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What Influences the Recovery of a Relationship After an Affair?

surviving infidelity, cheating husband, cheating wife

Surviving infidelity is not a given. The cheater must stop his or her cheating, feel remorseful, and work to repair the marriage or committed relationship. However, this may not be enough. Learn what is necessary for infidelity recovery. Keep reading...

Variations of infidelity can strike a couple at any time. Certainly, most individuals will never engage in such bad behavior. However, this is only known by the passage of time that spans many years.

Those who have an affair come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some individuals are serial cheaters whereas others only engage in a momentary error of judgment which leads to a single act of betrayal. Learn the essential attitudes and behaviors of both partners that enable a couple to survive infidelity.

A cheater who repents

Regardless of what kind of cheater an individual may be, he or she can repent; to redeem himself or herself from the relationship betrayal. Often the person who cheats doesn't know how to end the affair. Learn what one must do to end an affair.

When a cheater repents, his or her marriage or committed relationship may or may not survive. What factors predict whether the marriage or committed relationship will live or die?

Love is not simple. Numerous types of love characterize a relationship. The highest form is Covenant–love. It is this love that most influences infidelity recovery.

Covenant-love

When a former cheater connects to his or her partner with Covenant–love, the marriage or committed relationship will most likely survive.

The following is a description of Covenant–love:

"Covenant' love is an agreement — a binding promise — that cannot be unilaterally terminated.  A covenant is an agreement which overrides and supersedes reason, logic, and convenience.

Covenant-love is the strongest and most durable factor in your relationship. It is immune to stress, disappointment, and loss. It is the solid foundation upon which rests an enduring marriage or committed relationship.

An abundance of unconditional love characterizes a Covenant-love relationship; it is a relationship that does not depend on pleasure alone.

For example, when you buy a product that comes with a warranty, the manufacturer cannot just cancel it. The manufacturer is bound fully by the terms of this agreement. The same is true with Covenant-love. It is an agreement that cannot be unilaterally altered.

In a marriage or committed relationship this means: If a wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend has negative feelings about his or her partner, they will not be used as a reason to end the relationship. The 'covenant' that binds the two individuals remains in effect as long as the two individuals are alive.

Covenant-love requires that each individual is prepared to contribute to his or her partner’s wellbeing, ‘even if’ he or she receives little in return.

For example, loving your partner with a similar commitment that a healthy parent naturally has for his or her child. This is the essence of a Covenant-love. As such, it is an ironclad bond that will not be broken.

As a core relationship value, Covenant-love supersedes temporary feelings of dissatisfaction. In a covenant relationship, a problem is a red flag which signals the start of appropriate actions to restore peace and harmony.

Some ways Covenant-love strengthens a relationship:

  • Your partner has a medical condition that interferes with your sex life or another significant part of your relationship, you find a creative way to carry on in spite of the problem.
  • Your partner gets angry, and you don’t react in kind.
  • Your partner makes a grave mistake and feels terrible. You say nothing to add to his or her pain even when the mistake impacts on you.
  • If something seems 'unfair,' you do it anyway.
  • Helping and staying with your partner when he or she is incapacitated by illness.
  • Participating in events organized by your partner’s family even when you don’t want to.
  • Holding back from making a negative comment about something your partner has done not to upset him or her.
  • Not objecting to decisions your partner has made even when you think they are 'wrong.'
  • Forgiving your partner for a serious relationship error he or she has made when doing so is in his or her best interest.
  • Your partner threatens to terminate the relationship. Knowing it is not a good solution for your family (especially when you have children), you hang in there and do your best to fix the problems and reassure your partner that the relationship will get better.
  • Your partner has cheated on you and has repented, you continue to work with him or her to heal and redeem yourselves and your relationship.

The above list is a sample of ways Covenant-love is expressed. In the day-to-day reality of a marriage or committed relationship the opportunities to demonstrate Covenant-love are endless.

The ultimate expression of Covenant–love is forgiveness. Forgiveness must come from the heart and must reflect reality.

Covenant-love does not mean being a pushover or a doormat. It means you’re willing to work with your partner regardless of the darkness that he or she has brought into your home.

If your partner has cheated on you, and he or she has fully repented, I hope you find it in your heart to begin the relationship repair that’s needed to rebuild your marriage or committed relationship.

Some take the wedding vows, “For better or for worse.” This vow is the essence of Covenant–love.


Surviving infidelity- _How do I forgive a cheating husband or a cheating wife__

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Click to learn more: Surviving Infidelity Tools and Strategies

Topics: How to deal with infidelity, How to get over cheating