Infidelity is one of the top causes of marital discord, and is one of the primarily reasons for the high divorce rate in this country. Infidelity has the potential to rip apart a seemingly perfect relationship, whether it was a prolonged affair or a onetime mistake. Spouses on both sides of an affair suffer the effects of a marriage torn apart by infidelity.

There are many different consequences in marriage after infidelity. How the rest of the relationship plays out and whether or not it can or will survive is often contingent upon many different factors. These factors include things such as how the affair was discovered, how both spouses react to the affair, and what kind of help they receive in the aftermath.

The Factors

Finding Out About an Affair

Learning about an affair happens in many different ways. Sometimes the spouse is suspicious, due to secrecy or suspect behavior. Sometimes the adultery is found out by an eye-witness occurrence or accidentally finding suspicious evidence. Other times the guilt is so heavy that the guilty party confesses to their spouse what they have done.

Sometimes the manner in which the infidelity is discovered has a lot to do with the outcome of the relationship. A spouse who is open and honest about their misconduct often has a much higher chance of proving their love and trustworthiness than someone who hides their continued infidelity.

Communicating After an Affair

How a couple communicates is also a factor in the outcome of the relationship. After an affair, or even when there are just suspicions of infidelity, calm communication is one of the best ways to overcome such trials. For this to work, both parties must be calm, clear, and open with their communications. Succumbing to one's anger or emotions and yelling at each other usually just makes things worse for everyone involved.

Communication is one of the main tiers of support on the foundation of a healthy relationship. No matter what occurs in your marriage, being able to discuss your issues and possible outcomes is very important. After all, it would be near impossible to heal from such a painful ordeal, not to mention be able to overcome and move on, without speaking to each other.

Seeking Help after an Affair

One of the main factors in how a relationship continues after infidelity is what sort of support or counseling the couple gets in the aftermath. Infidelity is a tough concept and situation to deal with, and both spouses need the right support. Support is needed both to help each person decide how to proceed, and to mediate so each spouse can better articulate their feelings and needs in the relationship.

Often, the help received after an affair, or the lack of it, weighs heavily on the outcome of the marriage. How to Survive an Affair, for example, has helped countless couples heal after infidelity, bringing the couple to a mutually beneficial outcome.

The Consequences

There are four main consequences of infidelity for marriages. These include continued issues and distrust in the marriage, dissolution of the marriage, rebuilding the marriage, and the less heard of recovery where a relationship comes out stronger than it was before the affair. These are all contingent upon the factors above, and how each person involved is able to feel that their feelings and needs are being understood.

1) Dismissive and Distrustful Marriage

Many people decide to stay in their marriage after infidelity, but are never quite able to heal enough to find happiness again. The marriage in this case is often fraught with distrust and even obsessive or abusive behavior. This type of consequence is simply not healthy, nor is it sustainable for two people to live this way.

Marriages that continue on without any sort of support or healing in the aftermath of infidelity may continue on, but rarely continue on in a healthy or happy manner. Also, as this type of solution is often dismissive of the incident itself, infidelity may continue to occur. Communication breaks down even more than it already has, and the relationship becomes a shell of what it could be.

2) Divorce

The high occurrence of divorce in this country will tell you that divorce is absolutely a very common consequence of infidelity. Many couples are not able to heal and move past this type of betrayal, as it is felt at the very foundation of the marriage itself. Many couples do try to save their relationship by seeking counseling and trying to open the lines of communication, but are just not able to move on. Divorce is one of the most common consequences of infidelity.

3) Rebuilding The Relationship

Many couples are actually able to rebuild the relationship. Couples that are able to do this are typically able to communicate with each other, and receive outside support such as counseling. Open communication, honesty, and transparency in the marriage is what most helps these couples overcome the devastating blow that is infidelity.

4) A Stronger Relationship Than Ever

Better yet, some couples are actually able to come out stronger than ever after infidelity. These are the couples that focus on rebuilding the foundation of their relationship, slowly and without giving up on themselves or each other. This is one of the main goals of How to Survive an Affair, to rebuild a loving, healthy relationship that is stronger than it was even before the affair.

Your marriage could go many ways after an affair, but the actions of both partners are what really makes or breaks the relationship. Your marriage will likely end up as one of these four main consequences, depending on the factors listed and how much you are both willing to work towards a solution. Look to How to Survive an Affair to learn more about how you can change the outcome of your marriage, even after infidelity.

Author's Bio: 

C Mellie Smith specializes in providing helpful resources to couples torn apart by infidelity. If you feel your marriage is worth saving then visit and get the help you need to move forward.