Surviving a partner’s infidelity can be very difficult but surviving infidelity in a toxic marriage can seem almost impossible.
A toxic marriage is one that is already fraught with all sorts of issues – contempt, fighting, silence, and secrets. When you add infidelity into the mix, it is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, there are things that, if you are aware of them, can help you navigate surviving infidelity in a toxic marriage. The path that you will be navigating is an unfamiliar one but one that you can get to end of intact, with some awareness and action.
Here Are 5 Things That Can Help You Survive Infidelity In A Toxic Marriage
1. It’s not about you…
Many people who have been cheated on blame themselves for the infidelity.
They believe that if they had only been nicer or given their partner enough sex or dressed better or lost that 10 pounds that their partner would not have strayed. And this just isn’t the case.
Of course, infidelity doesn’t occur in a void, and marriages that are already toxic are especially vulnerable to cheating, but that doesn’t mean that you are to blame for what happened.
Infidelity happens for many reasons but not usually because your partner looks at you and finds you lacking. Cheating happens because the marriage is damaged and someone else comes along who can temporarily distract one partner from the pain. Infidelity is rarely sought out – it finds us in places that we never expected.
So, first and foremost, you are not to blame for your partner’s infidelity. The responsibility lies squarely on their shoulders. After all, you are in this toxic relationship as well and you never strayed.
Keep this in mind and surviving infidelity in a toxic marriage is possible!
2. …but it is up to you.
What is your responsibility is deciding what you are going to do next after discovering your partner’s infidelity? This is a key part of getting through this and something that only you can decide.
You have a number of choices.
- You can decide to leave. Your relationship is already toxic – is it now beyond repair?
- You can decide to stay and work on your marriage.
- You can decide to accept that infidelity might be a part of your marriage going forward and just go about your own life.
Which of these things do you want? Perhaps it’s a combination of things that might work. Perhaps you might opt for therapy with the determination that if it doesn’t help you are gone. Perhaps you might walk away until your spouse gets therapy to figure out their issues. Perhaps you accept the infidelity as long as he agrees to offer you something in return.
The options are there – it is up to you to decide what course to take. If you simply sit around, obsessing about the infidelity, all you are going to do is make yourself miserable and your marriage worse.
Make the decision about how you want to move forward and make it happen.
3. Remorse is essential.
One thing to help you aid in your decision about what actions to take next is whether or not your partner is remorseful about their actions. Do they accept responsibility for the pain that they have caused you and are they willing and able to make amends? Are they willing to share with you the information that you need, such as where, why, and when, so that you can process what happened and decide next steps? Are they willing to stay away from their cheating partner?
If your partner isn’t willing to take responsibility for their actions and be willing to communicate with you openly, there is no chance that getting help and working on your marriage will get you through this. If they blame you for what they did, telling you that it is your fault that they strayed, then you will be forever doomed to having a partner who is playing the victim and making you feel bad about yourself.
Do you want to be in a relationship like that?