Some couples who have failed to make their relationship work after infidelity in marriage, start entertaining the idea of divorce after infidelity. The emotional sequence of getting a divorce is really devastating.
What will happen after the divorce?
What will happen to the children?
What will happen to my life?
Will I ever find someone else?
What will happen to my family?
Since the injured still isn’t sure about the divorce, they start asking everyone around them whether or not they should get a divorce. They ask their friends, family, priests, rabbis, relatives, counselors; anyone who they can get their hands on. However, if you are in the same position, you need to understand that you should never accept the advice from anyone. Well intentioned and well informed as it may be, none of them are in the position you are and they don’t know if you could live with the consequence of the decision you make.
You need to understand the weight of the decision you are going to make. Many couples think that divorce is the magic bullet which will just instantly solve all their problems. Since, they are having trouble living with their partner and are unhappy, they think that getting rid of their partner will make them happy. Unfortunately it is not so. A study done by By Linda J. Waite, Don Browning, William J. Doherty, Maggie Gallagher, Ye Luo, and Scott M. Stanley named “Does Divorce Make People Happy” revealed an interesting statistic about divorces.
• Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average,
than unhappily married adults who stayed married. Even unhappy spouses
who had divorced and remarried were no happier, on average, than unhappy spouses
who stayed married. This was true even after controlling for race, age, gender, and
• Divorce did not reduce symptoms of depression for unhappily married adults,
or raise their self-esteem, or increase their sense of mastery, on average, compared
to unhappy spouses who stayed married. This was true even after controlling
for race, age, gender, and income.
• The vast majority of divorces (74 percent) happened to adults who had been
happily married five years previously. In this group, divorce was associated with dramatic
declines in happiness and psychological well-being compared to those who stayed
• Unhappy marriages were less common than unhappy spouses. Three out of four
unhappily married adults were married to someone who was happy with the marriage.2
• Staying married did not typically trap unhappy spouses in violent relationships.
Eighty-six percent of unhappily married adults reported no violence in their relationship
(including 77 percent of unhappy spouses who later divorced or separated). Ninety-three
percent of unhappy spouses who avoided divorce reported no violence in their marriage
five years later.
• Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation
ended up happily married five years later. Just one out of five of unhappy spouses
who divorced or separated had happily remarried in the same time period.
Now, I am not saying that divorce is the wrong option; neither am I saying it is the right option. I am just saying that before making the decision, you need to understand that the divorce will not solve all your problems.
If a relationship truly has no chance of surviving, then the partners know deep inside that divorce is their only option and they don’t go around asking people whether or not they should go for divorce. However, if you are still uncertain, you can try something to be sure.
Take your marriage to its best shape and if at that moment you still fell that you should get a divorce, then you should.
You can do this by working on your marriage for a period of time. Set a time limit and make yourself put in the best effort for that time limit. Since you will just have to put in the effort for the certain time limit (3 months or 6 months), it will be much easier for you to do it.
Don’t use the ‘D’ word during that time you are working on your marriage. Give it your best shot regardless of the behavior of your spouse.
If at the end of this time period, you still feel you need to get a divorce after infidelity; you will be sure about it and will not have to ask everyone about your decision. On the other hand, if the marriage works out, you will be sure whether it is worth staying in the marriage or not.
If you’ve decided to work on your marriage and not get a divorce after infidelity just yet, you can start with Dr. Gunzburg’s free course by clicking here.