Dealing with infidelity is a major area of concern in any marriage, even when promiscuity, in several developed cultures is as commonplace as brushing your teeth. Some protagonists of extra-marital affairs say that infidelity is a great ego, confidence and performance booster, and it is perfectly acceptable, so long as you do not get caught!
Even when you know what to expect, infidelity, every time it happens, creates ripples around the people concerned, bringing shame and infamy to the families concerned. Of the people who are directly involved with infidelity, it is difficult to say who suffers most – as they are all dealing with infidelity in their own way, trying to bring sanity into their own little worlds.
Over and above the people who are directly involved in the ‘affair’, there are scores of others who try to barge in – giving advice, offering counseling help and so on. Of course, there are the inevitable other lot, who simply add their bit to the story and make it the juiciest topic for the next cocktail party in office.
You can either cheat or be cheated up on. While both the situations demand dealing with infidelity, the only change is in the perspective. In this article, let me talk about dealing with infidelity, when you have been cheated and now suffering from the eternal dilemma, which every victim of infidelity has to face: to pardon or not to pardon.
Though every individual has his or her own life story regarding how and why the extra-marital affair happened, etc., these hardly matter when it is ultimately a matter of making a choice. You too could be having your own rationale regarding dealing with infidelity. Nevertheless, you cannot deny that no matter whether you pardon or not, the ‘affair’ would impact your life in a number of ways in the future. Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether you can handle the post-infidelity era of the relationship maturely and with grace. Here are some points to ponder:
When you pardon:
o By pardoning the errant spouse, you have undoubtedly shown your undying love for your partner, as well as your forgiving attitude. However, dealing with infidelity would also involve how you handle your life with the same errant partner in future. Can you pardon unconditionally?
o Can you completely forget the episode while dealing with infidelity?
o Be very sure why you are pardoning. Is it because you feel pity for the ‘helpless and distressed’ spouse? Or is that you feel that everyone deserves a second chance?
o Are you prepared to walk that extra mile, making the necessary compromises in your behavior and attitudes, so that you can continue with the relationship?
When you do not pardon:
o First of all, you need to have very good reasons why pardoning the errant spouse is out of the question. Repetition of the same deed is a good reason; permanent incompatibility is another.
o Be prepared to face some ugly aftermath, depending on the kind of person your spouse is. Things can turn nasty, legally as well as emotionally.
o When dealing with infidelity, the question of not pardoning only comes up when you fail to see eye-to-eye with your spouse regarding the reasons for the affair to happen in the first place.
At the end of the day, dealing with infidelity requires a tremendous amount of patience, fortitude, grace and of course immense amount of love in case you want to continue living with the errant spouse. It is your call, what you want your life to be.