21 Signs To Know When To Walk Away After Infidelity (2024)

Your partner cheated on you. And now what? You feel betrayed and desperate, to say the least. First of all, you need to understand that it’s not your fault and you deserve to be treated better, especially by your partner or spouse. 

If you’re not sure if your relationship can survive infidelity, whether you should reconcile or simply walk away, this article will be of great help to you.

Today, we’re talking about 21 signs to know when to walk away after infidelity.

Let’s dive in.

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When Should You Walk Away After Infidelity?

1. Your partner doesn’t want to apologize

If your partner doesn’t show any remorse after cheating on you, they implicitly tell you that your relationship is done. Apologizing is the first step to fixing your broken relationship, so if they can’t do even that, it’s very likely your relationship won’t get any better moving forward.

Your partner or spouse did something terrible to you. They betrayed your trust and broke their vows. So if they expect you to stay, at least they can do is apologize for it. That’s not to say a simple apology will fix everything. Of course not. It’s only a start. But a real and genuine apology from the heart can go a long way.

2. Your partner apologizes, but that’s it

Another sign you should not forgive your unfaithful partner is if they don’t do anything else for your relationship aside from apologizing. Unfortunately, infidelity pain is enormous, and a simple apology won’t take it away. 

If your partner refuses to do anything to make your relationship survive, that’s a clear sign you should walk away and start over.

3. Your partner gaslights you

Another way to know when to walk away after infidelity is when your partner doesn’t want to take any responsibility for their actions. What’s even worse, they keep gaslighting you and telling you that it wasn’t their fault. In the worst-case scenario, they will try to put the blame on you somehow. Maybe mention that your love life wasn’t satisfactory enough for them. That’s a big NO, and it’s definitely your sign to walk away.

4. Your partner doesn’t own up to their mistakes

A healthy relationship is all about trust. And where there’s no trust, there’s no future. If your cheating husband or wife can’t own up to their mistakes and clearly has no self-awareness, then you shouldn’t even bother fixing your relationship. 

5. Your partner blames others and won’t take responsibility

When To Walk Away After Infidelity
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Another sign you should walk away after infidelity is when your partner keeps on placing the blame on others for their terrible actions. For instance, they might blame it on how much they had to drink that night or, even worse, say that their affair partner is the only one to blame.

This is pure manipulation, and you deserve better! Don’t ever forget that. 

6. Your partner doesn’t want to fix your relationship

When it’s obvious that your partner doesn’t care whether you break up or not, that’s your wake-up call to walk away after infidelity.

You can’t change a person, so if you’re dealing with a serial cheater, then that’s all they’re going to do in the future. But remember that not everyone is a cheater. You will find someone who will take care of you and treat you better.

7. Your partner’s behavior speaks more truth than their words 

Actions always speak louder than words, especially when you’re striving for a committed relationship after infidelity. If you want your marriage or relationship to stand a chance, your partner needs to change their behavior.

Marriage counseling is one of the most common ways that married couples deal with infidelity issues. Give it a try with your partner for the sake of your mental health and well-being.

8. You no longer want to stay in that relationship

When deciding whether you should walk away after infidelity, the first question you should ask yourself is: Do I even want to stay in this relationship? Do I want to be with this person all my life? Can I forgive them?

Acknowledge your own feelings first. Try to understand how your partner’s infidelity made you feel and whether you want to stay with them after that.

9. You know you deserve better

Nobody deserves to be cheated on. And if you know you deserve better than this, that’s your sign you should walk away after infidelity or an emotional affair. 

10. You feel it in your gut that you should leave

Your gut feeling is your guiding light. It’s your intuition that will almost always show you the right path. Don’t ignore those small gut feelings. Don’t try to be the relationship hero that will go above and beyond to fix your broken marriage. 

Instead, trust yourself. If you feel it in your gut that the relationship is done, then that’s it. That’s your sign you should walk away after infidelity. 

Related article: 34 CLEAR Signs Your Husband Has A Crush On Another Woman

11. Your family and friends are encouraging you to walk away

Your closest people are the people you can trust and rely on the most. So if they keep on encouraging you to walk away from your unfaithful partner, maybe it’s time to take their advice.

Don’t be afraid to confide in them and seek advice. You don’t have to share all the intimate details of infidelity, but you can learn a lot from others who are not so personally involved in your relationship.

12. Your partner is still talking to/seeing their lover

The most obvious sign to know when to walk away after infidelity is when your partner keeps on having the extra marital affair. That’s absolutely unforgivable, so don’t even bother trying to make the relationship work or seeing a marriage counselor if your partner will clearly remain a cheater. 

13. You don’t have any real reason to stay with your cheating partner or spouse

The only real reason that a betrayed partner should stay in a relationship after infidelity is love. But if you don’t love your partner anymore, then there’s no real reason to stay.

14. Your partner continues to lie and cheat

You know how they say, ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater’. Well, that’s not so far from the truth sometimes. If your partner is like this and they keep committing infidelity, it’s time to put a stop to it. Don’t let them hurt you anymore, and start the healing process without them.

Related: Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes To Avoid After Infidelity

15. Your relationship has been unstable for a while now

What Are The Signs To Walk Away After Infidelity
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Another sign to know when to walk away after infidelity is when your relationship has been rocky for a while now. This terrible act of infidelity might be the last nail in your marriage’s coffin, so if you feel like your relationship can’t recover from this, it might be time for you to leave.

16. You’re tired of fixing things

When your relationship requires constant work and struggle, it gets difficult to find happiness in it anymore. You get tired of forcing your marriage to work, especially if you’re the only one working on it.

If you’re tired of fixing things, that’s a clear sign to know when to walk away after infidelity. 

17. You’re excited to meet someone new who will treat you better

If you get excited thinking about your life after your partner, that’s your cue to leave. Your partner’s cheating might be your wake-up call that there’s something better for you out there.

So if you catch yourself daydreaming about the future where there are no marriage counselors or cheating scandals, that’s your sign you should walk away.

Related: What Does Cheating Say About A Person?

18. You’re only staying for the kids

According to divorce statistics, the most common reason why people don’t choose divorce after infidelity is kids. As much as you believe that you should stay for the kids, that’s not entirely true. 

Children can easily pick up on their parents’ moods and emotions. So if both you and your spouse are desperate in your marriage, your kids will feel it. 

They might want their parents to be together while they’re younger, but the truth is that happy parents are happy kids. And your kids won’t be happy if your partner is cheating on you, and you know it.

19. You can’t forgive your cheating partner

What’s the most obvious sign to know when to walk away after infidelity? It’s when you can’t forgive your cheating spouse. As simple as that.

If you simply can’t forgive and move on, then you shouldn’t torture yourself anymore. Just walk away and find your happiness elsewhere.

20. You’re not physically intimate anymore

When you stop being physically intimate, there’s no reason to stay with your cheating husband or wife anymore. It’s clear that intimacy is long gone after infidelity, so you shouldn’t torture yourself.

21. There’s no love between you anymore

And the most obvious sign to know when to walk away after infidelity is when you don’t love each other anymore. That’s it! You shouldn’t spend your entire life with someone who you don’t love and who doesn’t love you. 

Common Marriage Reconciliation Mistakes to Avoid After Infidelity

So you’ve decided to give your relationship another go. Maybe your partner apologized, accepted all the blame, and now wants to regain your trust. That’s a good sign!

But you should still consider these common marriage reconciliation mistakes that you should avoid. Here they are:

  • Don’t ask too many questions about the affair– Do you really want to know all the intimate details? Of course not. That will not help the healing process so just avoid asking too many questions;
  • But don’t ask too few questions – You should still ask some crucial questions, though. For example, how long has the affair been going on? Are they in love? Their answers will help you figure out whether you should stay or walk away;
  • Don’t seek revenge – A bruised ego is a dangerous thing. As much as you want to hurt your partner back and take revenge, there’s no point in doing that, especially if you want to stay with them;
  • Let go when you’re ready – Forcing yourself to forgive and let go before you really do will just blow up in your face. Take as much time as you need to heal;
  • Your paranoia is your enemy – Trusting your gut feeling is one thing, but giving in to paranoia is another story. Try to avoid inventing scenarios in your head because it won’t do you any good;
  • Your kids don’t need to know the details – Whatever you do, don’t involve your kids in your marriage problems, especially if they’re young. This will do more harm than good;
  • Don’t refuse help – It’s perfectly fine to seek professional help when you need it. You don’t have to work on your marriage alone. Instead, find a marriage counselor who will guide you and help you both heal;
  • Keep it between the two of you – Telling everyone that your spouse cheated on you is not a good idea. It could potentially blow up in your face and affect your mental health, so keep it between the two of you as much as you can. 

Related article: 21 Best Ways To Deal With Guilt Of Cheating

Questions to Ask Your Unfaithful Spouse

If you’ve been cheated on or betrayed by your spouse, trying to understand this terrible experience is a normal part of dealing with the pain. There are so many questions that you want to know the answers to. 

You probably think you want to know as much as possible and get as many details as possible about the affair. But sometimes, it’s better to not ask too many questions.

To help you out, here are some questions you can ask your unfaithful spouse:

  1. Did you feel guilty after cheating on me?
  2. What is it about us that you value?
  3. Did you hope I would find out?
  4. Did you have unprotected sex?
  5. How far has the affair gone?
  6. What did you tell yourself while cheating on me?
  7. Do you want legal separation from me?
  8. Were you thinking about us when you cheated?
  9. How were you different in the affair?
  10. Did you talk about a future together?
  11. Do you want to stay together?
  12. Did you think about the children?
  13. What was it like when you came back home to me?
  14. What did you see in the affair partner?
  15. What do you think we can learn from this affair?

Long-Term Infidelity Effects

Infidelity Recovery Takes Time
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Getting cheated on or betrayed by a romantic partner is never easy. And as much as you try to be strong, the infidelity effects will eventually blow up in your face. That’s why it’s important to acknowledge how you feel early on. 

Of course, you’ll be in shock when you first find out about it. You might not want to accept the hard truth. But once you finally accept the harsh reality – your spouse cheated on you with someone else – you can then start the healing process. 

According to experts, recovering from this emotional betrayal might take a long time. It can cause you chronic anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, insomnia, and mistrust of others

No matter who you are, infidelity can have long-lasting effects on you. For that reason, it’s critical to work on your mental health with your partner and preferably a mental health specialist.

Related: Gut Feeling He’s Cheating No Proof: 31 Critical Signs

Letting Go of a Cheating Spouse

Letting go of a cheating spouse is never easy, especially if you still love them. But sometimes, it’s better for you to walk away and start a new life with someone else. 

Infidelity feels like being stabbed in the back, to say the least. And if your partner doesn’t own up to their mistakes, there’s no room for a healthy relationship anymore. That’s when you should let go and walk away.

It won’t be easy. You need to give yourself permission to feel everything. Feel every emotion. Whether you’re sad, angry, or bitter, let it all out. It might be helpful to talk to a professional counselor about your struggles. 

You will definitely come out of it even stronger if you find the right support along the way. Trust me; it will all get better with time. Don’t let your cheating spouse take away your joy. Just let go and walk away from them.

The Pain of Infidelity Never Goes Away?

While it’s true that the pain of infidelity cuts like a knife, it gets better with time. According to some research studies, it takes around eighteen months to two years to heal from this traumatic event. Even though it’s impossible to fully recover and move on overnight, you can still eventually make peace with it. 

Moving on from a relationship is an emotional rollercoaster. And don’t think that it will be hard for you every day. Some days will be bad, but you’ll have good days. 

Don’t be afraid of this pain, though. Being afraid to let go is never the reason to forgive your cheating partner and stay in the relationship. Surround yourself with people who love you and make the decision to go away with their help. That’s when the healing process can begin for you.

Stages of Healing After Infidelity

The healing after an affair occurs in stages. It is definitely not a fast or easy process. But don’t be afraid, because you will get through it. Here are four stages you have to go through before you can make peace with this traumatic event.

  1. The discovery stage – This is the phase of shock. It’s often followed by inexplicable and overwhelming anger. You start having doubts about yourself and your entire relationship. It feels like the end of the world. You feel almost every possible emotion in the spectrum;
  2. The grief stage – After discovery, there’s grief. Grief is a fundamental part of the healing process, so allow yourself to feel it. Cry, shout, cry some more, get sleep, eat… Do whatever you want to let the pain out;
  3. The acceptance stage – Once you go through sadness and anger, you will enter the acceptance stage. This is when you start coming to terms with the new reality;
  4. The reconnection stage – If you decide to stay with your partner, this is when the reconnection can begin. It’s very important to go through all the above stages before you start rebuilding your relationship.

When Should You Not Forgive a Cheating Spouse?

For the sake of your mental health, you should always try to forgive a cheating spouse. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stay married. And forgiveness definitely can’t happen overnight. 

It just means that once you finally heal yourself and move on with your life, you should do yourself a favor and try to forgive them. It will bring you more peace and serenity. You should do it for yourself and yourself only.

How To Forgive Cheating Partner
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How Long Do Couples Stay Together After Infidelity?

Every couple is different. Some couples are able to move on with their lives after infidelity, while others decide to break up. According to some research studies done by the American Psychological Association, around 53% of couples who experienced infidelity in their marriage were divorced within 5 years, even with therapy.

Even though the statistics don’t sound great, there are some couples who manage to fix their broken trust and recover from this traumatic experience. As I said, it all depends on you and your partner. Are you both willing to make it work?

Is Separation Good After Infidelity?

There’s so much pain, anger, and sadness in a relationship after someone cheats. So for couples who want to stay together, a temporary separation might be a good thing. It might help both sides recover. It certainly helps the cheated partner cope with the everyday painful interactions while going to therapy and working on their mental health. 

There’s also a bigger chance to have a reasonable conversation when both partners take time to process this new reality and deal with these traumatic experiences. Separation after infidelity can lead to recovery, so you and your partner can give it a try if you want.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I hope you found this article helpful and that it helped you realize whether it’s time to leave your relationship after infidelity.

Remember that a healthy relationship requires trust, respect, and love. If your partner cheated on you, that will certainly be very hard on your relationship. Your partner will need to own up to their mistakes, apologize, and most importantly, change their behavior. 

If you feel like you can rebuild trust and find happiness again, then you should stay together and heal together. But if you see that your partner keeps on making the same mistakes or is not able to commit to you fully, then it’s time to consider walking away.

You are your own most important person, don’t ever forget that. And you certainly deserve better than infidelity.

If you have any additional questions about this topic, I’m here to help! I’m a professional coach who has helped many couples work on their problems and overcome relationship obstacles successfully.

Don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment in the section below. Let me know your thoughts, and I hope I hear from you soon!

Related article: 31 Best Ways – How To Stop Him From Cheating

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.