Nicole, thank you for the kind words about my writing! In regards to your question, I know many people who’ve stayed and chose to work through it. A couple that attends my church now leads recovery for those who want to work through infidelity after having been through it themselves. But I believe that’s the key, both sides have to be willing to work at it. One partner may choose to stay but the other one who cheated may still want to check out of the relationship.
It’s true also that in every relationship, there’s always faults on each side even if the person who was cheated on was a good partner/spouse. That was a hard realization to come to in one of my relationships. It was during my time in the military and I was always gone and would put work over her. I figured she’d understand, but I helped push her away.
As to how we move on and forgive, that depends a lot on the person and their personal convictions. For me, my faith informs me that forgiveness is paramount and was quite freeing. For others, they can discover the deep psychological and physical freedom of forgiveness. That process can create stronger couples even who take their pain (like my friends) and turn it into something good. In the end, I like to look at it as post traumatic growth and people have to decide—ultimately—if they want to grow or wallow. That decision is theirs alone and can’t be forced, so I believe you have to start there.