Infidelity And Divorce: When to Walk Away After Infidelity (NEW Guide)

Infidelity And Divorce: When to Walk Away After Infidelity (NEW Guide)

Divorce specialist Eileen Borris

Eileen Borris

Should I divorce my cheating husband? Is break up a solution if my wife is cheating? Should I forgive or separate from my wife or husband for their infidelity? Or can marriage be saved after infidelity? When to walk away after infidelity? Is it OK to divorce a cheating spouse if you still love them? Can my marriage be saved? - These are just a few of hundreds of questions you might have when you find out your partner is unfaithful.

To answer them, it’s essential to ask yourself even more questions and determine what cheating and being unfaithful means to you, exactly. Is it a kiss, sexual intercourse, an emotional affair of an online correspondence? What’s unfaithful to you?

If you are honest with yourself while reading this article, it will be easier for you to find the solution and reset your personal boundaries in order to never face the infidelity issues again.

Divorce Statistics after Infidelity

There’s a strong correlation between infidelity and divorce? Marriage after infidelity statistics provided by the Gallup poll shows that approximately 62% of spouses claim that they would leave their partner after cheating while 31% would not consider it a problem. At the same time, further research by Divorce Magazine reveals that circa 60-75% of marriages continue after an affair. So how many marriages end in divorce after cheating?

Adultery remains one of the most common reasons that lead to divorce - 88% of spouses claimed that cheating was the main factor to divorce their partner, as stated by the National Institutes of Health. What is interesting, only one of the partners considered adultery a problem while another one simply didn’t value loyalty.

How Does Adultery Affect a Divorce?

Adultery can ruin even the best relationships, so it’s essential to deal with the issue as soon as possible or it can escalate marital problems even more. However, before you make an important decision that will impact your family regarding infidelity and divorce, it is important to take into account the traps and pitfalls that lead to cheating before you blame your partner for being unfaithful. Deciding to divorce after infidelity isn’t easy so you have to consider all essential factors before you end your marriage.

People are prone to going to extremes while analyzing the situation that leads to adultery. Some of them become too emotional and can’t think straight while others take into consideration only rational reasons as they try to be objective but neglect their feelings as a result as it’s connected to psychology. Remember, there are no right or wrong feelings, so don’t judge yourself for irrational emotions.

So how long does a marriage last after infidelity? What to do after infidelity in a marriage? It entirely depends on the context in which infidelity took place as well as on the effort you and your partner will put in restoring it.

When to Walk Away After Infidelity: 4 Crucial Factors To Consider

Quality of Your Relationship

The history of your relationship is crucial when it comes to analyzing the probability of restoring your marriage after infidelity. If it’s a long-term committed relationship that felt fulfilling most of the time, then you should dig deep in order to understand the core psychology of your partner’s behavior. However, if signs of betrayal are there, then it's likely that cheating will repeat and saving the relationship is out of the question.

Your Partner’s Dating History

Divorce rate after infidelity proves that unfaithfulness in marriage is quite common nowadays. Has your partner been unfaithful in the past? If they are prone to breaking trust, it might be a warning sign that cheating might happen again, so be attentive. As absurd as it might seem, you might not want to take cheating personally in case your spouse is a habitual cheater. In this case, there's little you can do to fix the situation, so filing for divorce might be the most reasonable option for you.

At the same time, if your partner was a loyal spouse that is suddenly an unfaithful spouse, there might be significant issues in your relationship. Therefore, it’s essential to investigate the true reasons for infidelity if you want to make your marriage work again.

Your Emotional Involvement

Do you still love your spouse? Do you feel that you are falling out of love with your husband or wife after they cheated? Remember, the opposite of love is not hate - it's actually ignorance and apathy, it's a tough call. Nevertheless, if you've discovered that the thoughts about a possible divorce after adultery will provide you with the feeling of relief, it might be a sign that the feelings are gone or even lack of mutual interest.

Alternatively, if your partner's infidelity hurts like hell, it might be a sign that you're still in love with your spouse and ready to deal with anger after the affair. In this case, it's crucial to withstand the trauma to heal yourself and the relationship and understand the psychology behind it. Talking to a therapist will increase your chances to reduce emotional turmoil, your wellness and decide whether your marriage is worth saving.

Your Partner’s Reaction

Does your partner reveal deep regret because of committing infidelity? Do they understand that infidelity causes divorce? Have they ceased contact with the person they cheated with? Do they show the willingness to take active steps in letting go after an affair? Sometimes, cheating is a signal that something is wrong with the relationship. However, both of you should take action and put in the effort to fix it. If no, then there's no point in trying to restore it and ending the marriage after the affair is best.

9 Signs When to Walk Away After Infidelity

If you are not sure of when to walk away after infidelity, consider the following signs of a broken marriage. For some people, cheating automatically means the end of the relationship. You might be especially confused about your future actions after your partner’s cheating, if you have children. You can also have other reasons to stay in a loveless marriage, such as financial issues. Whatever the reasons, time will eventually heal your wounds.

However, chances of divorce after infidelity are high, you can consciously make an extra effort to deal with infidelity. Cheating is a wake-up call that requires you to take action - to divorce or stay together after infidelity. It's crucial not to ignore it because otherwise, the situation might go out of control.

Offensive Partner

Is your spouse blaming you for the affair? Do they act in an offensive manner? Or, maybe, is your partner shifting the responsibility for cheating on you blaming you for being inattentive or too needy? These are all red flags indicating that your partner is simply irresponsible and, at the same time, doesn’t want to change the status quo in your relationship.

Of course, your partner might voice valid complaints and in this case, hear them out. This will help you to find out whether your spouse’s blaming stems from their resentment and grief or is a manipulative tactic. Remember, if your spouse refuses to build a smooth and clear communication (once their emotions have ceased) and keeps on blaming you, it’s a sign that they are simply manipulating and deciding to divorce after infidelity is the healthiest choice..

Defensive Partner

Being defensive is just the opposite side of the coin - in this case, your spouse might present themselves as the victim of weird circumstances. This might mean a total lack of responsibility, so make sure that your partner isn’t playing the game of gaslighting you and discuss it.

Ignorant Partner

If your spouse is likely to avoid providing clear reasons why they cheated, it's also a bad sign. Resorting to stonewalling after doing something bad is usually a way to evoke guilt and delude the partner. People start thinking that there was probably some misunderstanding or they have somehow contributed to the problem. Nevertheless, all the three strategies including being offensive, defensive, and ignorant are manipulative ways to get through with infidelity according to infidelity and divorce statistics.

Expressions Full of Contempt

Are there any other warning signs in your partner’s behavior except cheating? Disrespect towards your system of values, sarcasm, name-calling and mocking? Be careful not to miss any red flags of if your spouse reveals passive-aggressive behavior. John Gottman, a marriage expert, claims that such actions result in major conflicts in the long run which makes it difficult to reconcile. Thus, make sure that your spouse’s actions are trustworthy and don’t contain any of those omens.

Partner Is Still in Touch with Their Lover

Surprisingly, numerous people never find out whether their guilty spouse has ceased contact with their lover. Although it might be very problematic, especially if they work together, keeping in touch with this person will make your relationship worse. In other words, it would be difficult to rebuild trust in this case and divorce because of adultery is inevitable.

Make sure that your spouse is taking steps to stop contacting their former lover. Indeed, it’s essential to avoid those types of affairs that lead to divorce by deleting the person. Also, double-check to find out whether your spouse’s former lover isn’t making contact as well. Again, brutal honesty will be much better than the bliss of not knowing the truth.

Your Partner Is Lying Again

While second chances are important because we are human, third and fourth chances are a big no. If your partner is lying to you and caught cheating for the second time, it would probably be better to end the relationship.

It’s essential to understand that your partner didn't necessarily fall out of love with you due to cheating. Nevertheless, violating your personal boundaries is a clear sign of disrespect so don’t make excuses if your spouse attempts it. Does your partner has a long cheating history? If so, don’t waste your time on someone who isn’t going to change.

You’re Staying Together for Children

When to walk away after infidelity and is it a good decision if a couple has children? In other words, should you stay together for the sake of kids if you wouldn't do it otherwise? If no, you have to figure out how to tell the kids about the divorce infidelity. Although it’s a personal choice, it is not recommended to maintain a marriage when children are the only reason to do it, especially if you and your spouse often fight. In such a case, divorcing a cheating wife or husband might be a better option. The thing is, kids might feel better when they see happy parents that live separately rather than become witnesses to their awful arguments.

You Are No Longer Happy

Cheating might have totally spoiled your overall mood but ask yourself whether you were generally satisfied with your relationship before. Be honest with yourself: Were you satisfied before the affair? And if you discover that you’ve been emotionally separated and haven’t participated in each other’s lives, then, maybe, that's why adultery happened. But let’s shift the focus on yourself - were you happy earlier? If not, why don’t you focus on building a new life instead?

Dealing with Personal Issues

If you are struggling with personal issues because all your partners cheat on you, it's better not to start dating again until you’ve finished a course of psychotherapy to end this cycle. A good therapist will also help you to make important decisions such as divorcing your cheating spouse and surviving through it. Thus, invest some time in yourself first in order to build a happier life in the future.

How to Decide Whether You Should Stay

Trust Your Gut

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t tolerate infidelity, it would be hard for you to convince yourself that you are capable of forgiving your partner. However, if you still feel attached to them, it may be possible to fix the issue. So it’s crucial for you to decide if you should divorce your husband or wife for cheating on you.

Remember, no stereotypes or social norms should guide you - trust your gut to understand what you truly need and see a therapist.

Don’t Nip It in the Bud

Cutting all communication after cheating is a common way to end a relationship, but in a marriage, things are much more complicated. You’ll have to deal with the divorce papers anyway, so take some time and then address your partner. Don’t be too harsh in making preliminary decisions regarding your spouse’s behavior. There might be a chance that your marriage is worth saving after infidelity so you can create a space for the apology instead of hiding in your shell.

Separate Your Partner’s Actions from Their Personality

If you’re struggling with tough emotional reactions at the moment and thinking when to give up on the marriage after infidelity, it would be useful for you to differentiate between your spouse’s personality and actions. This will also help you to avoid calling them names and saying something like “I hate you for being such a bastard” to make things worse. On the contrary, if you claim that you hate your partner’s actions but still love them, it might help both of you to sit down and talk.

Meet Each Other’s Needs

Unmet needs including sexual desires are often the reason for filing for divorce after infidelity because many cannot emotionally deal. Wanting to satisfy your needs is only natural but not when it crosses your partner’s boundaries. Unless your spouse is a serial cheater, there’s an issue caused by unmet needs.

What if you find out that your spouse is terribly boring in bed? What if they lose attraction because you’ve put on weight? You and your partner have to face your unmet needs if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. Otherwise, your spouse will be constantly looking to satisfy desires elsewhere.

It seems inevitable that you will definitely be hurt by the ugly truth if you don't face it head on. Nevertheless, knowing it will help you to avoid such problems in the future with your spouse or with a new partner for better understanding.

Avoid Taking Revenge

When to walk away after infidelity and can revenge precede the final breakup? Some people indulge in revenge sex after their partner cheated on them. This is inevitably a very bad idea because such behavior might cause even more suffering as a result.

If you want to have revenge sex because you feel hurt then think again. This happens because it’s impossible to compensate for the pain with more pain. Sexual with someone else in any form is unlikely to restore your marriage. On the contrary, it will probably make rebuilding trust twice as hard. Thus, dealing with anger after infidelity is essential - to avoid more costly mistakes.

Forgive Yet Never Forget

Many people can’t tell the difference between forgiving and forgetting while understanding it is essential to healing from the wounds caused by infidelity. Mature people are able to forgive but they still acknowledge the infidelity. After all, you never know where life will bring you, so best to mind those red flags rather than sending them to sweet oblivion. This strategy is like closing the book after reading it yet keeping it in your house.

True forgiveness isn’t easy - you have to accept your resentment, deal with it, and let it go to finally experience relief and be able to communicate with your partner as usual. After all, it will allow you to heal your inner world, regain self-respect and make more conscious decisions.

Don’t Turn Into a Spy

Deciding to divorce after infidelity might make you want to hack your spouse’s social media accounts etc. to check if your spouse is cheating still although unhealthy. Thus, it’s better to simply communicate clearly. Hacking is another trust breach issue that is likely to cause additional problems in a marriage.


Hopefully, these tips will help you to see things more clearly and make the right decision. Should you make attempts to fix the marriage or start building a new life from scratch? In any case, we wish you much happiness in your future life!

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