second chance, then it’s worth a try. Schedule time together with a therapist, your church or a 12-step program. Or, seek out a self-help course that you and your spouse can work through together. Whatever method you choose, start now on your journey toward healing your marriage.