If your partner has cheated on you there is always going to be that sinking feeling that they’ll cheat again.
But, how often do affairs start up again?
It’s not known how often an affair will start up again, but it’s estimated that around 50% of spouses who cheat will cheat again.
This is more likely to be with someone different than the original affair but is obviously just as damaging.
There are, however, some things you can do to make it less likely your partner’s affair will start up again:
How to Reduce the Chance Your Partner’s Affair Will Start Up Again
1. Let It Be Their Decision to End the Affair
No matter how badly you want to give your spouse or partner an ultimatum and force them to end their affair, it has to be their decision.
You have to be strong enough to say, “If you’re willing to end your affair we can try and work things out. If not, there is no future for us.”
Making it their decision gives them a sense of ownership and control over the situation, which will make it more likely they’ll follow through.
It makes it less likely for them to hold their decision against you, too and should make them do some soul searching.
2. Set Some Boundaries in Place
Setting some boundaries going forward is essential if you’re to work on your relationship and rebuild some trust.
This doesn’t mean telling your partner what they can or can’t do, but it does mean setting some rules in place to remove future temptations and so on.
For example, you might agree that your partner won’t go to work functions where they know their ex will be present.
This is perfectly reasonable and something they shouldn’t want to agree to if they’re serious about repairing your relationship.
3. Start Rebuilding Your Relationship
An affair does a lot of damage to a relationship, and the two of you personally.
It’s not going to be easy to repair the damage and it’s certainly not going to happen overnight.
The most important thing is that you establish much better communication than you had before, and you start to rebuild the trust that’s been lost.
If you can do this, it’s less likely your partner will stray again.
Of course, there are no guarantees, but if you can work on your relationship it’s more likely to be stronger than ever before.
4. Forgive Them and Don’t Hold It Against Them
This is probably the hardest part for most people, but it’s important to try and forgive your partner for cheating on you.
It’s not going to be easy, and it might take a long time, but if you can forgive them it will make it much easier to move on.
It’s also important not to hold it against them and to try and move on from what’s happened.
If you dwell on it and bring it up all the time it’s only going to make it impossible to move on and you’ll not be able to truly repair your relationship.
5. Consider Couples Therapy
This is another step that couples find difficult to take, often due to pride or a sense of shame.
But if you’re struggling to overcome what’s happened it might be worth considering couples therapy.
A therapist can help you to communicate better, overcome any trust issues and work through what’s happened in a constructive way.
It’s hard to say what they’ll do for you personally, but you have to understand that they’re professionals, and helping couples overcome affairs is what they do.
How Often Do Affairs Start Up Again?
I know you’re desperate to know if your partner will go back to their affair, but it’s impossible to tell you if that’s going to happen or not.
Instead of focusing on that, it’s more important that you address the issues in your relationship and do everything you can to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
It’s true that it’s estimated about 50% of people who cheat will cheat again, and that’s a worrying statistic.
But if you take into account that not many couples will actively work on the root issues as to why a spouse strays, doing so puts you in a good place.
It’s not going to be easy, but if you’re willing to work on things it’s more likely your relationship will survive and thrive.
Can You Forgive Your Partner for Having an Affair?
The decision to forgive your partner for having an affair is a personal one, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
If you can forgive them and move on then that’s great, but if you can’t then that’s OK too.
What’s important is that you do what’s right for you and that you’re honest with yourself about what you can and can’t handle.
If you decide to stay in the relationship then it’s important both of you are willing to work on things and try to overcome the trust issues that have arisen.
If you can’t do that then it might be better to walk away.
The decision is yours, and only you can make it.
The Balance of Trust and Not Being Played Again
One of the hardest things you’ll face going forward as a spouse who was cheated on is balancing trusting your partner and not letting your guard down totally and being played again.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but honestly, you’re going to have to trust them if you want to feel good about yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll ignore signs that they’re up to their old tricks, such as staying out all the time, being secretive on their phones, etc.
But it does mean that you have to be able to let go and not sneak around checking up on them and questioning their every move.
Doing so will only push them away and make them resent you.
What you need to do is be honest with each other, communication is key, and try to build back the trust that’s been broken.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you’re both committed to it then it’s possible to overcome anything.
Image credits – Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.