I did an interview for a tele-summit yesterday. One of the questions that was asked me during the interview was ‘Doesn’t the spouse who was cheated on share some of the blame for the affair?’ I chuckled a bit when I heard this. I chuckled because it’s one of the more common questions I hear about affairs, and it’s one of the most misunderstood things about affairs as well. After all, the cheating spouse wouldn’t have had an affair if their spouse were making them happy, right? Well, no. And Yes. Here’s why.
My Spouse Cheated. Am I to Blame?
When a spouse cheats, a lot of the time they try to blame the affair on the faithful spouse. They’ll say things like “Well, if you would have had sex with me more often then I wouldn’t have had to look for it somewhere else” or “If you weren’t always at your mother’s house then maybe I wouldn’t have had time to have an affair”. When the unfaithful partner says things like this they’re trying to excuse their behavior by blaming it on someone else. They’re trying to say that they couldn’t control their behaviors because someone else caused them to do it.
The truth is, the unfaithful partner could have done hundreds of things other than having an affair in order to begin rebuilding trust. Only the unfaithful spouse can fix the problems caused by the affair and they need to begin fixing it by taking 100% responsibility for the affair. They could have talked to their spouse about the problems, got more involved in their work, joined a book club, etc. But they chose to have an affair. Because they chose to have an affair, the affair is 100% their fault. Because the affair is their fault, it’s their responsibility to do the things necessary to fix the damage done as a result of the affair this and to
The Faithful Partner did Help Make the Relationship Vulnerable
After the unfaithful spouse accepts full responsibility for the affair then the couple can look deeper inside the did contribute to the vulnerability in the relationship and needs to own how they contributed. That doesn’t mean they’re at fault for the affair. It just means they helped contribute to the vulnerability in the relationship. And the unfaithful partner contributed to the vulnerability, too. Because they both contributed, the couple needs to come together to identify how each other contributed to the vulnerability that lead to the affair. Then the relationship can heal and even become stronger as a result of the affair.
relationship to uncover why the relationship was vulnerable for an affair. This is where the faithful partner comes in. The faithful partner
Whenever there’s an affair, it’s absolutely inappropriate for the unfaithful spouse to blame the affair on the faithful spouse. As mentioned above, the unfaithful spouse had hundreds of other options to choose from other than having an affair. Instead of pointing fingers of blame, couples should come together and accept their own responsibility for the difficulties. This kind of posture (instead of a posture of blaming) will help you and your partner recover from an affair and rebuild your relationship into one that’s built on mutual accountability, understanding and trust.