What Percentage Of Couples Get Back Together After Someone Cheats?

If you are someone who is reconsidering the state of your marriage after a long term break that came after an affair, you might find that many of the statistics out there relate to couples that never separated in the first place.  Most of the statistics represent couples who struggled after an affair but who did not pause the marriage.  I sometimes hear from people who did pause the marriage and who wonder if they are in a group of only themselves.

Someone might ask, “I was wondering how many couples actually get back together after one of them cheats.  And I am not talking about staying together when there was never really any threat of a break up.  I am talking about actually separating or divorcing, and then living apart for a good deal of time AND THEN getting back together after a lot of time has passed.  I’m asking because I feel like my husband and myself are in an unusual situation.  We have gone through a long term separation because he had an affair.  I kicked him out immediately and he never came back.  I actually filed for divorce once, but I did not complete it.  However, we have not lived as a couple for quite some time.  We have worked hard to remain cordial for the sake of our children and I believe that we have done a good job with this. Neither of us has seriously dated again. Recently one of my children got injured.  At first, it appeared to be serious.  My husband moved in temporary to help me and to support my son.  During this time, we leaned on one another and I suppose it is not inaccurate to say that sparks flew.  Even when my child got better and really didn’t need my husband in the home anymore, he stayed put.  If I am being honest with myself, I have to admit that I’ve liked having my husband here.  I’ve actually been very happy.  It’s comforting to come home to another adult in the house and to have someone to communicate with.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually am considering reconciling with him.  I was speaking to a coworker about this and she said that she would hesitate with this because I clearly have forgotten how much the affair hurt me initially.  She is probably right.  Time has dulled that pain because I never would have been open to my husband right after the affair. I am just wondering how unusual our situation is.  How many people separate and then reconcile to stay together after the affair? I am able to find statistics on couples that never broke up, but what about couples who do break up and then down the road stay together?”

You are right that it’s much more difficult to find information on couples who actually separate or divorce after an affair and then reconcile later on.  What does seem to be clear is that more couples ultimately stay together after infidelity than break up.  It’s also pretty clear that the longer the spouses continue to live under the same roof, the more likely the couple is to stay together.  Couples who live under separate roofs more quickly are less likely to stay together, although this does sometimes happen (as your case illustrates.)  There are a few statistics that show that couples who experience infidelity stay together as much as 75-80 percent of the time.  But these statistics don’t break down the couples any further than that. In other words, they don’t tell us how many of those couples took a break from the marriage or the relationship and how many never considered leaving the marriage.

You can find statistics on separations which indicates that the longer the separation lasts, the less likely a reconciliation is, but again, there are always exceptions to any statistics.  And I’m not sure it is a good idea to base a life decision like this one on anyone else’s statistic.

I am not an expert, but I would think that reconciling after an affair is a similar process regardless of the living arrangements beforehand.  What I mean by this is that regardless of how much time has passed, you will need more to heal your relationship than the passage of time.  Sure, the pain is not still as fresh, but you still want to fix whatever contributed to the affair.  Otherwise, you leave yourself vulnerable to your reconciliation failing or to repeat cheating.  It can be an advantage that the anger has dulled and that both people have more perspective now.

I wish that I had more statistics to offer you, but as you’ve seen, most are pretty broad in nature.  However,  just because you can’t find statistics for your exact situation, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t move forward if you want to.  Every situation and every couple is different and there are exceptions to every rule and statistic.  If you feel that a reconciliation has potential, I see no downside in trying to heal and seeing where that leads.  I too felt furious and disappointed with my husband post-affair and yet, here we are today. If it helps, there is more about my reconciliation on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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