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Infidelity often leads to divorce

A couple who chooses to end a marriage may do so for a number of reasons. Infidelity is one commonly cited reason a couple may choose to split or divorce. Upon learning that a husband or wife has been unfaithful, an individual is likely to feel many emotions including anger, hurt and embarrassment. In the days, months and years after learning of a spouse's affair or affairs, an individual must ultimately learn to work through their feelings and resolve to either stay in the marriage or move on.

There are a myriad of reasons behind why a married man or woman may cheat. Often, acts of infidelity are fueled by problems in a marriage, many of which have little to do with actual sex. Regardless of why a spouse chose to be unfaithful, for many marriages, the discovery of an affair results in a marriage ending.

When trying to cope with learning of a spouse's infidelity, there are actions a husband or wife can take that may provide some comfort and clarity. For example, talking about what happened as well as one's feelings related to what happened can be helpful. It's important to note, however, that it's best to only discuss these types of sensitive topics with close family members or friends known to be supportive and understanding. The last thing a spouse who's been cheated on wants or needs to hear is that he or she is somehow to blame for a spouse's actions.

Additionally, simply acknowledging the painful fact that a spouse cheated and the wounds associated with that reality will likely be slow to heal, can provide some relief. Even for those spouses who chose to stay in a marriage affected by infidelity, the marriage will never be the same and being honest with oneself about that truth may provide an individual the clarity and strength to take steps to ensure for their own happiness.

For those men and women who chose to leave a spouse and marriage, it's often beneficial to start seeing a professional counselor or therapist. It's also important to take steps to prepare for an impending divorce and retain an attorney who can answer questions and assist in the divorce settlement process.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What to Do When Your Husband is Unfaithful," Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl and Tish Rabe, March 14, 2014

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